Five of the Best New, Fun, and Engaging Audiobooks for Kids Ages 3 and Up

The Best New Audiobooks for Readers from 3-6+
AudioFile for The Children’s Book Review

AudioFile’s Editors have five fun and engaging audiobooks for the youngest listeners. Little science lovers will be thrilled by a lively production about the sun, and all will enjoy meeting the surprising star of Zadie Smith and Nick Laird’s picture book about embracing our individuality. Listeners looking for a story to help celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival will be delighted by a new audio production of Grace Lin’s THANKING THE MOON. Read on to find five fun audiobooks to share with your little listener.

The Sun Is Kind of A Big Deal: Audiobook Cover

The Sun Is Kind of a Big Deal

Story by Nick Seluk

Read by Emily Eiden, David de Vries, Lauren Ezzo, and a Full Cast

Ages 4+ | Weston Woods Studios | 10 mins. | Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

Emily Eiden, David de Vries, Lauren Ezzo, and a full cast narrate this dynamic introduction to our solar system and the hardworking star at its center. Young listeners meet the planets and explore Earth’s reliance on the sun’s vitally important jobs. Eiden’s bright voice and engaging narrative style, as well as the lively music and the supporting cast’s playful characterizations, animate the text and enhance the accompanying picture book’s entertaining, educational illustrations. Science, creativity, and humor are abundant in this exceptional audiovisual experience.  Review »

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Stand Up!- Ten Mighty Women Who Made a Change: Audiobook Cover

Story by Brittney Cooper

Read by Brittney Cooper

Ages 4+ | Scholastic Audiobooks | 40 mins.

This audiobook will inspire young activists to make the world better for everyone.  Author and narrator Brittney Cooper introduces 10 incredible Black women who changed history by standing up for what they believed in. The historical, contemporary, well-known, and less-well-known women include Ruby Bridges, Rosa Parks, and Mari Copeny, a youth activist who fought for clean water in Flint, Michigan. Cooper’s uplifting and gentle delivery helps listeners process the many complex topics while musical enhancements complement the narration. Review »

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The Surprise: Audiobook Cover

Story by Zadie Smith and Nick Laird

Read by Zadie Smith and Nick Laird

Ages 3+ | Listening Library | 6 mins.

Married authors Zadie Smith and Nick Laird deliver a delightful, hilarious, and heartfelt narration of their debut children’s book. When Kit opens her birthday surprise, she finds a guinea pig dressed in a judo outfit. Kit’s many pets find the oddly dressed “surprise” off-putting. After several misadventures, she receives a name and finally feels loved and accepted in her new home. Smith shines as she voices all the characters, while Laird’s deadpan delivery of the narrative text juxtaposes beautifully. The production’s music and sound effects enhance the story to great effect. Review »

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THANKING THE MOON- Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival Audiobook

Story by Grace Lin

Read by Elaine Wang

Ages 3+ | Listening Library | 4 mins.

Narrator Elaine Wang beautifully illuminates the dreamy quiet of a mid-autumn Moon Festival celebration. A Chinese American girl tells how she travels out into the darkness with her family to string up lanterns, eat traditional sweets and fruits, and give thanks to the moon for happiness and togetherness. Lin’s spare lines don’t lend themselves to exaggerated voices or complicated sound effects, making this production deceptively simple. Wang uses round, deliberate tones to echo the circular illustrations meant to evoke the moon. Her conversational delivery of the expansive endnotes will leave listeners feeling pleasantly well informed about this traditional festival. Review »

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We Are Better Togetjer: Audiobook Cover

Story by Bill McKibben

Read by Greer Morrison

Ages 3+ | Macmillan Audio | 4 mins.

Young listeners will be drawn to the audible smile in narrator Greer Morrison’s voice as she shares the wonders of humankind and the importance of working together. Morrison delivers the short, reflective messages in a warm voice, paired with outdoor sounds that seamlessly transition from one to the next. Listeners hear the exciting roar of an ascending spaceship to evoke humanity’s ability to explore; animal sounds are softly blended to portray the fragile creatures on Earth that need human protection. Morrison’s friendly tone imparts a deeply inspirational message from environmentalist McKibben worth revisiting. Review »

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This list, Five of the Best New, Fun, and Engaging Audiobooks for Kids Ages 3 and Up, was curated by AudioFile. AudioFile is an independent source of audiobook reviews and recommendations with a clear focus on the performance and listening experience. AudioFile Earphones Awards are given to exceptional audiobooks. To learn more, visit, Twitter @AudioFileMag, Facebook @audiofile-magazine.

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August 12, 2022 at 12:31PM AudioFile