10 Popular Kids {Audio} Books That Were Made Into Movies

Tips for Using Audio Books with Kids

I have written previously about our love of audiobooks. I truly began to appreciate them when Immy was about 3 ½ years old and transitioning from a daily nap time to quiet time. Since then they have become a feature of regular daily life here – we (sometimes they are playing for all of us to hear, sometimes Immy listens alone) listen in the car, as we eat breakfast, during playtime in the playroom, on planes (maybe not as regularly as the others!), during quiet time on weekends, and even, sometimes, when we go walking.

As a parent, I love the convenience of audiobooks and I think they are a wonderful way to develop listening skills of children aged three years and up. If you are yet to try audiobooks with your children, here are a few tips for introducing and using them;

  • Begin with shorter, familiar stories for young children. It is much easier for them to attend if it is a story they already know.
  • Children need to be relatively still and quiet to follow along, making travelling in the car or rest/quiet time a great time to introduce audiobooks.
  • When purchasing audiobooks for children listen to the free snippet of audio, check the age recommendation and read the reviews for each story to make sure that the version is a reading that you will enjoy listening to (not all audio recording styles suit everyone) and that is appropriate for your children – the latter is especially important for stories you are unfamiliar with.
  • We have a secondhand iPod loaded only with songs and stories that Immy is allowed to listen to which encourages her to listen independently. I would also recommend purchasing a small, child friendly speaker (see the koala above) and a set of child headphones. The headphones are great for travelling and for times when you (and other family members) would prefer not to listen!

Audible app for audiobooks

  • I have also loaded our stories onto my iPhone and our iPad as back up for when we are out and about.

10 Great Kids Audio Books That Were Made Into Movies

One genre of books (if you can call it that!) that Immy particularly enjoys is books that have been made into movies. For many widely loved children’s book/movies, we have generally introduced the story first, both in paper (read together) and audio (listen independently) versions. Immy has known the story inside out before ever laying eyes on the movie. This is great for teaching her to be discerning with her media consumption – once we have seen the movie we will talk about the differences between the story and the movie and why these differences exist. For example, did you know that Dorothy’s magical shoes were originally silver, they were changed to red by the Hollywood screenwriter of the 1939 movie version of The Wizard of Oz.

Getting to know the story first can also be a great way to help judge if you think your child is ready for the movie version yet. Or alternatively, try listening to the audio version of the story after watching the film – your child will have to use attentive listening skills to discover the differences between the two mediums!

However you choose to enjoy them, here are 10 popular children’s books that have been transformed into successful movies. The list includes suggestions for younger children through to tweens and teens – and a handy link to Audible for each one, if you wish to find out more.

1. Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
A great first introduction to audio books for children from about 3 ½-4 years of age who are able to listen attentively beyond the pages of a picture book. They’ll love the movie too.

2. The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen
The Little Mermaid is a great starting point for discussion about the differences between books and movies – how will the life of The Little Mermaid change following her first visit to world above the ocean where she meets a handsome human Prince, and falls in love?

3. Aladdin this version by BBC Audiobooks
Aladdin is a tailor’s son who dreams of making his fortune and marrying the Sultan’s daughter, but he is tricked into becoming an apprentice to a cunning magician. He needs Aladdin to do a very special job – climb down into a deep, dark cave to fetch an oil lamp…what magic awaits?

4. The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
Somehow the nasty old witches don’t seem so scary for younger children in the audio book version of The Wizard of Oz! This is one of Immy’s all time favourites.

5. Cinderella this version by Charles Perrault
The classic fairytale of Cinderella, treated as a servant by her nasty stepmother and step sisters, her life is transformed when she meets a very special fairy godmother and a wonderful prince.

6. The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
A forgotten wardrobe becomes the pathway to adventure and intrigue as four children step into another time and place – a magical world of fauns, dwarves, and giants, of animals that talk and horses that fly: the land of Narnia.

7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Sixth grader Greg Heffley doesn’t understand his annoying younger brother, obnoxious older one, or well-meaning parents. But he knows enough to record his daily thoughts in a manly journal – not some girly diary. In a unique novel brimming with laugh-out-loud moments, Greg chronicles his first turbulent year of middle school

8. Little Women by L.M. Alcott
Little Women is one of the best-loved children’s stories of all time. Meet the four very different March sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy – and enjoy stories of their family life in a small New England community.

9. How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Hiccup was a truly extraordinary Viking Hero, Warrior chieftain, awesome sword-fighter and amateur naturalist. He was known throughout Vikingdom as ‘the Dragon Whisperer’ on account of his power over these terrifying beasts. But it wasn’t always like that….

10. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
The unhappy tale of three unlucky children, magnets of misfortune, who encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast!

Have you discovered the joy of audiobooks with your children?



  1. What a great post! I have been giving audio books some greater thought of late because I know my little girl would absolutely love it. They are so great to have in the car or just in the background. Thanks for this list.

  2. This is perfect timing for us! We are about to go on a road trip and I’ve been thinking audiobooks might be good – I will be trying some of these out for sure! Thanks 🙂

  3. We ADORE audio books.
    They are great for car trips or when kids have to wait and my kids who struggle to wind down before sleep use them often. At the moment we are working through the complete Narnia series!

    1. Thanks, Kate. I can’t wait to introduce the Narnia series to Immy 🙂

  4. My kids loved audio books …amazing to have on long road trips! Actually reading before bed always puts me to sleep so perhaps I should try some too!

    1. I agree, they are awesome for car trips. I haven’t used them for me for sleep, but definitely during nap time with my daughter. Works a charm!

  5. I need to get the girls back into audio books. I haven’t let them do that for ages! What a great post with some wonderful recommendations!

  6. I didn’t know that fact about Dorothy’s shoes. I only recently turned a silver pair into a sparkly red pair for Book Week! We travel a lot and audible books are popular in our car too. Thanks for the suggestions 🙂

    1. I know, Nichole, it’s fascinating to compare the book version to the movie version!

  7. Maree Mortimer says:

    Prior to our last car trip I hadn’t been able to get my girls interested in audio books. However when their DVD player stopped working and I needed something to get us to our destination I put on the Winnie the Pooh series and they loved it. They both love the how to train your dragon movie so we might try a little of the audio book soon. Thanks for a great post.

  8. Elise @ Creative Play Central says:

    My oldest daughter has listened to a few audio books, but I had completely forgotten about using these. After reading your post, I am now inspired to visit Audible.com.au and start gathering a selection of these for my three children. The koala child friendly koala speaker is a great tip too.

  9. Oh fantastic, I’ve been looking for more audiobooks. We use them ALL THE TIME. The kids listen to them in the car, and my preschooler is happy to stay sitting quietly in the car whilst I transfer my (by then) sleeping toddler into her bed. I did actually know that Dorothy’s shoes were silver because we were just listening to the unabridged version of Wizard of Oz earlier this week! We also love the unabridged Winnie the Pooh too. So far I’ve found that the unabridged versions are so much better than many of the newer (often dumbed down) versions. We’ve been borrowing from the library, but we’re starting to exhaust their collection. Audible sounds like a great resource. xx

    1. I agree that the unabridged versions are better, Danya, thanks for the reminder. I am sure you will love the range at Audible 🙂

  10. Thank you for this list! I’ve been thinking about getting some audiobooks for the car, but I didn’t know where to start looking for them. I’m going to check out Audible now. Thanks!

  11. What an awesome list of books – can’t wait to check them out. We are a HUGE fan of audio books although I mostly subscribe to a favourite service (Sparkle Stories) and buy them on CD. So far I have only used Audible for books for myself – why didn’t I think to look for kids books?! Thanks for the idea 🙂

  12. We have ipods for all our kids now (the older ones got them for birthdays but the younger ones we bought secondhand specifically for stories) and a dock in each bedroom, but we’ve found headphones work really well, especially for our four year old as he is less distracted by what is going on around him if he has the headphones on and really gets into the stories.

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