Audio books for the half term break


Here in Scotland we’ve already started the October half term break. We’re spending the first half on a staycation in Scotland and for the second half we’re driving to The Netherlands to visit family. For the girls, they’ve lived most of their lives abroad so they are used to long journeys and because of this we’ve built up quite a fair selection of audio CDs. I thought it would be fun to share with you some of our favourites.

1. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen (narrated by Sophie Aldred) – An absolute classic and beautifully read.

2. Brown Bear, Brown Bear what do you see? by Bill Martin and Eric Carle (narrated by Gwyneth Paltrow) – Florence loves this book! It’s one of her current favourite bedtime reads and when we’re travelling she loves listening to it as she follows along with the book.

3. Mr Wolf’s Pancakes written and narrated by Jan Fearnley – Such an entertaining read and again the girls love following along with the book.

4. Mr Gum by Andy Stanton (narrated by Kate Winslet) – A brilliant series! Such silly stories and Kate Winslet reads them with such wonderful energy!

5. My Naughty Little Sister by Dorothy Edwards (narrated by Jan Francis) – This was one of my favourite books as a child and I’m thrilled when Helena chooses to listen to this one. Jan Francis impressively reads this story and captures the naughty antics of the little sister perfectly.

6. Gangsta Granny written and narrated by David Walliams – Such a fun book and the audio book has Helena hooked.

7. The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverley Cleary (narrated by B D Wong) – I used this book as a class reader a while back and rather selfishly bought this for the girls as I wanted to listen to it in the car. They do love it and Helena is keen to read more Beverley Cleary books now.

8. The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton (narrated by Kate Winslet) – Helena has just started reading the Enid Blyton books and I was so pleased to see Kate Winslet also reads this one. I could listen to her voice all day long!

9. The Just so Stories by Rudyard Kipling (narrated by David Thorn) – Most of our audiobooks I buy or are rented from the public library, but I downloaded this one on the iPod because I loved the narrators voice and couldn’t find a hard copy of it at the time. Both of the girls are smitten with these stories. Florence doesn’t understand the morals yet behind each story but she stills loves hearing about how the whale got his throat.

9. The Borrowers by Mary Norton (narrated by Rowena Cooper) – A new one for this journey which we’re all excited to listen to. We haven’t read the book yet so I’m intrigued to see what Helena thinks of it.

We have listened to loads more we love, like the Winnie the Pooh series, Pippi Longstocking and a few by Dick King-Smith. I’m always on the look out for new audio books so please share any you love to listen to below!

Happy holidays and safe travels!
Vanessa xx


Comments (17)

October 16, 2015

Nice selection will try few of these. We love all the books by Roald Dahl and especially the enormous crocodile read by Stephen Fry.

Vanessa in Scotland
October 21, 2015

Thanks for the suggestions Lenka. I must get the Mathilda audio book. Helena is reading the book at the moment and if Kate Winslet is reading it, it will be great! x

October 16, 2015

Thanks for the nice selection! We also love audio books for long rides. Do you have any good tips concerning toddler friendly portable CD/MP3-player? Because sometimes my children’s ‘ audio-needs’ are different. Thanks!

Vanessa in Scotland
October 21, 2015

Helena has her own mp3 player (which is an old one of mine) so she can listen to her choice of audio book, whilst Florence listens to the cd’s with us over the car speakers. I have seen on amazon that you can get ‘child friendly’ mp3 players but they are quite costly and I’m not sure how long they last. x

October 16, 2015

We’re also a big audio book family but mainly German ones to improve the kids 2nd language (and mine!). However a brilliant English one is the Olivia stories read by Dame Edna – it is excellent. Fantastic music accompaniment which really works in place of the pictures in the book versions. I’m sure the girls would love it!

Vanessa in Scotland
October 21, 2015

Ooo Florence loves the Olivia books. I’ll take a look at the audio books. Thanks Mo for sharing. x

Courtney in London
October 16, 2015

I love these suggestions!
We’ve been listening to a lot of audio books lately too because of all the time spent in the car. Here are some of our recent favourites:

Some audio books we’ve listened to lately:

-‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ (which went a bit over Ivy’s head, but the boys really like it)
-‘Island of the Blue Dolphins’
-‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ (and two of the others in the series)
-‘Little House in the Big Wood’ and ‘Little House on the Prairie’
-all the Roald Dahl books (Kate Winslet does SUCH a good job of narrating Matilda!)


Vanessa in Scotland
October 21, 2015

The Little House on the Prairie is on my wish list for the girls. And I forgot all about The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – I loved that book when I was younger. Thanks Courtney x

October 16, 2015

Vanessa your girls are just darling. These book suggestions are great and I’ll be using them for my little boy. I do have one question for you though. I read that your girls have spent most of their lives abroad and it got me wondering where you consider to be home and where your girls consider to be home? Is it the Netherlands? X

October 16, 2015

I’m also in Scotland – Glasgow to be precise!

Vanessa in Scotland
October 21, 2015

Hi Louise, Yes the girls have done some travelling and moving around! Home is where we are all together. Helena knows she was born in South Africa, Florence knows she was born in England. They have a few countries they support when they watch sport and they think that’s really fun! We are an international family and I’d like to believe we are grounded. I’m pretty sure the girls know that too. I’ve heard Glasgow is such a fun place. We must make a visit there sometime xx

October 16, 2015

Was so excited for the brown bear and faraway tree but I can’t seem to find them to order? Am I clicking the wrong thing? I search both amazon us and uk. Thanks!!!

Vanessa in Scotland
October 21, 2015

If you click on the titles of the audio books in the post you should be directed to the amazon link where you can purchase them. Hopefully that works for you. x

October 16, 2015

Good selection here.
My daughter loves to listen to Paddington bear and Harry and the dinosaurs.
And yes Kate Winslet does an amazing job reading Matilda.

Susan M.
October 17, 2015

Love these suggestions. Our kids currently love William Steig stories narrated for audio. Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci?! Wow! Tucci’s “Shrek” and Streep’s “Amazing Bone” have our kids enthralled. More down to earth but also appealing: Cynthia Rylant stories — especially Henry and Mudge stories; Annie and Snowball. A British one they love: Mog’s Christmas by Judith Kerr. We’ve been told that we have to get a Mog. They’ve liked Brown Bear, Brown Bear — love the Spanish versions too in the same audio cd. Got my son to say rather naturally, oso polar (polar bear).

October 19, 2015

We have loved listening to many of the books already listed – and also these:

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series
Paddington Bear
The Beatrix Potter Collection

Vanessa in Scotland
October 21, 2015

I have now bought the Mrs Piggle Wiggle series for Helena’s birthday. I can’t wait to listen to it. Thanks Annie. x

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