March 28, 2009

So here's our experience with audio books. We started using audiobooks when Noah was about 3 and starting to transition out of long afternoon naps. After reading a few books together, I would put on a tape or cd and explain that he didn't need to sleep, but he needed to have some calm/quiet time. Some days he would end up napping, some days he wouldn't, but it did help to establish a routine and his love for the stories. Those early story tapes were compilations of stories (Jim Weiss or tapes that went with books). They were short and captured his attention without overwhelming him with lengthy plots. Soon he began requesting them at night and they quickly became a part of our night time routine, too. Camille recently started sleeping in Noah's room and she has become a big fan of the audiobooks, too. We also use them on car trips, rainy afternoons, while working on art projects....good just about any time and any place.

Here's a list of our favorites. We own a few treasured ones, but most come from the library (some get checked out over and over again). Chinaberry Books has a great selection of audiobooks.

Early Listeners:
Jim Weiss (Tell Me a Story, Animal Stories, Fairy Tales)
Rabbit Ears Treasury of Fairy Tales (great readers and hearing BeauSoleil)
Curious George Collection
Frog and Toad Collection
And we also have some tapes of both grandmothers reading stories

Easy Chapter Books on Tape/CD:
Junie B Jones Series
Clementine by Sarah Pennypacker (library audio only)
Year of the Dog by Grace Lin (library audio only)
Magic Tree House Series
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle Series

A Little More Advanced:
Stuart Little
Charlottes' Web (read by E.B. hearing authors read their own work)
Box Car Children Series
Little House Series

Would love to hear about your favorites. We need to start bulking up our family's listening library since our public library access will be more limited in Sicily.

katy said...

Thank you Thank you - an invaluable list.

Amira said...

My boys love audiobooks, especially the oldest. When they were younger, Jim Trelease's Read-Aloud Handbook was a great resource (it still is). My other method for choosing books was to check out audiobooks I remembered enjoying when I was little. I can't even list all the books they listened to when they were littler.

Another thing that has worked really well for us is to have various family members record books. My parents have done Cricket in Times Square and The Pushcart War and my nephew did Mr. Popper's Penguins and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.

A few readers that we really like are Cherry Jones reading the Little House on the Prairie series (like you mentioned) and Graeme Malcolm reading The Tale of Despereaux.

Tara said...

Great timing for our long car trip in a week! Thank you for listing suggestions. I read in a magazine about a similar idea -- you ask family members to record memories of when they were children -- favorite tradition, favorite trip, etc., and then you "produce" the stories in one CD for all the members of the younger generation of your extended family.

Victoria said...

We use our ipod and download free children's podcasts. There's a free weekly story from Storynory and loads of others. Our children also really like listening to Paddington Bear and Winnie the Pooh (we are English). Best wishes

Corinne said...

So fun! We've done most of those, usually in the car on the way to North Carolina : ) We also did the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe during TV turn off week a couple years ago, we'd all sit in the living room and listen together, that was fun.

Kellie said...

This is my exact story, and my children still go to sleep listening to audiobooks. I second The Narnia Books, and the entire collection of Jim Weiss CD's. My older kids still love some of those. (I have a lot I'm ready to part with, if you're interested-drop me a line.) We listened to a lot of old classics-Rudyard Kipling's Just So stories, and Anne of Green Gables come to mind. This is not so useful now, but when they're older, Jim Dale's reading of the Harry Potter books is absolutely wonderful. Almost better than just reading the series.

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

Yes! So happy to see the suggestions. Jim Trelease is a great resource and Cricket in Time Square was one of my favorite come we haven't read that yet? And downloading to our ipod...never even thought about that. Can't wait to do Narnia and Potter...have a feeling those are just around the corner for us. Thank you for the suggestions.

Francesca said...

I've been meaning to leave a comment on this post for days, but I couldn't seem to remember to get the CDs from the car ...
My kids never warmed up to audio storybooks (they wanted ME to read to them), but loved the stories told by Jim Weiss (from age 5 I think), and EH Gombrich's "A little history of the world".
And yes, you do want to bulk up your family's library before moving!

Anonymous said...

I have always listened to the Rabbit Ears stories when I was small. So, when the audiobook versions of these tales came out, I was so happy!! The Rabbit Ears Treasury series is probably the best audiobook series out there! My favorite Rabbit Ears Treasury stories would have to be:

1) The Fool and the Flying Ship narrated by Robin Williams
2) The Emperor and the Nightingale narrated by Glenn Close
3) The Talking Eggs narrated by Sissy Spacek
4) How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin and How the Camel Got His Hump narrated by Jack Nicholson
5) The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher and the Tale of Peter Rabbit narrated by Meryl Streep

You should pick these Rabbit Ears audiobooks up because they are such great treasures to hold on to and the celebrities narrating them make them worth listening to. If you like to become a member of my new Rabbit Ears fansite, just go to my website, which is located at:

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