Wednesday, January 16, 2013

#readitmummiesanddaddies2013 - The Awesomeness of Audio Books

Amongst other things in this week's ongoing #readitmummiesanddaddies2013 campaign we're looking at the various ways and methods that can help parents who aren't confident with or don't like reading aloud to their children. We've looked at storytelling apps and we've also talked about text-free picture books, but it's also worth covering audio books or children's picture books that come complete with audio CDs. 

It goes without saying that local libraries offer a brilliant audio book service in most branches and our local library has some great popular children's picture books along with their audio accompaniments. (It's worth pointing out though that some libraries make a small charge for these loans so it's worth checking that out first before borrowing.)

Audio Books have the advantage of being well read, often with music and sound effects, and quite often at a nicely sedate pace so that the book and the audio can be enjoyed together again and again. 

Charlotte has quite a few picture books with audio accompaniments and a few of her favourites are: 

  • The Pirates Next Door by Jonny Duddle (from Templar Books)
  • Pants by Giles Andreae and Nick Sharratt (with a sing-a-long CD performed by Lenny Henry)
  • Mog's Christmas by Judith Kerr (read by Geraldine McEwan)
  • The 'Flip Up Fairy Tale' range from Child's Play (popular children's fairy tales with beautifully read story CDs)
  • The Snowman by Raymond Briggs (wonderfully read by the legend that is Bernard Cribbins!)
  • Stories for a Prince by various authors (produced for Charity and Prince William back in the 80s)
  • The Froobles story and audio range from Top That! Publishing
The beauty of these is that you can load them into the car on a long journey and enjoy story time on the move (I think I've lost count of the amount of times we had to hear "The Snowman" over and over again just before Christmas). 

One thing we've noticed with audio-enhanced picture books is that they give a child a different way of having someone else interpret the story. In the case of 'The Pirates Next Door' Jonny Duddle is naturally funny and entertaining (unlike Daddy when he reads it!) so it grabs Charlotte's attention more, and also means that quite often she can just enjoy the pictures while listening to someone else doing all the hard work - perfect when our busy and hectic homelife takes over and we still want to leave her listening to something great. 

If you're more technically minded and fancy enjoying stories without the necessity for the print-book, Audible have an excellent range of digital downloads at reasonable prices, often read by famous people - through their online service. 

Various sites also offer free audiobook downloads of classic children's titles. Some of these are fantastic, some are a bit 'dry' but free is free so give them a try, load them onto your iPod or MP3 player and enjoy brilliant stories this way.

Heard a great audio story? Got a great recommendation? Please leave a comment below and we'll include it in our 'recommended by' list!


Catherine said...

We like;
The Three Little Pigs and Cinderella (Lift the Flap Fairy tales) by Stephen Tucker
What the Ladybird heard by Julia Donaldson
The Kite Princess by Juliet Clare Bell
We're going on a Bear hunt by Michael Rosen
And our favourite is Giraffes can't Dance - Giles Andreae (really great jungle music for Gerald to dance to!).
(The Animal Bop by Jan Ormerod also has great music too :))

ReadItDaddy said...

Some great recommendations there, cheers Catherine!

Duncan Faber said...

Here's a great site to download free audiobooks for kids.