Whisk your children (and yourself) away to the land of make-believe with the help of a wealth of free audio books, generously made available by Audible Stories to all kids while schools are closed. We have selected three of our favourite books in each category, based on the stories themselves of course but which are elevated to another level by the exceptional talent of many of the narrators to bring the stories to life.
It was hard to pick just three in this category:
1. Timeless Tales of Beatrix Potter: Peter Rabbit and Friends read marvellously by the late Katherine Kellgren (3 hours 31 mins)
2. The Owl and the Pussy-Cat and other nonsense rhymes read by Alan Bennet (42 mins) If you play enough times these poems will stay with you for ever.
3. Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling read by Johnny Morris – just the soothing voice you want to hear.
1. The Children’s Homer by Padraic Colum read by Robert Whitfield (4 hours 43 mins). Totally brilliant introduction to the amazing stories within Homer’s Iliad and the Odyssey.
2. The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle, read by Christopher Cazenove, superbly bringing the words to life. (10 hours 36 mins)
3. Great Poems for Children exquisitely read by Alex Jennings, Emilia Fox, Geoffrey Palmer and Julia McKenzie. (1 hour 9 mins)
Lots of classics with a smattering of new talent:
1. The Call of the Wild by Jack London read by Pablo Schreiber (3 hours 22 mins)
2. Shoebag by M E Kerr read by Josh Hurley. Our kids loved this. (3 hours 6 mins)
3. The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle read by Simon Prebble (11 hours 21 mins)
A rather eclectic range of books in this category:
1. A little History of the World by E H Gombrich read by Ralph Cosham (9 hours 11 mins) Great book to dip in and out of.
2. A way in the World by V S Naipaul read by Simon Vance (11 hours 40 mins) What a mesmerising voice.
3. Who Done it? by Jon Scieszka, read by Rebecca Gible. Hilarious (7 hours 3 mins)
An awesome collection of classics for children and adults too:
1. Hamlet dramatized by cast of Oregon Shakespeare Festival (2 hours 49 mins)
2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F Scott Fitzgerald read by Alan Munro (1 hour 9 mins)
3. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein read by Dan Stevens (8 hours 35 mins)
Many books might appeal to grown-ups too – we’ve already downloaded Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre narrated by Thandie Newton.