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Children's Audio Books to Enjoy at Home and on Vacation

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Children's audio books (also known as audiobooks) are great fun for kids, whether they are enjoying them at home or while traveling. If you are going on a summer vacation with your children, be sure and take some audio books with you; they'll make the car, train, or plane trip much more fun for your children. There are also a lot of other <a href="http://childrensbooks.about.com/cs/forparents/a/audiobooks.htm">benefits of listening to audio books</a>. You'll find that audiobook editions of many popular books for kids are available. Below is a sampling of them.

1. The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders

cover art -The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders

The audio book version of The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders reveals another of the talents of author Jack Prelutsky; he is also a musician. Your children won't be able to resist the funny poems set to music and sung by Prelutsky, who also plays the guitar along with John Guth. The musical arrangements by Guth feature bass guitar, mandolin, percussion, and keyboards. I know from experience that 2- to 4-year-olds love to listen to this recording again and again. (Harper Audio, 2005. ISBN: 9780060758363)

2. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Book 1)

Cover art of The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book One
Disney-Hyperion

Introduce your kids to the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series with the audiobook version of the first book, <i>The Lightning Thief</i>.  The series has proven to be enormously popular with middle school students, as well as upper elementary age kids. This fantasy series features an appealing middle school student, Percy Jackson, and the amazing revelations and adventures that change his life.  TAuthor Rick Riordan incorporates a lot of Greek mythology in the series, to great effect. (Listening Library, 2005. ISBN: 9780307245304)

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3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter Series, Book One)

Introduce your kids to the Harry Potter series (or begin rereading them all), starting  with the audiobook version of the first book in the series, <i>Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone</i>. With this fantasy novel by J.K. Rowlings, you'll enjoy hours of mystery, suspense, wizardry, and fun.  I'd recommend this for families with children eight years old and older. (Listening Library, 1999.ISBN: 9780807281956)

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4. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Everyone has a bad day, and the entire family will get a kick out of Alexander's troubles in <i>Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day</i> by Judith Viorst. The audiobook edition of the story is read by actress Blythe Danner. While I recommend it for four to eight year olds, it will appeal to parents also. (Harper Children's Audio, 2004. ISBN: 9780060723316)

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5. Charlotte's Web

The Charlotte's Web 50th Anniversary Retrospective Edition audio book version is read by the author, E.B. White, and is 3.5 hours long. This classic story of friendship, first published in 1952, is the heartwarming tale of a little girl, a pig who needs help to avoid the slaughterhouse, a remarkable spider, and much, much more. I recommend it for seven- to ten-year-olds.

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6. A Bear Called Paddington

The story of the little bear from darkest Peru who travels to England and finds himself on Paddington Station is a classic. The little bear is adopted by the Brown family who name him Paddington. Paddington gets into all kinds of amusing difficulties, and the Browns find their lives turned upside down. This children's audio book is read by actor and comedian Stephen Fry, whose English accent and sympathetic reading make it a delight. I recommend it for ages 5-9. (Harper Children's Audio, 1958. ISBN: 0060760710)

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