Whitefield Academy Blog

Summer’s Top Audio Books for Elementary School

by | May 23, 2018 | Elementary School, Kindergarten, Reading, Summer, Technology | 0 comments

Summer is the perfect time to get your family hooked on audio books! Between long car trips, early morning drives to swim practice, and lazy afternoons lying in front of the air conditioning vent, audio books are the perfect companions for your kids. They certainly don’t replace climbing in bed and listening to mom or dad read, but they are an excellent, close second.

Every one of these audio books is available through either the Johnson County Library, the Kansas City Public Library, or the Mid-Continent Public Library. You can also find the majority of these on Audible, a monthly subscription site full of audio recordings.

 

Mr. Popper’s Penguins 

By Richard and Florence Atwater, Read by Nick Sullivan

A fun and funny book about a man who raises a family of penguins in his house and trains them to perform in shows around the United States. Easy to understand and accessible for younger kids too.

 

Betsy-Tacy 

By Maud Hart Lovelace, Read by Sutton Foster

This is a sweet book, set in the early 1900s, about a friendship between two girls. They enjoy playing pretend with their paper dolls and their sand store.  One of the later chapters touches on the death of one girl’s baby sister, just a warning. Sutton Foster does an excellent job with the recording.

 

Little House in the Big Woods 

By Laura Ingalls Wilder, Read by Cherry Jones

This book is what made me give my kids more chores! The classic and true tale of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s early years in a little log cabin.  Though the story is about Laura, this particular Little House book would appeal to boys as well as girls.

 

Farmer Boy

By Laura Ingalls Wilder, Read by Cherry Jones

My four year old and six year old daughters adore this book. The companion novel to Little House in the Big WoodsFarmer Boy is the tale of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s husband’s childhood.  Stories about growing up on an expansive farm in the 1800s will have your little ones riveted, especially if you follow it with a trip out to Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop in Olathe where the people working in the barn can show you calves just like Almanzo’s!

 

The Trumpet of the Swan

By E.B. White, Read by the author

It is such a treat to hear a book read by the author, and E.B. White’s recording is the perfect example. The Trumpet of the Swan tells the story of mute swan who learns to read, to write, and to play the trumpet to communicate.  I prefer this audio book to reading it aloud because the audio recording includes the trumpet music.

 

Stuart Little

By E.B. White, Read by Julie Harris

Another great E.B. White book.  Your kids will love to imagine tiny Stuart Little, a mouse, who goes on grand adventures like sailing a ship and driving a car across the country.

 

Anne of Green Gables

By L.M. Montgomery, Read by Kate Burton

The 1800s seems to be a popular setting for really good children’s literature. Anne of Green Gables follows a young orphan girl who is mistakenly sent to a family expecting a boy to be a farmhand. The main character, Anne, is eleven, so this book is a great fit for older elementary schoolers.

 

The Magic Tree House Series

By Mary Pope Osborne, Read by the author

My husband and I can be a little bit snobby about books at times, wanting to find books that are enjoyable yet still stretch our kids’ reading and listening abilities.  But sometimes it’s fun to just sit and listen to a quick and imaginative story. The Magic Tree House books are quick little tales about Jack and Annie and their time-travelling tree house. Some stories can be a little bit scary for younger listeners.

 

The Wind in the Willows

By Kenneth Grahame, BBC Radio full-cast dramatization

This one is a little bit crazy! Instead of a regular audio recording, the BBC published a dramatization of The Wind in the Willows.  It’s a bit like a recorded play with sound effects and music.  It’s pretty funny but can be difficult to understand at times with everything that is going on.

 

Winnie the Pooh

By A.A. Milne, Read by Alan Bennett

Pooh and Piglet are great for all elementary ages.  Their sweet adventures (and misadventures) are just pure, wholesome fun.

 

So grab an Audible membership (first month is free) or run to the thrift store and pick up one of those antique CD players for some of these recordings from the library. Turning one of these on in the afternoon this summer can buy tired parents a guilt-free hour of rest time.

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