This post is part of a paid partnership with Epic! Books for Kids. Tips, ideas, and opinions are totally ours! -Meagan & Sarah
The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last for ever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year – the days when summer is changing into autumn – the crickets spread the rumour of sadness and change.― E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web
Listening to audiobooks is a year-round activity in our homes, but something about the cooling temperatures and return to school makes listening to a classic story read aloud seem that much cozier. Audiobooks are great for mixed-age listening, too–put one on and watch as older kids drift in and out, listening, while littles snuggle up to you and (magic!) cease their chatter for a few minutes so they can hear the story play out.
Sarah’s family also listens to audiobooks on the short drive to school each day. It’s a way to reset everyone after the morning scramble and transition to school mode in a fun way.
Here are nine audiobooks we think will make for cozy fall listens this year:
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Sarah: What’s cozier than a mystery? My 6-year-old daughter Violet can’t get enough of mystery stories (the kind that neatly wrap up in a dozen chapters or so), and she loves that The Boxcar Children series features a character with her name!
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Meagan: It’s the ultimate tale of redemption: a sour, spoiled little orphan girl finds her humanity when she discovers something – and someone – to care for; a fearful, sickly boy finds his courage and will to live; a grieving, distant father reconnects with his child through the magic of a garden planted years earlier by his late wife. The descriptions of the English moor and country gardens are cozy as can be, and hearing the Yorkshire accents (instead of having to guess what those funny misspellings might sound like in real life, like I did as a child) makes the audioversion of this book a delight.
Miss Nelson is Missing! by Harry Allard
Sarah: Fall means back-to-school, and if your kids are like mine, reading stories set in a classroom really helps us work through the anxieties brought on by a new school year. I loved Miss Nelson is Missing! as a kid – a little bit of suspense, a big reveal, and the universally known feeling of walking in and finding a substitute teacher in place of your usual one were all themes that felt both familiar and a little bit exciting. This audio version has great background music and a dramatic reader that makes it extra fun.
Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Meagan: When I was a nine-year-old girl obsessed with the Little House books, I remember initially being put off by Farmer Boy. I only knew one of the characters in the book, for one thing (besides lazy, lousy, Lizzy Jane, who I really did not want to know better) and, I mean, the main character was a BOY. But when I finally convinced myself to dig in, I was hooked on this portrayal of young Almanzo’s life on a farm in upstate New York. To me, nothing is cozier than book scenes featuring food, and no book does a better job with lush, mouthwatering food descriptions than Farmer Boy. I promise, you’ll want to go back in time 150 years just for the chance to sit at the Wilder’s abundant table, and the audio book version of this is a great, low-barrier way to coax your own reluctant Farmer Boy reader to give Manly’s story a shot.
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
Sarah: This year I’ve been on a kick of revisiting classic books in their audiobook form with my kids. I purposely choose titles that I think may be above their comprehension level or interest, and start playing them in the car without fanfare or any expectations. Sometimes, the kids are immediately engaged; other times the effect is more like classical music playing in the background–an cozy, pleasant environmental detail. Either way, I love having introduced the classics in audio form, and fall feels like a perfect time to try this young listeners version of Gulliver’s Travels.
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
Meagan: A stuffed bunny that’s loved so much it literally starts falling apart? What could be cozier than that? I’ve always loved this timeless children’s tale for the lessons it imparts about surface attractiveness vs. real beauty, the power of loyal love, and what really matters. It’s even made me think twice about getting rid of the stuffed bear I loved nearly to death in my own childhood.
The Monster’s Ring by Bruce Colville
Sarah: We’ve enjoyed Bruce Colville’s middle grade fantasy novels with my older two kids, and The Monster’s Ring makes for a great Halloween-themed listen. School-aged kids will love the story of a bullied fifth grader who comes into possession of a ring that can turn him into a monster, and the themes of self-possession and standing up for yourself can spark great discussions after listening. Plus–isn’t it cozy to be just a little bit spooked?
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