We’re of the mind-set that books are one of those things that shouldn’t have an age limit. If you and your children find a book you both can enjoy, reading can become an activity you love to do together.
Add audiobooks into the mix, and reading has just gone mobile, which means that with recordings about wild adventures, warring wizards and outlawed kids, long car journeys just got a whole lot easier.
If you’re looking for children’s books whose characters and adventures will quite literally leap off the page, here are a few that are just as fun to listen to as a grown up.
It’s easy to forget that J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendary epic The Hobbit is actually considered a children’s book – a fact that’s especially confusing if you’ve seen the recent film trilogy. But there’s certainly something enchanting about the dwarves, wizards, elves and goblins that captivates children and adults alike. Because The Hobbit is so beloved, there are an incredible amount of audiobook renditions out there, including the famed BBC dramatized version that, while abridged, is endless fun.
The Harry Potter series
If you’ve ever been to explore Warner Bros Studio Tours and the Harry Potter exhibits in London, you’ll know that this magical world of wizardry is as much fun for adults as it is for kids. The audiobooks are no different, especially with Stephen Fry as the narrator. Fry’s bank of accents and voices bring colourful settings like Diagon Alley and Hogwarts into focus, and J.K. Rowling’s complex characters to life.
Eoin Colfer’s fantastic Artemis Fowl is even better in audiobook form, as the fairies, leprechauns and the novel’s antihero catapult off the page. It’s an adventure story at heart, following a 12-year-old boy with big plans to hold a magical creature for ransom. But as you probably expected, he gets more than he bargained for. The book is pretty big, too, so can be an intimidating read at first – but opt for listening to it instead and the chapters fly by.
The Hunger Games
The plot of Suzanne Collins’ worldwide sensation is packed with adventure, following the gruesome fate of Katniss Everdeen as she’s forced into the Hunger Games with 23 other children, only one of whom can survive. If it sounds gruesome, it is, but Katniss’s story is ultimately one of humanity, courage and strength. It’s a tale that adults can definitely can on board with, and that an audiobook brings to life.
Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, of which Northern Lights is the first, has been dazzling readers since its release in 1995. Following the adventures of 12-year-old Lyra as she attempts to rescue a friend and find her father with the help of her daemon and an armoured bear, it’s one of those books that many people grew up reading and doesn’t lose its effect over time. With the audio recording you can hear it exactly as Philip Pullman intended, as he’s the narrator.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
What makes the audio recording of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time an all-at-once heartwarming and gutting tale of a young boy with Asperger syndrome, is that it features a full-blown cast. There are different voices for each of the characters – though the story is told solely from Christopher’s simple, albeit bluntly honest, point of view. His adventures trying to find out who murdered his neighbour’s dog gets a more 3D feel that adults will find easy to enjoy.
What are yours and your family’s favourite children’s audiobooks to listen to? Let me know in the comments below.