I really enjoy audiobooks and use Audible often for my book listening needs. However, finding titles on Audible — particularly the best Audible books for kids — can sometimes be a challenge. I don’t mean when you know what you’re looking for, but I mean when you’re looking for recommendations.
One quick idea for helping with this is to search by narrator. First, drop in someone like Bahni Turpin, Ramón De Ocampo, or BD Wong in the search box. Then filter the results by “running time.” This will make most children’s books pop up earlier in the results and hopefully help you find other books that meet your needs. However, what happens if you’ve tried all the narrators you can find?
Of course you can search by author or scroll through the titles under “Discover” (using Audible’s listener categories like “littlest listeners” and “elementary” and so on). However, it can be time consuming and may not result in your stumbling across titles you’re interested in.
If you’ve tried these approaches or just want to skip to a list already, I’ve compiled some of the best Audible books for kids here. They are in order of length to help you move easily from shortest to longest. Let’s get started!
The Best Audible Books for Kids Under 1 Hour
The First Music by Dylan Pritchett and Erin Bennett Banks
This book is a short and fun read at under five minutes about a group of animals who discover that the noise they’ve been making is music. It’s narrated by Dylan Pritchett and would be good for the littlest readers.
Tony Baloney by Pam Muñoz Ryan
This is narrated by Ramón De Ocampo and only five minutes. If you like it, you should check out Muñoz Ryan’s other books on Audible as well as De Ocampo’s other narrations.
No Kimchi for Me by Aram Kim
This is about a little girl named Yoomi who doesn’t like kimchi. Narrated by Greta Jung and only 5 minutes long, Yoomi tries to prove she’s a big girl by finally eating spicy kimchi. Will she succeed?
Stone Soup by Heather Forest
Stone Soup is a classic story about sharing. Narrated by Heather Forest and only six minutes, this is likely to be a crowd pleaser.
Our Favorite Day of the Year by A.E. Ali
In this short book of eight minutes, all the children in a class share their favorite days of the year including Rosh Hashana, Eid, and Pi Day. Narrated by Almarie Guerra.
Lon Po Po by Ed Young
This is similar to Little Red Riding Hood with a clever child figuring out the threat the wolf poses and outsmarting him. Narrated by BD Wong and five minutes long.
Freedom Soup by Tami Charles
A Haitian grandmother and her granddaughter Belle make a special soup for New Year’s Day, with the grandmother not only teaching Belle how to make the soup but also explaining the history and origins of the soup’s name. This is narrated by Bahni Turpin and runs 15 minutes.
Kaka is a crow who stumbles across a mouse who needs help. This has some nice music and sound effects, and is narrated by Karthik Kumar. The run time is about eight minutes.
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes
This is narrated by Corey Allen and runs five minutes. It celebrates the transformative power of a new haircut for black boys at the barbershop.
The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko
One of the best Audible books for kids, The Case for Loving tells the story of Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter, and their fight to have their marriage recognized despite their differing racial backgrounds. This is narrated by Bahni Turpin and has a run time of eight minutes. If you want a little more background on this subject, you can also try these other titles on what became a landmark court case in the U.S. known as Loving v. Virginia.
Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas by Natasha Yim
Goldy Luck is not an especially lucky child, despite her name. Woken by her mother on Chinese New Year, she goes to the neighbors to offer them turnip cakes. As they happen to be away, Goldy Luck trips and makes a mess of the cakes. Will she be able to redeem herself with her panda neighbors? You’ll have to listen to find out! Narrated by Lauren McCullough with a run time of nine minutes.
Counting the Stars by Lesa Cline-Ransome
Another one of the best Audible books for kids, this is the story of Katherine Johnson, a woman who became a NASA mathematician. Possessing a sharp mind for numbers, Katherine started school early and skipped grades, starting high school at the tender age of 10 and graduating at 15. She was lucky to receive a scholarship to college and would go on to become a human “computer.” It is an impressive story not only of her intelligence, but also her perseverance, hard work, and natural curiosity. This book is narrated by Bahni Turpin and runs 20 minutes.
The Best Audible Books for Kids 1 Hour or Longer
Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business by Lyla Lee
Mindy Kim is 8 years old and faced with a lot of new changes. Her mother has passed away and now it’s just her and her father, after a move from California to Florida. After the kids at her new school make fun of her kimchi and seaweed lunch, she isn’t sure she’ll be able to win over her new classmates. This is book 1 of 6 so there are more out there to enjoy. Narrated by Jaine Ye and with a run time of 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Abby Takes a Stand by Patricia C. McKissack
McKissack’s work has received a number of honors including several Coretta Scott King awards and a Newbery Honor. In this book, the title character is now a grandmother and keeps mementos from her childhood in her attic. Her grandchildren come to explore and learn through these items what it was like to grow up during segregation. This is 1 hour and 14 minutes, and narrated by Cassandra Morris.
Dr. Wangari Maathai Plants a Forest by Rebel Girls
Dr. Maathai was an amazing individual and this is a good introduction to her life. If you’ve somehow not heard of her before, you can always read her bio here, among other Nobel Prize winners. Narrated by Bahni Turpin, the run time for this title is 1 hour and 25 minutes.
New Kid by Jerry Craft
Jordan Banks goes to a new, mostly white private school and finds himself feeling like he’s miles away from where he belongs, even though he’s only a few miles from where he grew up. Narrated by Jesus Del Orden and Nile Bullock, this title runs 1 hour and 58 minutes. If you like this, you should also look for Craft’s Class Act.
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
The Mouse and the Motorcycle is the first in a series by Beverly Cleary. This version is narrated by BD Wong and is 2 hours and 17 minutes long. I remember loving these as a kid. What is it about adventurous mice that hook children? I am not sure, but if you like this, you may want to check out The Ralph S. Mouse audio collection, which includes books 1–3, or for another mouse try Geronimo Stilton’s books 1–3.
The Best Audible Books for Kids 3 Hours or Longer
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Anne Hathaway does a fantastic job of narrating the voices of the different characters in this classic. At only 3 hours and 49 minutes, it’s a great listen for children and adults alike.
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Woodson has won so many awards there isn’t space to list them all, but she has most recently been awarded a Coretta Scott King honor for Before the Ever After, about 12-year-old Zachariah and his father. Unlike Woodson’s more recent fiction, Brown Girl Dreaming is a memoir in free verse about Woodson’s childhood and her own very personal relationship with language and words. This title is narrated by the author and runs 3 hours and 55 minutes.
Twintuition Double Vision by Tia and Tamera Mowry
Twin tweens Cassie and Caitlyn move to a new city and have to contend with the usual challenges, along with a strange ability to see events before they happen. Narrated by Lisa Renee Pitts and Chanie Waitts, this is 4 hours and 23 minutes long. This is also the first book in a series of four so there are more to read if this interests you or a young reader you know.
Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff
This is narrated by Jax Jackson and Kyle Lukoff, and runs 4 hours and 28 minutes. It’s hard to do it justice, but it may help to know that there is a haunted house, a grieving child and mother after the loss of their uncle/brother, and a lot of changes happening before the beginning of middle school. The main character, Bug, is trying to figure out how they feel most comfortable in the world and there’s a thoughtfulness to this #OwnVoices story that the world needs.
Hurricane Child by Kacen Callender
This title is the winner of a Stonewall Book Award and a Lambda Literary award. The story is about Caroline Murphy, a 12-year-old black girl who believes she has been born with bad luck. Her luck seems to change with the arrival of a new student Kalinda, but as she finds herself developing feelings for her new friend, she now has to navigate even more than just her family and school lives. Narrated by Krystel Roche with a run time of 4 hours and 37 minutes.
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
This is historical fiction drawn from the story of the author’s grandmother, a woman who was born into privilege in Mexico but eventually had to move to the U.S. to work on a farm. Once there, she witnesses some of the history of 1930s California. Narrated in English by Trini Alvarado, this title is 4 hours and 42 minutes long. It is also available in Spanish, narrated by Ruth Livier.
The Best Audible Books for Kids 5 Hours or Longer
The Golden Orchard by Flora Ahn
This is about Maya, her mother, her halmoni (Korean for grandmother), and of course time travel through food. Narrated by Kathleen Choe and 5 hours and 15 minutes long, I hope there will be more like this book.
Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
This is a story about Virgil Salinas, an 11-year-old Filipino American boy who is quiet and reserved, and about his relationships with his friends and his Lola or grandmother. Narrated by Ramón de Ocampo and Amielynn Abellera, this is 5 hours and 17 minutes. If you like it, you might also try some of Kelly’s other titles like You Go First.
Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim
This is a funny and sweet story about 11-year-old Yumi who dreams of being a stand-up comedian. Her immigrant family obviously doesn’t share her vision and hilarity (and some poignancy) ensues. This is narrated by Greta Chung and is 6 hours and 3 minutes long.
To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer
This is a novel told through emails between two girls, Avery and Bett, whose fathers fall in love. Sent off to camp to bond, they eventually form a close friendship. Narrated by Imani Parks, Cassandra Morris and cast, this book is 6 hours and 13 minutes long.
Last Last-Day-of-Summer by Lamar Giles
Cousins Otto and Sheed are the stars of this kids’ adventure mystery book. The two boys are ending their wild summer at Grandma’s (wild as in for the tween set) with one last adventure before their dreaded return to alarm clocks, homework and school. These two are sharp and they make for a fun read. For example, one of them has a favorite shirt that says, “Stand Back! I’m Going to Deduce.” How can you not love that? I hope there will be more of these. Narrated by Ruffin Prentiss, this title is 6 hours and 47 minutes.
When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller
This book is a Newbery Medal winner and revolves around Lily and her small family. Lily and her sister are both biracial — white and Korean — and their mother is widowed. Their mother decides to move them closer to their grandmother and through this, Lily begins to realize that her grandmother is sick and that Lily is seeing a magical tiger she can communicate with. Read by Greta Jung, this title is 7 hours and 22 minutes.
The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
If you don’t know who Jason Reynolds is, this reading pathway is a great place to start. It recommends starting with The Boy in the Black Suit, which you can of course listen to as it is one of the best children’s books on Audible. The story is about Matthew, a boy who has just lost his mother and takes on a job at a funeral parlor to cope with his grief. Narrated by Corey Allen, this title runs 7 hours and 48 minutes.
Need more books for your tiny audiophile? Find even more of the best audiobooks for kids here.