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Best New Audiobooks for Ages 3 to 6 (and Up)

AudioFile for The Children’s Book Review                                               

Listening to stories with small children gives parents and young listeners the chance to immerse themselves in a familiar world or be whisked away to a new environment. Enhanced with music and carefully chosen sound effects, the soundscapes of these audiobooks add to each story. AudioFile editors pick a new crop of audiobooks to engage you and your youngest listeners, ages 3-6+. 

The Thing About Bees

Written by Shabazz Larkin

Read by Shabazz Larkin, Legend Larkin, Royal Larkin, and Ashley Larkin

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

Shabazz Larkin delivers a lively and joyful audiobook companion to his picture book all about appreciating bees. Larkin narrates with warmth as he describes the important role that bees play in pollinating plants and making a picnic’s worth of fruits grow. Legend and Royal add giggles, yelps, and exclamations, while Ashley Larkin’s bright voice narrates headings and labels. The atmosphere of joy and love listeners hear in the audiobook is reflected in the vibrant and textured illustrations found in the print book. Review »

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Ages 3+ | Length: 12 mins. | Publisher: Live Oak Media | June 06, 2020

Antiracist Baby

Written by Ibram X. Kendi

Read by Shayna Small and Guy Lockard

“Antiracist Baby is bred, not born. / Antiracist Baby is raised to make society transform.” So begins the picture book written by the author of HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST to help explain racism to his young daughter. Shayna Small’s narration takes listeners through nine steps “to make equity a reality.” Her tone is authoritative, the strength of her voice made more powerful by the soft rhyming of the text. While the audio can be shared with babies, its clarity and simplicity will speak more deeply to parents. Review »

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Listen to a Sample

Ages 3+ | Length: 4 mins. | Publisher: Listening Library | July 14, 2020

My Papi Has a Motorcycle

Written by Isabel Quintero

Read by Isabel Quintero

Isabel Quintero narrates Daisy Ramona’s adventures on her dad’s motorcycle as they drive around their hometown of Corna, California. Corna brims with a comforting blend of the pair’s favorite community spots and friends, all of which are paired with appropriate sound effects. All those neighborhood noises could seem chaotic, but the regional Mexican music creates a bright, forward-moving pace. Like a raspado on a hot summer day, Quintero’s narration hits the spot with the perfect amount of sweetness. Review »

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Listen to a Sample

Ages 3+ | Length: 11 mins. | Publisher: Dreamscape | March 10, 2020

Iggy Peck and the Mysterious Mansion

Written by Andrea Beaty

Read by Joel Froomkin

Narrator Joel Froomkin uses drama and passion to develop the voice of young architect Iggy Peck as he goes on a building quest with his friends, the Questioneers, at a mysterious mansion. Lively music and sound effects capture the excitement and eeriness of the story, setting the scene for a grand adventure. Listeners and fans of these picture book characters will enjoy the fast-paced escapade of Iggy and his friends as they use their architectural skills and knowledge to discover the hidden secrets of the mansion. Review »

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Listen to a Sample

Ages 6+ | Length: 1.75 hrs. | Publisher: Dreamscape | March 10, 2020

Feed Your Mind

Written by Jen Bryant

Read by David Sadzin

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

David Sadzin’s stellar narration and sophisticated production values are all the art necessary to bring this picture book biography of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson to life. The story of how and where Wilson found his muse is told in two acts. Each “scene” is composed of free verse set to music and enhanced by the sounds of Wilson’s world—city noises, ringing phones, and men talking, for example. Sadzin pauses to carefully highlight points or rhymes but never breaks the melodic rhythm of the verse. A timeline and an author’s note are included in the production. Review »

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Listen to a Sample

Ages 6+ | Length: 52 mins. | Publisher: Dreamscape | June 30, 2020

The article Best New Audiobooks for Ages 3-6+ was curated by AudioFile. AudioFile is an independent source of audiobook reviews and recommendations with a clear focus on the performance and listening experience. AudioFile Earphones Awards are given to exceptional audiobooks. To learn more, visit audiofilemagazine.com, Twitter @AudioFileMag, and Facebook @audiofilemagazine.

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AudioFile is an independent source of audiobook reviews and recommendations with a clear focus on the performance and listening experience. AudioFile Earphones Awards are given to exceptional audiobooks. To learn more, visit audiofilemagazine.com, Twitter @AudioFileMag, and Facebook @audiofilemagazine.

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