The Art of Listening

Growing up, the worst thing my mom could do was take away the privilege of being able to listen to my "shows." Every evening I was captivated by Moody Broadcasting's Adventures from the Bookshelf and Stories of Great Christians. The first was a dramatized retelling of children's novels, like The Sugar Creek Gang or Treasures of the Snow. The second was dramatizations of the lives of famous Christians like John Bunyan and Gladys Alyward. Listening to stories has always been one of my favorite things to do, second to reading them. In college, knee-deep in literature studies, I eagerly devoured The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Stuck at home, nursing twin boys every two hours for several weeks on end I was transported to Under the Tuscan Sun. As I've been repainting every square inch of my house I've been spending time at Hogwarts.

Passing on this love was something I wanted to give my kids early on. Today, in our image-saturated world, it takes some skill to be captured by words and imagination only. And it is a skill I want my children to have and enjoy. I've been amazed at how my kids' comprehension skills have grown! Even two-year-old Sophia can track with the stories and has even been able to answer my questions about them. Whether we're just driving around town to run errands or going on longer trips, you'll probably always find audio books in our car. Here's some of our favorites:

Winnie-the-Pooh read by Stephen Fry and Judi Dench, this is a marvelously witty dramatization!

The Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne. Fondly called the "Jack and Annie books" by my kids. We love learning about history, other cultures, and myths in this series.

Charlotte's Web, read by E. B. White himself. One of my favorite childhood books for sure.

Radio Theatre's Chronicles of Narnia. Although this is, I think, more of an adaptation (I've never gotten the books down to compare while listening) this exciting series is wonderful! It's organized not by publication date, but chronologically and we're currently getting ready to start The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Does anyone else like audio books as much as I do? What are some of your favorite titles to share (of any genre)?