Perfect for listening together around the house or as the soundtrack to a road trip, here are our top 10 best audiobooks for families.
Sharing stories as a family can make memories that endure for a lifetime. As a parent who remembers the stories told to them as a child, you’ll love recreating the same magic for your own little ones. Our list brings together best-selling classics and new favourites, giving your family amazing new worlds to explore and unforgettable characters to accompany your adventure.
Beatrix Potter's enchanting tales and captivating characters have been loved by all ages ever since her first self-published work Peter Rabbit was released in 1901. A lover of wildlife and student of nature, Potter took inspiration from the natural world to create some of the most enduring characters in children's literature. BAFTA award winning Andrew Scott brings fresh life to this collection with his delightfully entertaining narration, exclusive to Audible. First time listeners will be absorbed in the lives of Peter Rabbit and Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, while adults will be flooded with warm memories of Jemima Puddleduck and Squirrel Nutkin. Potter's works have sold over 100 million copies in more than 35 languages, earning their place as a must-listen for every family.
With the discovery of a friendly bear from darkest Peru at Paddington station, you’ll be enthralled by the adventures of Paddington Bear that have delighted audiences for decades. Paddington's distinctive coat, hat and love for marmalade have made him one of the most recognisable characters in any children's story. The charming tales of Paddington's mishaps and exploits are brought to life by Stephen Fry, as he delivers a playful narration that perfectly fits Michael Bond's engaging storytelling. Whether brand new to the character or familiar with the recent movie adaptations, this is an ideal choice for the whole family to listen together, joining with over 30 million others worldwide who have enjoyed these tales over the years.
The best-selling Chronicles of Narnia series takes listeners on a rich and rewarding journey deep into the wonderful world created by C. S. Lewis and loved by fans around the world. Adults and children alike will be swept along for the ride, following a cast of characters as they cross from everyday life into a land of magic, discovery and adventure. Enhancing the story is a full cast narration including Timothy Spall, Richard Griffiths and Sylvester McCoy, bringing the characters to life and taking you right into the heart of the action. This is a saga that will fascinate the whole family, getting lost together in a world of fantastic creatures and fearless adventures.
J.K Rowling invites you to enter a magical world with the first story in the best-selling Harry Potter series. On his 11th birthday, Potter discovers that he’s a wizard, leaving muggle (non-magic) life behind to take his place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Families will be captivated by the relatable characters and enchanted by the world created by Rowling, full of excitement and drama. Stephen Fry narrates with warmth and skill, bringing the people and setting of Hogwarts to life. Fry is an acclaimed voice actor for good reason, and it is a joy to allow him to lead you into this wonderful tale. When you finish listening and find yourself desperate for more, you can join Fry as he takes you through every title in the series. Ideal family listening.
Feeling misunderstood can be part of growing up and Matilda Wormwood’s life is no exception. She resorts to pranks in order to fight back against mean parents, but things change when she meets the horrid Miss Trunchbull at her school. Here, her pranks are no longer just little-girl tricks on terrible grown-ups. With the added discovery of mysterious magical abilities, Matilda begins to use her powers to fight against injustice. Academy Award winner Kate Winslet’s Audie-winning performance demonstrates her ability to throw herself into a varied cast of characters. From Matilda’s childhood discoveries to the warmth of Miss Honey, Winslet’s narration is a joy to listen to.
In this wild adventure, best-selling author David Walliams takes listeners into a strange, intriguing world behind the locked doors of Buckingham Palace. Families looking for a listen full of excitement will be thrilled by the twists and turns of Prince Alfred's journey as he battles to save the Queen and the whole city of London in the year 2120. A team of narrators, including Joanna Lumley, Andy Serkis and Walliams himself bring the cast of brilliant characters to life and take you into the heart of the escapade. The Beast of Buckingham Palace is ideal for a long car journey and, as it grips the whole family, you'll wonder where the time went.
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is tasked with far more than growing up with a mouthful of a name: he also has to catch and train a dragon in order to become fully initiated into his Viking tribe, the Hairy Hooligans. How to Train Your Dragon follows Hiccup’s path to becoming a hero the hard way, reminding listeners of all ages that dedication is the best way to accomplish anything. Just like the challenges ahead for Hiccup, narrator David Tennant (of Doctor Who and Good Omens fame) does more than just narrate this story. He gives distinct voices to all the characters with his trove of nuanced Scottish accents, as well as breathing life into the dragons with a collection of booming voices, snorts and snarls.
If you never had a nanny growing up, Mary Poppins was the closest substitute. When she arrives at the home of Jane and Michael Banks, they quickly realise that she’s unlike any nanny they’ve had before. She brings with her a magical carpet bag that can conjure nearly anything, an ability to slide up the banister and she can even make medicine taste good. While you may have watched the movie with your family, this is the perfect option to discover the original. Olivia Coleman brings a graceful beauty to the narration, with great attention to detail in crafting the character voices. You'll find yourself drawn into a world that sparkles with the charm of Mary Poppins herself.
Philip Pullman will take your family on a whirlwind adventure with 12-year-old Lyra through a parallel universe of daemons, witches and polar bears. The first part of the award-winning His Dark Materials trilogy, Northern Lights is a modern masterpiece, winning the Carnegie Medal and Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, and later being adapted for film and TV. Narrated by Pullman himself, alongside a full cast, the story draws listeners into an amazing world that combines the familiar with the fantastic. With an appeal not confined by genre or demographic, adults and children alike will love this Arctic adventure.
Percy Jackson is like any other 12 year old boy: he has a hard time staying out of trouble. Especially when his algebra teacher turns into a monster and attempts to kill him. Okay, so maybe he’s not like other boys his age. When he ends up at a summer camp full of Olympians and magical beings, he’s launched into a world of Greek mythology, where he learns he’s actually half Greek god. As he’s accused of stealing Zeus’ lightning bolt, the stakes grow so high that his algebra class incident seems laughable. You’ll be introduced to new gods and creatures right alongside Percy, and the narration will only help you along as the journey unfolds. Jesse Bernstein’s Earphones Award-winning performance captures the complexity that young Percy is experiencing. If you’re wondering what Greek gods even sound like, you’ll be pleasantly thrilled and surprised to find out.
For more family-friendly inspirations, why not check out our children's category? Or you can head over to our main site for our extensive collection of best-selling children's audiobooks.