The Best Audio Books for Kids

Best audio books for kidsTraveling parents tend to be polarized on the topic of in-car DVD systems and staring at an iPad for hours on end.  Luckily great audio books for kids are less controversial.

Also?  Listening to audiobooks make you smarter.  It’s science.

Here’s our age-by-age guide to the best kids audio books, but don’t get too hung up on the age ranges.  Already read the book and seen the movie?  You’ll be astonished by how much you still enjoy the audiobooks.  My family can’t get enough Harry Potter, and we almost know all seven stories by heart.

If you’re looking for a list of good stories available on, check out our best audio books for family road trips post.

If you like this painstakingly researched audio book list, please support us!  Clicking our links takes you straight to (where you can buy all these stories on audio CD) and doesn’t cost you more.

Audio books for ages 2-3 (and up):

Love You Forever: The Best of Robert Munsch by Robert Munsch
Uglified Ducky: Traditional And Original Stories
The House at Pooh Corner
by A.A. Milne
The Jamie Lee Curtis CD Audio Collection
by Jamie Lee Curtis
Brown Bear & Friends CD
by Bill Martin
Berenstain Bears’ Stories CD

Sleeping Beastly: And Other tales from Maynard Moose by Willy Claflin

Audio books for ages 4-5 (and up):

The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erickson
Faded Love / Let Sleeping Dogs Lie (Hank the Cowdog) by John R. Erickson
It’s a Dog’s Life / Murder in the Middle Pasture (Hank the Cowdog) by John R. Erickson
Flat Stanley Audio Collection CD by Jeff Brown
The Hoboken Chicken Emergency CD by Daniel Pinkwater
The Battle of the Mad Scientists and Other Tales of Survival by Bill Harley
The Giants and the Joneses by Julia Donaldson
American Tall Tales by Jim Weiss
The Jungle Book by Jim Weiss
Amelia Bedelia CD Audio Collection by Peggy Parish
Giants! A Colossal Collection of Tales and Tunes by Jim Weiss
Junie B. Jones Audio Collection, Books 1-8 by Barbara Park

Audio books for ages 6-7 (and up):

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Book 1) by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) by J.K. Rowling
The Roald Dahl Audio CD Collection by Roald Dahl
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming (yes, that Ian Fleming)
The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
Alvin Ho Collection: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things and Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters by Lenore Look
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Lydia Permanyer
Geronimo Stilton: Books 1-3
The Boxcar Children Collection, Vol. 1 by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows
The BFG by Roald Dahl
Magic Tree House Collection: Books 1-8 by Mary Pope Osborne
Doctor De Soto by William Steig

Audio books for ages 8-9 (and up):

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4) by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5) by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6) by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
You’re a Bad Man Mr Gum! by Andy Stanton
The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop
Sarah, Plain and Tall CD Collection by Patricia McLachlan
The Secret History of Tom Trueheart CD by Ian Beck
The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler
The Wayside School Collection by Louis Sachar
The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
The Nixie’s Song: (Beyond The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 1) by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
The Witches by Roald Dahl
Dragonsdale by Salamada Drake
From the Mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr
Greek Myths as told by Jim Weiss
New Girl – Audio Library Edition (Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls) by Meg Cabot

Audio books for ages 10-11 (and up):

Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes
Araminta Spookie Vol. 1 CD: My Haunted House and The Sword in the Grotto by Angie Sage
A House Called Awful End by Philip Ardagh
The Fast and the Furriest by Andy Behrens
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Book 1 by Rick Riordan
The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2) by Rick Riordan
The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 3) by Rick Riordan
The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4) by Rick Riordan
The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 5) by Rick Riordan
Holes by Louis Sachar
George’s Marvelous Medicine CD by Roald Dahl
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett
The Indian in the Cupboard by Brock Cole
Three Tales of My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett

Audio books for age 12 and up:

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Charlie Bone And The Shadow by Jenny Nimmo
Hoot by Carl Hiassen
Scat by Carl Hiassen
Evermore (Immortal Series #1)
by Alyson Noel
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles) by Rick Riordan
The Jaguar Stones, Book One: Middleworld by J&P Voelkel
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

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  1. says

    I never thought about audio books for our trip before. But that’s a great list. Next trip, I will have to check them out from the library. I think it will help on our trip and give us some peace and quiet time on the road. :)

  2. says

    We just did the NJ – DC trip with Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the CD player. My 7 year old has already read this book about 4 gazillion times, but she delighted in introducing her 5 year old brother to the story for the first time. Truth be told, my husband and I were pretty amused, too.

  3. says

    Great list! we hadn’t discovered Bill Harley and he is hilarious!!! Many thanks for that. We like the Magic Tree House audio stories and Cairo Jim.

  4. says

    I’m going to put my teacher hat on when I say how listening to audiobooks is so good for kids in helping them visualize the story and “imaginate”, o.k. not the technical term. We loved the Robert Munsch collection, I admit I was laughing along with my five-year old. It’s not a Chris Rock audiobook, but at least it’s not Thomas the Tank Engine. Which, by the way, we had to listen to A LOT when my son was a toddler, I’m partial to the one narrated by Ringo Starr.

  5. says

    Also, any stories told by Jim Weiss are fantastic. My son has been listening to him since he (my son) was tiny. There are stories for 3 year olds all the way up to adults.

  6. says

    On our recent trip, we listened to Hank the Cowdog, Betsy-Tacy, and the Boxcar Children. It was interesting to learn that the kids were listening, even when it didn’t look like they were paying attention.

  7. says

    Great choices! My children and I absolutely loved the Harry Potter series. Jim Dale was such a wonderful narrator.

  8. says

    We love audio books on the road! A few of our favorites are Amelia Bedelia, Little House on the Prairie, Nancy Drew and Frog and Toad!

  9. Kris says

    We just listened to the Moongobble series by Bruce Coville. It kept my four and seven year old enraptured.

  10. Andrea Oakley says

    Thank you! I have been looking for some new audio books for my five year old boy to listen to and am excited to try some of these. He and I both adore audio books both for car trips and for cleaning (him his room and me the house). I really appreciate this list. :)


  11. says

    I have a set of the Audio books of L Ron Hubbard classic Pulp fiction from the Golden age stories. The multicast performance like (Nancy Cartwright)and sound are quite amazing and such good entertainment for my kids 13yrs and 9yrs. When we take trips to go see grandma in Palm Springs are just great. I would recommend these audio and books to any parent for such good clean fun.

  12. says

    We listened to Mysterious Benedict Society on the long trip from Texas to Minnesota. While good for tweens, my boys (ages 7 and 9) liked it, as did Dad and I, and as a sometimes overprotective mom, I had no qualms about my 4 & 6-year-olds listening, although it didn’t hold their interest as much.

    Thanks for the list; we’ll use it for future trips.

  13. says

    We don’t even start the car without a selection of audio books! We borrow them from the library, because after they’ve listened to them once, they’re done. Anything from Scholastic usually goes over very well with my 3-year old. My 10-year old gets help downloading more age-appropriate books onto his iPod, so he has control over his own entertainment.

  14. Rajiv B. says

    One of the best audio books we ever listened to on a long trip (to Disneyland) was King Solomon’s Mines by Rider Haggard. When we got to Disneyland, the kids kept wanting to get back in the car and go somewhere so they could listen to the next chapter! Us parents enjoyed it too.

  15. Di says

    Have you come across any good apps where I could utilise my iPad in the search of all the great audio you recommend.?

  16. John L says

    A friend recommended The Deliverers (funny name), Sharky and the Jewel for my 10 year old son and we all loved it! The narrator really brings this story to life, good acting and characters, a LOT of characters. Eric, a young 12 years old boy meets a talking owl, Stig, who summons him to another world to help save them from a Pirate who has ruled their land for hundreds of years. Great story, fun adventure for kids and adults, highly recommended.

  17. lo robison says

    Helps to keep the fighting at a minimum. Our favorite was “The Trumpet of the Swan” read by the author. E.B. White. We got it at the library and ended up buying it for a birthday request.

  18. Jenn says

    Thank you for this list. I am a huge fan of audiobooks myself. I will also recommend (not certain of ages, just great quality). Focus on the Family’s “Chronicles of Narnia” by C. S. Lewis(full cast audio dramas), “The Goose Girl” Series by Shannon Hale (also a full cast audio) and All of the “Artemis Fowl” books by Eoin Colfer. Happy listening!

  19. Stewart says

    Nice list. I’d move My Father’ Dragon to either 4-5 or 6-7. My kids loved it in Kindergarten. Also a good series starting at age 10 is The Chronicles of Prydain. It is right up there with the Harry Potter and the Percy Jackson series.

  20. Clay Gradis says

    Thank you! Taking a trip tomorrow with three kids, ages 8 and twin 5 year olds. This should help

  21. Janet lindley says

    My hubby and I took the kids to New Hampshire over this last week for vacation, and had audiobooks with us all the way. What a great way to enjoy the drive as a family. There was one story we found on audible, called All The Little Foxes, which was a nice little story about things that happen in friendships. I would recommend this audiobook. It’s not very long a little under 2 hours, but we’ll worth the listen. We also listened to another family favorite on our journey Winnie The Pooh-that brought back such great memories of childhood!


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