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Best Audio Books for 3-5 year olds

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#1 Where's Toto?

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 06:37 PM

We spend a lot of time in the car driving my oldest to dance. Twice a week she goes early enough that I have to bring the two youngest along on what is a 45 minute to 1 hour round trip.

I've been thinking about playing Audio books for the little guys but I want something that's going to last most of the trip, not be too annoying for me or oldest DD and will hopefully keep their attention.

Any suggestion?

#2 miracleone

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 06:50 PM

Jim Weiss' "Tell Me A Story, " is a good one for 3-5 year olds. You can check out www.greathall.com for more of his audio stories. They're great and my kids like them.

#3 ~Phoenix

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 07:50 PM

We just got Jim Weiss' American Tall Tales to go with Sonlight 4/5. We haven't listened to it, but it's definitely for that age group.

The running time is 1 hr. and includes: Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed, Pecos Bill and the Fastest Draw in the West.

#4 Susan in TN

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 08:16 PM

My kids love Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev - we have the version narrated by Patrick Stewart, and it's wonderful.

Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra.

Just So Stories by Kipling, narrated by Carl Reiner.

#5 Dinsfamily

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 08:17 PM

We love Jim Weiss CDs too. My ds6 really enjoyed the Mouse and the Motorcycle trilogy by Bevery Cleary on cd when he was 4-5. Also, Hank the Cowdog is a fun series to get on cd. The author does a great job reading it and it's great for all ages.

#6 kathkath

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 08:26 PM

We just finished up Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and that was a hit with my 3yo and 5yo. We're in the middle of The Boxcar Children and my 3yo is in and out of paying attn to that. I just got Little House on the Prairie to do next.

#7 HeidiKC

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 08:43 PM

ALL the Jim Weiss CDs are WONDERFUL. I have 2 boys who just turned 4 and 6 (so just a bit older than yours) and we got STOW Vol. 1 (Ancients) on CD. The one by Jim Weiss. My kindergardener has requested it almost every single night since Christmas! It is about 7 or 9 CDs long (can't remember) so you just listen to a different each time!

Also (and most of these are more than one CD, but then you just continue with CD #2 the next time):

- STOW CDs by Jim Weiss (4 volumes, each 7-12 CDs or so)
- Roald Dahl books, esp. James and the Giant Peach
- there is a 2 CD Dr. Seuss set with a bunch of his books on there read by famous people - lots of fun.
- Beatrix Potter's collection of books (Peter Rabbit) - wonderful
- House at Pooh Corner
- Winie the Pooh
- Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books
(although I find them ANNOYING myself)
- Pinocchio
- The Jungle Book
- Just So Stories
- Old Yeller (depending on kid, but my kids weren't bothered by it)
- several by Benedict Flynn such as Tales of Irish Myths
- Tales of Troy by Benedict Flynn
- Adventures of Odysseus by Benedict Flynn
- Tales from the Odyssey CD Collection by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Treehouse author)
- Robin Hood by Benedict Flynn
- check out Naxos Audiobooks (Junior Classics especially) - they have GREAT stuff, and much of it will be appreciated by Classical homeschooling families

The ones in bold are the ones my kids LOVE and request over and over, and have loved since they were 3 and 5 and younger.

#8 apmom

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 09:31 PM

My kids absolutely loved Charlotte's Web on CD, read by the author.
They also (my 4 yo included) liked the Little House books, especially the early ones in the series.
I also ditto the "anything read by Jim Weiss" comments. I just search his name in our Library database and request anything that looks interesting.

If you can use interlibrary loan, do that. CDs are so expensive! We always have the car stocked with CDs from the library and our car rides are so much more peaceful.

#9 In2why

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 09:45 PM

Most of the Classics are in the public domain so you can download the MP3s of them for free. Just google classic read alouds and a few options will come up.
We have all of Beatrix Potter
Rudyard Kiplings Just so stories and the Jungle book
Dr. Doolittle
Aesops tales
Alice and Wonderland
and many more wonderful options.

#10 Mopdop

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 10:02 PM

We have just instituted listening to an audio book after Sir B is done with school in the mornings so I can have time to some therapy work with Sir I. So far we are up to 20 mins. I am hoping to work up to about 45 mins. What perfect timing for this subject!

This week he is really enjoying listening to Jeremy: The Tale of an Honest Bunny and the others in the set by Jan Karon.

When he was younger he loved listening to the Mother Goose nursery rhymes. It still amazes me how many of them he know now!

#11 Suzannah

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 10:06 PM

Ok, Jim Weiss is a good storyteller, but for some reason my son doesn't care for him. But here are my suggestions:

Hank the Cowdog--any and everything. DS started listening to them when he was 3-4 and still loves them at 12. The rest of us love it too. They are read by and songs performed by the author.

Winnie the Pooh--DS hadn't listened to it for a while and we got it out again for a long car trip when he was about 9 and DD was 5. We all thoroughly enjoyed it. Hilarious.

All of the Mouse and the Motorcycle and Ramona/Ribsy/Henry and Beezus books by Beverly Cleary. DS enjoyed these for years. I can't remember who reads the Mouse books but Stockard Channing reads the Ramona books.

For slightly older kids (not inappropriate for 3-5 year olds, but perhaps more enjoyable for olders)

For years and years we've listened to Jim Dale's reading of A Christmas Carol sometime around Christmas. Sometimes in the car, sometimes around the fireplace.

The Chronicles of Narnia series read by Patrick Stewart, Lynn Redgrave, Jeremy Northam, Michael York, Kenneth Branagh, Alex Jennings, Derek Jacobi. Some people like the Focus on the Family dramatized versions. It never appealed to me because I had such vivid and specific memories of reading the unabridged books as a child and the dramatization was distracting. I went ahead and got it from the library for DS without commenting on it and he said he didn't like it either.

#12 Hannah

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 02:30 AM

Storynory has some nice free books for the little ones.

We've also enjoyed listening to poetry in the car. It's amazing how much they pick up from this.
* Listen and Color: Favorite Poems for Children by Dover and Thea Kliros
* Poetry Speaks to Children by Elise Paschen, Dominique Raccah, Nikki Giovanni, and X.J. Kennedy
* Developing Linguistic Patterns Through Poetry Memorization (from Excellence in Writing)
* A Child's Introduction to Poetry by Michael Driscoll and Meredith Hamilton
* The Nation’s Favourite Children’s Poems Collection (BBC Radio Collection) narrated by Ronald Pickup, Tim Pigott-Smith, Andrew Sachs and Rosalind Shanks

And you may also enjoy some educational songs:
* Geography Songs by Troxel. There's also an mp3 download available
* Lyrical Earth Science Volume 1
*
by Lyrical Learning. There's also Life Science Volumes 1-3
* Singing Science Records (free download)

#13 Jamee

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 05:05 AM

My little guy was SUPER excited when I got The Scrambled States of America for him in audio. I have found that iTunes has a lot of children's books at a fairly decent price. He has also really enjoyed listening to Percy Jackson too, since he still can't read it himself, he's been able to get into it as much as the rest of us.

I'll agree with Rauld Dahl books, one of my favorite authors!

#14 mamaofblessings

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 07:04 AM

What a great resourceful thread!!

So many free audio books for kids are available online..I have one question though...it says in order to download these you have to have quicktime 7 pro...it is worth the $29.99 investment?

#15 kalanamak

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 07:11 AM

- several by Benedict Flynn such as Tales of Irish Myths
- Tales of Troy by Benedict Flynn
- Adventures of Odysseus by Benedict Flynn
- Tales from the Odyssey CD Collection by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Treehouse author)
- Robin Hood by Benedict Flynn
- check out Naxos Audiobooks (Junior Classics especially) - they have GREAT stuff, and much of it will be appreciated by Classical homeschooling families


I can't get my son to sit through Jim Weiss, although I like them. At that age he loved Island of the Blue Dolphin read by Tantoo Cardinal, A Cricket in Times Square (two versions) Julie Harris's (I think it is her) Stuart LIttle, Mary P Osborne's Odyssey, Charlotte's Web, and this "play on tape", although we found it in CD, of The Hobbit. The voices are so good on it:

Darn, now it won't cut and paste...it is the Gail Chugg/ Mind's Eye production, and it sounds like an old radio Saturday afternoon broadcast, and kiddo loved it at 3.
Don't forget the Vox Music masters. Kiddo was riveted by them from 4-6, and still listens sometimes, although he likes straight music better, now. Try Peter and the Wolf at that age.

#16 Where's Toto?

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 08:10 AM

Thank you for all the suggestions. I'm making a list to grab from my library.

#17 OhElizabeth

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 08:15 AM

From ages 2-7 my dd listened over and over and over again to:

-Charlotte's Web
-The Chronicles of Narnia (unabridged from Harper Audio)
-Little House on the Prairie series (all the books, absolutely wonderful)
-Old Mother West Wind
-Uncle Remus

Not to disagree with other posters, but I would not get on audio books the dc will soon be able to read for himself. I would shoot over his head and go for things that stretch him, chapter books, works with mature language and sentence structure. For instance, I started reading aloud the Lang Fairy Tale books (the ones with colors in the titles) to my dd when she was two, and it SHOWS in her sentence structure and writing. When they listen to excellent writing, they learn vocabulary which they then recognize more quickly when learning to read. In fact, I was just thinking recently that I ought to get her more books on tape. WTM has lists of suggested books for audio in their K5 section too.

#18 Mopdop

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 08:24 AM

Not to disagree with other posters, but I would not get on audio books the dc will soon be able to read for himself. I would shoot over his head and go for things that stretch him, chapter books, works with mature language and sentence structure.


I agree with this completely. I was shocked that Sir B really listened to the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Peter Pan last year. There was another full version book he listened to but I can't remember the title right now.

And, as an added benefit, I enjoyed the books too!!!

#19 Suzannah

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 05:10 PM

Not to disagree with other posters, but I would not get on audio books the dc will soon be able to read for himself. I would shoot over his head and go for things that stretch him, chapter books, works with mature language and sentence structure. For instance, I started reading aloud the Lang Fairy Tale books (the ones with colors in the titles) to my dd when she was two, and it SHOWS in her sentence structure and writing. When they listen to excellent writing, they learn vocabulary which they then recognize more quickly when learning to read. In fact, I was just thinking recently that I ought to get her more books on tape. WTM has lists of suggested books for audio in their K5 section too.


You are not disagreeing with me, although as I look back at my post it may appear that way. I only meant to say that if your kids aren't used to listening to longer, more advanced works at age 3, perhaps you would want to start with Winnie the Pooh and save The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for later. But my kids have listened to so many wonderful unabridged stories beginning around 2 or 3 for older DS and since birth for the others. Yes, even A Christmas Carol when they're little. The only one we sort of held off on was the unabridged Hobbit because it scared DS when he was younger (don't remember what age) but I made him read it a few years ago and he loved it and went on to the trilogy. We almost never do abridged books intentionally. (Although we did receive a large set of CDs at Christmas containing fairy tales, the Arabian Nights, King Arthur, Robin Hood and others. They were a gift and are enjoyable so I certainly didn't get rid of them. But by age 5 DS had listened to (either as a read aloud or on CD/tape) all of the Chronicles of Narnia, Charlotte's Web, Trumpet of the Swan, Cricket in Times Square, all of the Mouse and the Motorcycle books, My Side of the Mountain, Treasure Island, Winnie the Pooh, Just So Stories, The Jungle Book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Secret Garden...and of course as many Hank the Cowdogs as we could get our hands on.

Good luck! Once you start perusing the audio selections at your library, the offerings from audible.com (they have some freebies) and librivox recordings, you'll find a treasure trove of great books. And like I said earlier, if you think perhaps they won't sit through a book you've chose, try it during lunch or bathtime. They can't go anywhere and they'll have time to get pulled into the story.

#20 hopeistheword

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 05:19 PM

This is a great thread! :)

My girls, ages 5 and 4, have been listening to audiobooks daily for over a year now, I guess. Some of their favorites have been the Little House on the Prairie books, Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, The Trumpet of the Swan, Caddie Woodlawn, the American Girl stories, Mr. Popper's Penguins, the Akimbo stories, and others. Some of these they listened to after we had read the book together, while others were completely new to them. I can't remember them all!

I have reviewed some of what they've enjoyed on my blog, if anyone is interested.

#21 myfatherslily

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 06:20 PM

Agreed - this is a great list! I'm going to save it and look for some books for us. I'm sure many of the older titles are also available for free at http://librivox.org. The readers won't be the same as those mentioned here, but it's a good option for some of us!:)

#22 In2why

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 06:59 PM

What a great resourceful thread!!

So many free audio books for kids are available online..I have one question though...it says in order to download these you have to have quicktime 7 pro...it is worth the $29.99 investment?



I would NOT pay for any program needed to download the books. There are too many free options out there. I am pretty sure that Quicktime as a free version as well that you can use without the bells and whistles.

#23 In2why

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 07:02 PM

Agreed - this is a great list! I'm going to save it and look for some books for us. I'm sure many of the older titles are also available for free at http://librivox.org. The readers won't be the same as those mentioned here, but it's a good option for some of us!:)



This is my favorite source for free classics. I load them on my MP3 players.

My only hesitation is that I choose the "readers". My kids have a really hard time comprehending the readings if the person has an accent, so I pre-listen to choose the version I think is best.

#24 Mom-ninja.

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 09:39 PM

Winnie the Pooh books

Trumpet of the Swan

#25 kubiac

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 12:13 AM

Thank you so much to Susan in TN for recommending the "Just So Stories by Kipling, narrated by Carl Reiner." My kiddo keeps shouting out words he recognizes and I never read these when I was little. Oh, the language, the wonderful language! This is already a family favorite. Much appreciated.

#26 Rosie_0801

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 01:10 AM

My 4 and 2 year olds happily listened to 'Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates,' from Librivox, for about two hours before they wore out and needed something simpler. Your kids might not need a story that captures them so much as a story going for the sake of conversation.

Rosie

#27 Xanadu

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 02:36 AM

I found out by accident that all the Jim Weiss narrations/cd's are on Rhapsody. (After attempting to close our account when we realized it was overkill with all the itunes downloads we had accumulated, we were offered to keep it for $4.95 a month....since it is access to lots of music we might not download/buy otherwise we kept it...and while searching for kids music I found all the Jim Weiss CD's.)


Besides the vast array of free resources already mentioned, http://www.tales2go.com/ is a monthly membership that offers over 1600 audio children's books that are "professionally" read. As the parent of a child with severe text and auditory based learning disabilities, I know first hand how bad a badly read audio book can be...KWIM? So this is a great resource as well. I also saw mention of a possible group buy upcoming at the HSBC

http://www.homeschoo...co-op.org/news/

You got to scroll all the way down to upcoming/recommends

IMO you can't beat $10 a month for access to that many professionally done children's audio books...it sure beats audible (if all your interested in is children's stories)

#28 Lizzie in Ma

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 06:30 AM

Raggedy Ann Stories
Old Mother West Wind
we had a poetry compilation too but I don't recall which one

#29 Alice

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 06:35 AM

We just discovered a fantastic series from the library of audiobooks. It's called Rabbit Ears and there are many many volumes. Each CD has two stories, some are classic fairy tales, some are world folktales, etc. Each story is about 20 min and the CD lasts about 45 min.

The stories are great, the narrators are fabulous actors (Jodie Foster, Ben Kingsley, Sissy Spacek, Meryl Streep) and each story has beautiful music that goes with it. One had music by Yo Yo Ma, one by Beau Soleil, etc. They are just really well done.

My oldest loves audiobooks and at a very young age he would listen to anything. My middle son, not so much. But he likes these stories as does the 2 yr old.



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