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The Ultimate Audiobooks for Summer 2017

Photo credit: Klaus Tiedge, Blend Images/Getty Images

Summer is coming and with it, long days of kids wandering around the house; road trips to see grandparents; and brighter, later nights that push bedtime later and later. We’ve pulled together a list of audiobooks to help see you and your kids through the epic car rides to the beach, to get everyone laughing — and dancing! — before dinner, and to ease your little ones off to bed. Kids love listening along with their parents, so our list includes only audiobooks we’re sure you’ll love, too. The long summer days (and nights) are a great time to introduce your kiddos to the beauty of listening along to tales of princesses and crocodiles, bravery and magic, and, of course, rocket ships.

  • For Kids Up to Age 8

  • Stories to inspire, provoke the giggles, and make you want to move around.

  • Feel the Beat: Dance Poems That Zing from Salsa to Swing

    written and narrated by Marilyn Singer

    Bouncing original music and spirited narration of these lively poems will get your whole family up and moving! Narrator Marilyn Singer will have you swinging around the living room, partnering up for a square dance, and all joining hands for a hora with your kids dancing — and laughing — along!

    Listen to a clip:

  • Princess Cora and the Crocodile

    by Laura Amy Schlitz, narrated by Davina Porter

    Davina Porter will keep your little listener enthralled with this goofy story of Princess Cora, a princess pushed to be perfect by her well-meaning parents and prim Scottish nanny. With the aid of a cheeky, gruff crocodile — courtesy of her fairy godmother — Princess Cora learns how to stand up for herself, and how to have fun in the process.

    Listen to a clip:

  • The Story of Ferdinand

    by Munro Leaf, narrated by Brian Amador and Angel Pineda

    Narrator Brian Amador reads the classic tale of Ferdinand the bull with a gentle Spanish accent and an unhurried pace, and singing birds and clanging bells add ambiance. Readers have loved the story of gentle Ferdinand’s adventure in the bullring for decades, and it’s fun to share the new audiobook version with little ones today.

    Listen to a clip:

  • Juana and Lucas

    by Juana Medina, narrated by Almarie Guerra

    Listen along to the story of Juana, a girl living in Bogota, Colombia, with her family and her furry amigo, Lucas. Narrator Almarie Guerra moves easily between English and Spanish, guiding listeners through the story and highlighting Juana’s trials in school with amusing tones of whining and outrage.

    Listen to a clip:

  • She Persisted

    written and narrated by Chelsea Clinton

    As a mother to two tiny feminists, I know we’ll be playing this audiobook on repeat. This biography of thirteen tenacious women, from both present day and American history, was written and narrated by former first daughter Chelsea Clinton, and it’s certain to help your children discover new role models and remind them that persistence pays off.

    Listen to a clip:

  • For Kids Ages 8 - 13

  • Stories that will make you laugh, touch your heart, or give you a really good scare. Perfect for summertime family listening.

  • Baker’s Magic

    by Diane Zahler, narrated by Tavia Gilbert, Michael Crouch, and a full cast

    A full cast works together seamlessly in the charming — and delicious! — magical adventure of young Bee, the baker’s apprentice who discovers she can bake her feelings into her pastries. The large cast of characters is engaging and full of personality. Prepare to be swept away in this tasty tale that’s great for the whole family to enjoy — perhaps with a cinnamon bun or two on hand.

    Listen to a clip:

  • Hatched (The Enchanted Files, Book 2)

    by Bruce Coville, narrated by Matthew Frow, Jeremy Gumbs, and a full cast

    An anxious poetry-writing griffin named Gerald and his human friend, Brad, record their hilarious adventures in diary format, with a full cast ably voicing the many characters. While their adventures contain serious themes of bullying and finding one’s way in the world, humor and expert narration keep those weighty issues light and entertaining.

    Listen to a clip:

  • Hoodoo

    by Ronald L. Smith, narrated by Ron Butler

    Ron Butler delivers the spooky and comical tale of Hoodoo, a 12-year-old born into a magical family seemingly without any magic himself. Butler narrates with both the naïve playfulness of Hoodoo and the deep-voiced malevolence of the demon he must vanquish to save his family.

    Listen to a clip:

  • See You in the Cosmos

    by Jack Cheng, narrated by Kivlighan de Montebello and a full cast

    Eleven-year-old Alex Petroski is obsessed with space travel (he even named his dog Carl Sagan), and he’s traveling from Colorado to New Mexico to launch a rocket. Narrated by Kivlighan de Montebello’s engaging young voice, Alex records an audio diary of his journey and the friends he meets along the way to create an endearing tale of friendship and family.

    Listen to a clip:

  • When the Sea Turned to Silver

    by Grace Lin, narrated by Kim Mai Guest

    Magic and reality meet in this story of shy Pinmei and her quest to rescue her grandmother Amah, captured by the emperor and his soldiers. Listeners will cheer Pinmei along on her mission as Kim Mai Guest’s narration reflects Pinmei’s growth from a timid, quiet girl to a brave, strong adventurer.

    Listen to a clip:

  • Flying Lessons and Other Stories

    edited by Ellen Oh, narrated by Dion Graham, Samantha Quan, Meg Medina, Julia Whelan, Adam Lazarre-White, Tim Tingle, Abigail Revasch, Sunil Malhotra, Kwame Alexander, Dominic Hoffman

    The team behind We Need Diverse Books has produced an anthology packed with lively stories from standout children’s authors, and a winning ensemble of narrators brings the collection to life. Every listener will find stories they can relate to and opportunities to exercise their empathy. If your kid isn’t already hooked on short stories, this collection will be a great introduction to their magic.

    Listen to a clip:

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