November 23, 2016, Epoch Times
If your family is hitting the road this holiday season, along with the millions of other families with the same plan, an audiobook may be just the thing to take a tolerable journey and turn it into a magical one; an experience wherein the trip itself becomes a beloved family memory.
While you may be tempted to back all digital devices and headphones to keep the kids occupied on the ride over the river and through the woods, why not try an audiobook instead?
Here are some excellent ones to consider:
‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ by C. S. Lewis
My family’s favorite audiobook—I recommend the entire seven-volume set, beginning with “The Magician’s Nephew” narrated by Kenneth Branagh, then continuing on to “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” narrated by Michael York; “The Horse and His Boy,” narrated by Alex Jennings; “Prince Caspian,” narrated by Lynn Redgrave; “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” narrated by Derek Jacobi; “The Silver Chair,” narrated by Jeremy Northam; and “The Last Battle,” narrated by Patrick Stewart.
This extraordinary work of C.S. Lewis coupled with the fine performances of truly talented narrators make this a must-have for your audio library. You may not get through the whole series this holiday season but it will leave you looking forward to subsequent road trips to come.
‘Anne of Green Gables’ by Lucy Maud Montgomery
This classic coming of age story about the delightful, red-headed, orphan Anne enjoys a new audio version from Audible, narrated by Rachel McAdams. A delightful story of nature, friendship, adventure, and imagination, and the first of a series of books chronicling the life of Anne Shirley, this release coincides with the upcoming Netflix and PBS remakes of the beloved story.
‘The Collected Stories of Winnie the Pooh’ by A. A. Milne
Delightful for kids of any age, A.A. Milne’s fanciful tales featuring his young son Christopher Robin and his stuffed animal friends epitomizes classic children’s literature.
While a number of audio versions exist, that narrated by Stephen Fry, Jane Horrocks, Geoffrey Palmer, Judi Dench, and others is very entertaining.
‘The Hobbit’ by J.R.R. Tolkien
Appropriate for bigger kids, mostly because of its literary complexity, J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterpiece is a riveting adventure that will make driving time fly. Narrated by Rob Inglis, this introductory work readies listeners for the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and exposes its audience to fantastical storytelling.
‘The Secret Garden’ by Francis Hodgson Burnett
A breath of fresh air, this beautiful story of young, forlorn Mary and what becomes of her when she is sent to live with her lonely uncle in his manor on the moor will live in the hearts of its readers forever. The version narrated by Susie Berneis is quite nice.
‘Heidi’ by Johanna Spyri
Similar in theme to “The Secret Garden,” Johanna Spyri’s classic transports the reader to the crisp air atop the Swiss Alps. Check out the reading by Kara Shallenberg, available for free at LibriVox.org.
They say life’s a journey, not a destination. Here’s hoping you’ll try an audiobook to enrich your next journey with your family.