Children’s Best Audio Books for Bedtime

November 26, 2011

Every parent knows that getting the kids to drift off to dreamland is a bit more difficult than tucking them into bed.  But the right bedtime story can help immensely.  So here are just a few of the favorites that parents have been using for years to get those little eyelids drooping.  And with audio books on your side, you can keep your kids entertained and sneak a few extra minutes for yourself, as well.

  1. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd.  This classic children’s book about going to bed has delighted kids for decades (while unfortunately boring parents to tears – anyone who has made this book part of their bedtime routine can no doubt attest to this sad fact).  Now you can let your kids enjoy Goodnight Moon whenever they want with the audio book, which will give children the repetition they seek while allowing you to introduce new texts during your nightly reading time.  It’s a win-win.
  2. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.  What kid (or adult, for that matter) hasn’t wanted to join the monsters under the bed and be their king?  In this fantasy audio book, willful Max runs off to join the wild things after being sent to bed without dinner.  Children will identify with the desire to be independent and run wild, but also with the eventual urge to return to a home that is safe and loving.  And parents will find that listening to this imaginative story never gets old.  So let the wild rumpus begin!
  3. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.  In the grand tradition of children’s literature, this audio book is a blend of tragedy and salvation.  The toy rabbit that is loved by his boy is unfortunately fated to be cast aside as the boy grows older.  But because he has been so loved, he ends up becoming a real rabbit.  The audio version is skillfully narrated by none other than actress Meryl Streep, so both kids and adults will find something to love in this heartwarming tale of transformation.
  4. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.  This book may be better suited to school-age children than toddlers, but the delightful story will likely appeal to a wide age range.  Follow Mole, Toad, Rat, and Badger as they become friends and have wild adventures.  Each character has a distinctive personality but they all come together in the end to help each other out.
  5. Good Night, Sleep Tight, Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite! by Diane deGroat.  Although this audio book has bed bugs in the title, it won’t answer the question, “What is a bed bug?”  It will, however, take your kids on an adventure with Gilbert, a loveable critter who is going on an overnight camping trip for the first time.  Of course, the older kids tell a ghost story that frightens young Gilbert, but he finds that even the boldest of campers (like Lewis, who is quick to tease poor Gilbert) can be afraid of things that go bump in the night.  This book will teach kids that everyone gets scared sometimes, but we can all find bravery, even in the dark.

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