Monkey and I have been out and about a lot over the summer holidays so far. Often that has meant we’ve been stuck in the car together for long periods. I’m lucky, in the fact that Monkey is quite a good passenger and we normally listen to some of his music CD’s along the way. We were recently offered the chance to sample the Puffin Summer AudioBook Club for the Mumsnet Blogger Network.
We received a great selection of Audio Books from Puffin, which I hoped would keep Monkey entertained whilst I was driving him around the countryside.
From the Laugh Out Loud section we picked The Twits by Roahl Dahl and The Dinosaur that Pooped a Planet by Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter. From the Magic & Adventure section we decided on The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham and The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy.
I’ve not tried Audio Books with Monkey before and was interested to see how he got on with them. Of the four titles we received, he had only read the paperback version of The Dinosaur that Pooped a Planet before.
We started with The Twits, which is actually the first time Monkey has experienced Roahl Dahl in any format. We were advised it was aimed at children aged 5+, but the website says 7+? I can tell you that Monkey loved it and it is brilliantly read by Richard Ayoade. There were plenty of ‘yucks’ coming from the back of the car as Monkey listened to the descriptions of both Mr and Mrs Twit, especially when it came to the contents of Mr Twits beard. It was lovely to hear Monkey giggling along with the story and Ayoade kept his attention from beginning to end. It was really interesting to see that it really didn’t bother Monkey that he didn’t know the story. I loved the author as a child, and look forward to sharing more titles by the author with Monkey over the next couple of years
The Dinosaur that Pooped a Planet was always going to be a massive hit. You may remember that we’ve previously reviewed the series. The Audio Book is read by the two authors and it works really well. There’s also a read with me version on the CD, with plenty of pooping when you need to turn the page. Monkey loved it, as any fan will. We’ve listened to the CD a lot when driving into town as it’s a relatively short in comparison to our other choices. Aimed at children aged 5+ this is Monkey’s favourite.
Moving on to The Worst Witch, Jill Murphy is an author we are both aware of, but we haven’t read any of The Worst Witch series together. How would we get on? The Audio Book is read by Gemma Arterton, and I think she cast a spell on Monkey. He was totally captivated by his first introduction to Mildred Hubble, her friend Maud and the kitten Tabby. I haven’t read the books myself since I was a child, and it was lovely to be reminded of poor Mildred and her mishaps. This was another big hit with Monkey and I think we’ll be looking to read more of The Worst Witch and her adventures.
The last Audio Book we’ve tried is The Wind in The Willows, which is a BBC dramatised version aimed at children aged 6 years and over. There are two CD’s to this book, and I have to be honest, we’ve not finished the story as yet. Monkey has really struggled with some of the language and is clearly not ready for this classic tale right now. I shall try again later in the year and see how we go.
But 3 out of 4 instant successes with the Puffin Summer AudioBook Club can’t be bad for a first experience. I’m thrilled that he’s enjoyed listening to stories in the car and has actually absorbed what he’s been listening to, and asked to listen to 3 of them on more than a few occasions now. I’m hoping this is an interest we can build on in the months and years ahead!
Do your children listen to Audio Books? I’d love to hear your experiences.
disclaimer: I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.