Parents are submitting their picks for the best audiobooks for kids below. Add your review to the ones your family has listened to and suggest more favorites for the list!
Many family audiobooks are free through the library, but a subscription to Amazon's Audible will be worth it if your family loves the format!
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Harry Potter Series
8hr 18min (book 1)
Kelly R.: Start from the beginning with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and rediscover (or introduce your kids to) the magic of Harry's world through all 7 books. They truly shine in this format and are some of the best audiobooks for kids. The US version is read by Jim Dale (our favorite), but note that there is also a UK edition narrated by Stephen Fry. Which version is better depends on who you ask, so listen to a few clips and decide for yourself before embarking on the adventure.
How to Train Your Dragon
Kelly R.: David Tennant (of Doctor Who fame) tells the story of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III as he tries to pass the initiation test into his Viking clan by catching and training a dragon. We loved this audiobook for the vibrant reading and the larger-than-life character voices - complete with Scottish accents. While different from the movies, the whole series is wonderful in its own right, especially as audiobooks the family can listen to together.
A Series of Unfortunate Events
2hr 29min (book 1)
Kelly R.: My fifth grader and I downloaded the first A Series of Unfortunate Events audiobook on a whim, got immediately hooked, and proceeded to tear through the rest of the 13 book series. The wickedly ironic tales of Count Olaf and the unlucky Baudelaire siblings are so well-suited for this format, they are the all-time best audiobooks for kids that we've listened to! The narration varies by the book: the first is Tim Curry with a full cast of voices and sound effects, a few are read by the author, and the remainder are read by Tim Curry alone (by FAR our favorite ones).
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Lisa R: This ridiculously funny British sci-fi series, by Douglas Adams, follows the sole survivor of Earth on his interplanetary adventures to discover the true meaning of "Life the Universe and Everything". The book tackles big questions in a light hearted way that touches readers of all ages. Narrated by Stephen Fry.
A Wrinkle in Time
Jennifer Torres: A story of “science and fantasy, darkness and light, fear and friendship”. This is a must for adventurers of all ages!
The Collected Stories of Winnie the Pooh
The lovable residents of the Hundred Acre Wood are voiced by a variety of readers including Judi Dench, Stephen Fry, and Geoffrey Palmer. The audiobook story is supported by delightful background music.
Kate Winslet and a colorful cast of characters do a fabulous job of bringing life to the spunky heroine of Roald Dahl's beloved classic in the audiobook for kids.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Anne Hathaway does a phenomenal job of transporting listeners to the land of Oz as she brings life to the colorful cast of characters in this classic audiobook for kids.
The Complete Chronicles of Narnia
Erynn: Though there's been a dispute over what order the Narnia books should be read in, this audiobook "dramatization" puts them in chronological order for your listening enjoyment--which is what author C.S. Lewis apparently agreed with! Enjoy the magic of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and all the rest of the series along with your kids--it's even better than reading it yourself thanks to the varied and enthusiastic cast. Do note that this is an abridged version.
The Cat in the Hat and Other Dr. Seuss Favorites
Kelly R.: Classic Dr. Seuss tales that your kids already know and love, read by voices that parents will recognize and appreciate. One of the best audiobooks for kids, especially because little ones can follow along with their own book as they learn to read! With Kelsey Grammer, John Cleese, John Lithgow, Billy Crystal, Dustin Hoffman, and more.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Kelly R.: This family audiobook captures the suspense and magic of the story of Hugo Cabret, orphan and clock-keeper who lives within the walls of a Paris train station, as he attempts to discover the secrets of an old man.
Three Tales of My Father's Dragon
This wonderful little trilogy tells the story of Elmer Elevator and a flying dragon, and serves as a great introduction to audiobooks for kids.
The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog
Hank the Cowdog stars in this fun and hilarious tale of his adventures as Head of Ranch Security. Hank's story is perfectly brought to life by the author John R. Erickson, who will have your family laughing out loud at the crazy antics. If you like this one, there are many more audiobooks to check out in the series.
Julie Harris gracefully narrates the family audiobook of E.B. White's classic story about the adventures of a small mouse with big plans.
Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor
Erynn: My favorite thing about this family friendly audiobook (and the rest of the series) is the way the sounds are "narrated" just like the dialog is. The titular character, Frank Einstein, is a boy genius- and the books all discuss real scientific concepts under the guise of Frank creating some not-so-realistic inventions. Younger kids will like the characters and the sound effects, but around age 7 or so they're more likely to get a bit out of the math and science discussions. Check out the entire series for more of the best audiobooks for kids!
Erynn: This classic tale was new to our family when I downloaded the audiobook on a whim, and we were pleasantly surprised! The story is set in the 1920s and features four siblings who find a magic coin that takes them on adventures they could never have imagined. The best part of this family-friendly book is its innocence and the recurring themes of family bonds, honesty, and always doing the right thing. PS - there is an entire series featuring the kids' families when they're adults, too.
The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Erynn: This book was my boys' very first audio book, and they loved it! The recommended age is 5-7 but I think all ages will love it- from the engaging story line (who doesn't love a mouse who rides a tiny motorcycle!) to the neat sound effects, the entire production is well-done. Plus, it's an intriguing introduction to Beverly Cleary for kids who are unfamiliar! Read by B.D. Wong.
Mr. Popper's Penguins
A cute and funny kids audiobook of the story of how Mr. Popper's world is turned upside-down by a penguin family.
James Herriot's Treasury for Children: Warm and Joyful Animal Tales
When I was growing up, I loved reading James Herriot's stories of his experiences as a rural veterinarian in England. This kids audiobook collection is brought to life beautifully by Jim Dale.
Good clean fun about a precocious and endearing third grader that will have the whole family giggling (and maybe learning a lesson or two). If your family likes this one, the other Clementine stories are available as audiobooks too.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Scarlett Johansson gives voice and plenty of personality to each of the vibrant and absurd characters of Lewis Carroll's classic, and proves to be at least as entertaining as any cartoon.
The 39 Clues Series
5hr 11min (book 1)
The Trumpet of the Swan
Kelly R.: We loved this as an audiobook, complete with trumpeting noises, of course! I think it's great for a wide variety of ages, so try it out as an audiobook for a family road trip. I was pleasantly surprised that even my 11-year-old, who is more into fantasy and action, enjoyed such a simple and peaceful story.
The Wingfeather Saga
8hr 19min (book 1)
Cheaper by the Dozen
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Series
5hr 27min (book 1)
Kelly R.: These are the first audiobooks for kids that have come close to the Series of Unfortunate Events ones for us...high praise from my family! The stories about a governess caring for children who were raised by wolves are similarly mysterious, clever, funny, dark, and filled with terrific vocabulary. I would say these are a must on audiobook, because the narrator is phenomenal and her voices add so much to the experience.
Myrtle Hardcastle Series
8hr 12min (book 1)
Kelly R.: My tween and I enjoy listening to audiobooks together, and this was a surprise favorite. Narrated by James Van Der Beek (remember him?), it's a story about a father and son who wrangle animals in Florida and are hired by a wilderness survival reality show.
Kelly R.: We loved this on audiobook! It was so beautifully read, and hearing the use of Spanish throughout the story adds a lot to the experience.
According to Humphrey Series
2hr 34min (book 1)
Enchanted Forest Chronicles Series
4hr 57min (book 1)
Kelly R.: This is a fabulous audiobook for kids narrated by Brendan Fraser!
Kelly R.: This creepy fairytale is so great as an audiobook, and we loved the narration by the author. It's especially fun around Halloween!
Primary photo: Alena Darmel on Pexels
Upparent collects community-submitted recommendations and reviews, and any ideas that are shared reflect the opinions of individual contributors.