Over the River and Through the Woods…Again!

Hey look, you guys! It's someone needing a book recommendation!

It's been quite a while, and it was a real pleasure to see this in my in-box. Let's see what we have, shall we?

My five year old daughter is addicted to
audiobooks (well, she's addicted to stories in general), and I was
hoping for some recommendations.  Length is important because my daughter's love for stories
is equivalent to her hatred for the car, and we are headed out for a
long car trip over Thanksgiving.  I need to fill eight hours of drive
time with magical stories that will distract her from her car riding
discomfort. 

We
have gone through the entire Magic Treehouse series, Ivy & Bean
series, A to Z Mysteries, Nate the Great, Cam Jansen and the Little
House on the Prairie set.  We've also
read Pippi Longstocking, Geronimo
Stilton and the Fairy Magic books to her at bedtime.

I'd
really like to stay away from books that have lots of name calling (I
always cringe when I hear the word "stupid" in the Magic Treehouse and
Ivy & Bean books).  I also need something that's not super scary.
 I've been browsing audiobooks and am thinking about maybe The Lion
the Witch and the Wardrobe or the Hobbit, but my memory of those books
is sketchy; I have a feeling they are probably a little too old
and/or scary for her.  I am also considering Mr. Popper's Penguins and
Dominic, but have never read either of those.  

My
daughter is really into inventions, dinosaurs, animals, etc.  I think
the subject probably doesn't matter as much as an engaging story with
funny or interesting characters.

OK, first of all, know that we actually had a very similar question years and years ago, here, so check there for lists of books (and our exactly the same title). But I must admit that we don't do as much listening to audiobooks as we maybe should? Or could? We are very urban in that we don't actually have a car, so it just doesn't come up. When we rent a car for summer vacations we do RadioLab (too old for this young lady) and we did 1,001 Arabian Nights, which was awesome, but which is scary. So…what will it be?

I can say that Mr. Popper's Penguins is terrific, but that's the book, not the audiobook. In fact, given that I don't know any audiobooks, except the one mentioned above, I am going to have to say only two things: The Hobbit is probably too old. And I endlessly love the Narnia books, and so have no objectivity (though they might be a bit intense for 5).

Beyond that? I will trust to the reliable excellence of the commenters, who no doubt know more than one audiobook. To the comments!

32 thoughts on “Over the River and Through the Woods…Again!

  1. My daughters (6 & 8) recently listened to “Half Magic” by Edward Eager and they loved it! Now they are listening to “A Wrinkle in Time.” They have also enjoyed all the Judy Moody, Stink and Clementine books and the Boxcar Children series.

    Like

  2. I’m the original poster – thanks to everyone for the recommendations!
    We do have the Jim Weiss Sherlock Holmes and we really like it – I will check into others.
    For some reason, my daughter doesn’t like Ramona (it pains my heart to say this). I’ll definitely look into Half Magic and I loved loved loved A Wrinkle in Time as a girl. We’ve been through the Boxcar Children too. When I said we’re addicted, I wasn’t kidding. For us audiobooks are on even at home while my daughter is working on art projects, playing with playdough, etc.
    Please keep the recommendations coming! I’m off to check out Trumpet of the Swan and A Wrinkle in Time.

    Like

  3. we recently started reading the lion, the witch and the wardrobe, (kids are 7 and 4), and I had to put it aside because I read ahead and the ending was WAY too scary and disturbing for them.
    I think their all time favorite audiobook is rilki tikki tavi, which is excellent, but not a long story. they also love cheaper by the dozen.

    Like

  4. What about Charlotte’s Web. I heard a bit of E.B. White reading it himself, and it seemed like a great version. I think that A Wrinkle In Time will be too old. Maybe she’d like Peter and the Wolf? I had a record as a kid that had the narration with the orchestral music, that was awesome. It’s not long enough, but is a start. The other ones that I thought of but that I haven’t heard in audio book format are Alice in Wonderland and Stuart Little.

    Like

  5. OH! I have a vague recollection of listening to Kipling’s Just So Stories on tape. I don’t know if the language is too old for her, but the idea of them is great! Also, I second Half Magic. I loved reading the book as a third grader, but I bet listening to it would be great for a younger kid, and the commenter above seems to actually know the audio book, so…

    Like

  6. Wrinkle in Time would have been too much for my kids at that age. If she likes animals, maybe Joan Aiken’s Arabel’s Raven. Very tender and funny and well read.
    Also, I’ve mentioned this before, but one of my kids is obsessed with storynory.com. You can download stories.

    Like

  7. My 6 year old daughter recently enjoyed “Talking with Dragons” by Patricia Wrede. It’s the 4th book in a series and the Audiobook is well done with several different voices as the different characters. The first book in the series is “Dealing with Dragons”. which I really enjoyed but have not listened to.

    Like

  8. … Oh, and “David and the Phoenix”. It is a super interesting, exciting, and sweet book, and read well if I remember correctly. I second the Clementine series, but I think my husband and I enjoyed listening to them more than our children 🙂 And you may be able to find Anne of Green Gables on audiobook. Enjoy!

    Like

  9. My (now 8 year old) son loves the following audiobooks with a passion:
    Fin Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson (read by Hugh Laurie)
    Mouse Noses on Toast by Daren King
    The Ice Cream Machine by Julie Bertagna
    The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz
    None of them are too scary and they are ones that you might not have run across yet.

    Like

  10. At that age my girls loved the following audiobooks:
    *The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth (It’s about a dinosaur! You can read the synopsis at the end of this post: http://www.inhabitingbooks.com/2011/04/some-of-my-favorite-read-alouds-for.html)
    *Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater (See http://www.inhabitingbooks.com/2011/08/long-road-trips-great-audiobooks-heaven.html for a description and some other audiobook ideas)
    *Homer Price by Robert McCloskey (another really fun, well-done audiobook.)
    I’ll echo Erika above about the fun of the Ramona books read by Stockard Channing.

    Like

  11. Oh and the Rescuers series has an engaging story, full of adventure, without being too grown-up for that age:
    1.The Rescuers (1959)
    2.Miss Bianca (1962)
    3.The Turret (1963)
    4.Miss Bianca in the Salt Mines (1966)
    5.Miss Bianca in the Orient (1970)
    6.Miss Bianca in the Antarctic (1971)
    7.Miss Bianca and the Bridesmaid (1972)
    8.Bernard the Brave (1977)
    9.Bernard into Battle (1978)

    Like

  12. I LOVED Miss Bianca, and have spent years and years trying to find a copy (in print, not audio) for my own kids (though they are coming dangerously close to being too old for it). When she polishes the chandelier and the crystal stairs with her tiny paws…it still sticks with me, for some reason.

    Like

  13. My kids also love the Jim Weiss stories, also Rabbit Ears stories and barefoot books audio books. We have a nine hour car ride and these all help tremendously. Another series they like are the stories about famous classical pieces – Mozart’s Magic Flute, Tchaicovsky Discovers America etc.

    Like

  14. My children, ages 5 and 7, loved Arabel’s Raven (by Joan Aiken) so much we listened to it several times, and there is a sequel called Arabel and Mortimer. Both audio books are wonderfully read by Sneha Mathan.

    Like

  15. YES! I loved those classical music ones as a kid. They were amazing. They are called:
    Beethoven Lives Upstairs
    Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery
    Motzart’s Magnificent Voyage
    Tchaikovsky Discovers America
    Mozart’s Magic Fantasy: A Journey Through ‘The Magic Flute’
    Mr. Bach Comes to Call
    and Hallelujah Handel (which is seasonal, and I loved it even though I was Jewish)
    They all have great sound effects and what not, and looking them up I’m kind of surprised to realize I listened to all of them as a kid. The ones I remeber most fondly are the Magic Flute, and Beethoven Lives Upstairs. I remember them having beautiful picture books (at least for Beethoven and Tchaicovsky) that could go along with the audio books.
    http://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Lives-Upstairs-Orchard-Paperbacks/dp/0531071189
    http://www.amazon.com/Tchaikovsky-Discovers-America-Esther-Kalman/dp/0531068943

    Like

  16. Charlie and the Chocolate factory read by Eric Idol, and James and the Giant Peach read by Jeremy Irons. (I could listen to Jeremy Irons read grocery lists and be enthralled – bonus that “James” is such a great story). We’ve listened to these dozens of times over the years. “Charlie” is still my son’s go-to recording when he can’t sleep or needs some comfort (he’s 11). I tried to read it aloud again to him recently and he said “it’s too weird hearing it in your voice”- back to Eric Idol.
    Loved the Henry Huggins books read by Neal Patrick Harris. Loved the Mr. Popper audio book. Mouse and the motorcycle and Runaway Ralph. We used to commute together an hour each way when he was 4 and 5 and we listened to books almost every day. I think we listened to Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe in Kindergarten and he liked it. (had forgotten most of the story when we read it again this year).

    Like

  17. The truth is we have had the best luck with audio books when we go to the library on the way out of town and just grab what looks like it might be good. We have discovered too many wonderful things to be remembered.

    Like

  18. We have listened to this audiobook and it is wonderful! Took a little while to get used to the accents, but we listened to it multiple times.

    Like

  19. My kids also loved the Soup series audiobooks by Robert Newton Peck. There’s one about Thanksgiving- fun to listen to traveling for the holiday!

    Like

  20. We’ve done a lot of audio books over the years – I would highly recommend the audio version of James Herriot’s Treasury for Children – Jim Dale does the narration. Four of the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books are available on Audible and they are not only perfect for a 5 year old but funny for adults as well. I would guess that C.S. Lewis is a touch advanced still.

    Like

  21. There a great Winnie the Pooh audio version with a full cast. I’d recommend My Father’s Dragon, and the sequels. I agree that the Hobbit is probably too old, as is The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, to judge by the other titles you’ve already listened to. The Moffats? Yes yes on James Harriot and Jim Weiss! Both are great suggestions.

    Like

  22. You could also check out http://storynory.com/ for their podcasts, and load up.
    I wish audiobooks weren’t so expensive. My daughter would LOVE to have all the Harry Potter books on audio, but at $286 for the set, it’s not going to happen. Too bad they can’t give you a discount when you buy the hard copy book AND the audiobook. 🙂

    Like

  23. I second Jeremy Irons reading James and the Giant Peach and add The BFG read by Geoffrey Palmer. We listened to that one on a long car trip once and nobody wanted to get out of the car.

    Like

  24. I am about a month late with this but I must include Tomie dePaola’s 26 Fairmont Avenue Series. Tomie dePoala reads them himself, and they are memoirs of when he was growing up. They are spectacular. We listened to them after finding them by accident at the library and then I went out and bought the series (books) for my kids to reread. I just went to look and see the actual title and they are not on the shelf…I wonder who is rereading them now?
    We also listened to Peter Pan which I would highly recommend, and Winnie the Pooh…also excellent. We listened to Alice in Wonderland, but it was decidedly NOT good. I don’t know who was reading it, but it was…bad. We did Arabian Nights too, and it was a while ago, my kids weren’t scared. They loved it!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.