HomeBooks by AgeAges 4-8Award-Winning Audiobooks for Ages 4 – 6 and Beyond

Award-Winning Audiobooks for Ages 4 – 6 and Beyond

AudioFile for The Children’s Book Review | March 12, 2020

Listening to stories is one of the greatest delights of childhood. Audiobooks give parents a different way to share stories with their children. Talented narrators will whisk both you and your child into the story. A soundscape of music and sound effects amplify the settings and the performers create memorable character voices—think Harry Potter! Over the next few months, we’ll share some favorite choices for audiobooks in different age groups. Listening to audiobooks can start early—below are 5 outstanding and award-winning audiobooks to engage your youngest listeners ages 4-6+. Some are recorded from picture books, and listeners can follow along with the book as they read, or just let these great voices and the creative sound immerse you in the story.

Before you get started, here are some tips from AudioFile editors on getting kids started with audiobooks. Details on listening devices, and getting to know your narrators give ideas for creating good listening experiences: 6 Tips for Listening to Audiobooks with Kids.

Trombone Shorty

Story by Troy Andrews

Read by Dion Graham

AudioFile Earphones Award Winner, 2017 Best Audiobook

Music featuring a single trombone precedes Dion Graham’s narration of this autobiography by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, a New Orleans native and Grammy Award-nominated musician. The richness, variety, and spice of New Orleans are reflected in the audiobook’s lively music and animated soundscape, and Graham draws listeners of all ages into an experience that is lyrical in word and music. Review »

An audiobook sequel, The 5 O’Clock Band, continues Shorty’s story with Graham’s narration punctuated with more music and vibrant sounds of the city, Listeners visit the neighborhood of Tremé, where six-year-old Trombone Shorty seeks support from mentors in his community as he ponders how to be a good leader for his 5 O’Clock Band. Review »

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Ages 4-6 | Length: 13 mins. | Publisher: Live Oak Media | 2017

Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants

Story by Andrea Beaty

Read by Bahni Turpin

AudioFile Earphones Award Winner, 2019 Best  Audiobook

Ada Twist’s boundless scientific curiosity returns in this audio narration of the second story in The Questioneers series that build on the fun of the original picture books. Teaming up with her best pals, Rosie Revere, Engineer, and Iggy Peck, Architect, Ada once again uses her inquisitive mind, enthusiastic spirit, and an incessant stream of questions to investigate solutions for a daring rescue. Wonderful sound effects and Bahni Turpin’s lively narration enhance this humorous story of a budding young scientist and her adventures. Review »

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Ages 6-9 | Length: 1.25 hrs. | Publisher: Dreamscape | 2017

Madame Badobedah

Story by Sophie Dahl

Read by the Author

AudioFile Earphones Award Winner, 2020 Audie Award Finalist

When a strange new guest arrives at the English seaside Mermaid Hotel, Mabel, who lives there with her parents, the owners, is suspicious—and curious! Who is this “Madame Badobedah”? Piano music and sound effects heighten a cheerfully mysterious mood as Mabel creates a fantastical past for the exotic guest. But first impressions can be wrong, as Mabel soon discovers in this enchanting story of intergenerational friendship, written and delightfully narrated by Roald Dahl’s granddaughter, Sophie. Review »

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Listen to a Sample

Ages 5-8 | Length: 44 mins. | Publisher: Bolinda Audio | 2019

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

Story by Traci Sorell

Read by Lauren Hummingbird, Agalisiga (Choogie) Mackey, Ryan Mackey, Traci Sorell, Tonia Weavel

2019 Best Audiobook, 2020 Odyssey Honor Audiobook, 2020 Audie Award Finalist.

This authentic celebration of Cherokee culture is beautifully performed by five narrators who share the meaning of otsaliheliga, “we are grateful.” Each narrator lends a unique voice to the story, which follows Cherokee families and their traditions across the changing seasons of the year. Cherokee pronunciations are carefully delivered to help listeners understand the words, while music and the ambient sounds of the forest and daily life in the community further enhance this immersive experience. Enjoying the picture book’s colorful and richly detailed illustrations is an ideal way to appreciate this educational listen. Review »

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Available on liveoakmedia.com

Listen to a Sample

Ages 4-6 | Length: 10 mins. | Publisher: Live Oak Media | 2019

Charlotte’s Web

Written by E.B. White

Read by Meryl Streep, January LaVoy, Kirby Heyborne, MacLeod Andrews, and a full cast

[Publisher: Listening Library, 4 hrs.] AudioFile Earphones Award Winner, 2019 Best Audiobook, 2020 Audie Award Winner.

This perfect choice for family entertainment is a great way to share a classic with your kids. White’s beloved story is narrated by the incomparable Meryl Streep. This tender story of the power of friendship is brought to life by a full-cast of exceptional performers voicing the assortment of animals and people who fill the barnyard world of Wilbur the pig, and Charlotte, the spider who creates a plan to save his life. Streep draws the listener in with a smooth, warm narration that is certain to connect new generations of young listeners to this timeless story. Review »

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Listen to a Sample

Ages 5-8 | Length: 44 mins. | Publisher: Bolinda Audio | 2019

The article Award-Winning Audiobooks for Ages 4 – 6 and Beyond 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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