Summer Book Hook: Audiobooks

June is Audiobook Month which is why week 3 of the Summer Book Hook is devoted to all-time favorite audiobooks for kids for Pre-K to the tweenagers.

Listening to books is also a wonderful way to sneak in reading over the summertime. I’m not just talking about the children too young to read yet… Listening to books is an important part of literacy development- and that goes for all ages. It’s also a great activity if you plan on traveling by way of plane, train, automobile, leopard, or unicorn. And even if you have no vacation plans this summer, try listening during your short car rides. You’ll be able to get a few chapters in the twenty minute trip between a baseball game to swim practice. Listen as a whole family or plug in the headphones for some quiet, solo listening time.

I’ve grouped the audiobooks into three age groups, 4 & up, 6 & up, and 8 & up which have large overlaps, but for the most part their guidelines are based on content and book length. So, even though Winnie the Pooh is listed in 4 & up, most 8 and 9-year-olds might find themselves more entertained than they’d like to admit. The books listed below are fun listens the whole family will enjoy… Grownups included.

Audiobooks for Age 4 & Up:

Winnie the Pooh Goes Visiting by A.A. Milne, preformed by Judi Dench, Stephen Fry, Jane Horricok, Geoffrey Palmer and Michael Willams

Winnie the Pooh, House at Pooh Corner, and Tigger Comes to the Forest are also great listens and the versions read by Peter Denis are quite wonderful. Also try A.A. Milne’s When We Were Very Young and Now We are Six too!

The Cat in the Hat and other Dr. Seuss Favorites by Dr. Seuss, preformed by Kelsey Grammar, Dustin Hoffman, Walter Mattheu, John Cleese, Ted Danson, John Lithgow, Mercedes McCambridge, and Billy Crystal

A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond, preformed by Stephen Fry

Epossumondus Plays Possum by Colleen Salley, preformed by Cynthia Darlow

Mustard, Custard, Grumble Belly, and Gravy by Michael Rosen and Quentin Blake, preformed by Michael Rosen

Miss Nelson is Missing by James Marshall, preformed by Harry Allard

Frances Audio Collection by Russell Hoban, preformed by Glynis Johns

Tikki Tikki Tembo retold by Arlene Mosel, preformed by Marcia Gay Harden

The One and Only Shrek! by William Steig preformed by Stanley Tucci and Meryl Streep

Also try Sylvester and the Magic Pebble and Dr. DeSoto by William Steig.

The Family Storybook Treasury by a variety of authors

This collection includes favorite picture books Tacky the Penguin, Lyle the Crocodile, Martha Speaks, and many more!

The Curious Gardener by Peter Brown, preformed by Christina Moore


Audiobooks for Age 6 & Up:

Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne, preformed by the author

Clementine by Sara Pennypacker, preformed by Jessica Almasy

Zelda and Ivy by Laura McGee Kvasnosky, preformed by Randye Kaye and Alexi Komisar

Cam Jansen series by David Adler, preformed by Christina Moore

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, preformed by Jim Weiss

Nate the Great series by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, preformed by John Lavelle

Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, preformed by Cherry Jones

Also try Kate DiCamillo’s Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.

Three Tales of My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannet, preformed by Robert Sevra

Alvin Ho by Lenore Look, preformed by Everette Plen

The Magic School Bus books by Joanna Cole & Bruce Degen, preformed by Polly Adams, Cassandra Morris, and a cast of children

Geronimo Stilton series by Geronimo Stilton, preformed by Edward Hermann

  Frog and Toad Audio Collection by Arnold Lobel, preformed by the author


Audiobooks for Age 8 & Up:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, preformed by Jim Dale

Superfudge by Judy Blume, preformed by the author

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. Webb, preformed by the author

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, preformed by Nathaniel Parker

The Graveyard by Neil Gaiman, preformed by the author

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, preformed by Eric Idle

Also recommend Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Glass Elevator, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach and The BFG.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in the Ship of her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente, preformed by the author

The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erickson, preformed by the author

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jaqueline Kelly, preformed by Natalie Ross

The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart, preformed by Del Roy

Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary, preformed by Neil Patrick Harris

Also try Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary.

Horton Halfpott by Tom Angleberger, preformed by Ron Keith

Over Sea, Under Stone and The Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper, preformed by Alex Jennings

Be sure to check out the children’s audiobook recommendations in “Let’s Go Reading in the Car” by Judith Shulevitz in the New York Times, as well as this year’s Children’s Fiction Audie Award Winners and the 2012 Odyssey Award Winners.

Next week, the Summer Book Hook will be devoted to young reader chapter books.

Till then! Happy Reading!!




7 Responses to “Summer Book Hook: Audiobooks”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Ah! We used to listen to Tikki Tikki Tembo over and over as a kid! Pretty sure it wasn’t read by Marcia Gay Harden though…

    • Rebecca says:

      Same! I can’t believe the celebrities publishers get for these audiobooks nowadays… Neil Patrick Harris, Meryl Streep, Walter Manttheu. It’s smart, really. Makes it fun for the parents too.

  2. Kim says:

    Hi! These look like great recommendations – where would I get them from? Am I not seeing a link or something?

    • Rebecca says:

      Hi Kim,
      These titles don’t have direct links to an outlet. They are all current titles and can be found at your local library or bookstore. If there is something particular that interests you, let me know and I can see if it’s available in your area!

      Thanks for reading!


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