Yoto Picks: Classic Stories for Kids of All Ages
Author: Larissa Helena, Head of Content Acquisition, North America
You might have noticed: here at Yoto we love books!
Nothing makes us happier than when parents tell us that their kid’s vocabulary has improved since they’ve started listening to our Cards! Or that they are falling in love, laughing or crying along with the characters in some of our favorite books.
Below you will find a selection of time-sanctioned classics narrated by the most incredible talent that you can bring home to listen to on your Yoto as many times as you’d like!
No matter what age your child is, we have the perfect audiobook for them:
Perfect for: 0-4 year-olds
This sweet narration by Orlagh Cassidy might have you coming back for another listen over and over again. Incredible Nancy Tillman wraps all the magic and joy of being you in a warm, cozy blanket of love. No wonder this was a New York Times best-selling book!
Perfect for: 2-5 year-olds
What better way to be introduced to different colors, sounds and animals than through the eyes of a bear? Or even better, four bears! In this beloved classic, Gwyneth Paltrow narrates what Brown Bear, Polar Bear, Panda Bear and Baby Bear learn about the world.
Perfect for: 3-7 year-olds
Award-winning narrator Julia Whelan tells us the story of a baby bird on a journey in search of his mother. Could that kitten be its mother? Maybe the hen? The dog? The cow?
There are many reasons this book is constantly featured in lists of Top Books for Children. But one of its most amazing features is how deftly author P. D. Eastman plays with the fear of being estranged from one’s parents while keeping things light and funny. Don’t believe me? Have a listen!
Perfect for: 4-8 year-olds
Stanley Tucci and Meryl Streep bring to life a whopping SIX stories by award-winning and beloved author-illustrator William Steig!
The cast of characters in these unusual fairy tales includes a dressmaker's daughter who will do anything to deliver her mother’s package to the palace, a bone with magical powers, a boy with the most dreadful case of the sulks, a mouse dentist who needs to decide between his kind heart and his instincts of survival, and the fantastical tale of a man who is hopelessly transformed into a dog.
Did I forget anyone? Oh, yeah, the most disgusting ogre you’ve ever heard of. No, I mean, really disgusting. Did you think the one in the movie was disgusting? Wait until you hear about this one…
Perfect for: 6-9 year-olds
I’ll never pass on an opportunity to listen to stories narrated by the author herself! What better way to enter the coolest treehouse in the entire world?
In these adventures, two normal siblings are sent in incredible adventures by way of… treehouse! In the first adventure, they find themselves surrounded by giant prehistoric creatures… and lots of danger. And that is just the beginning! In their journeys, they encounter knights, ghosts, pirates, ninjas, and a saber-toothed cat. All before traveling to the moon!
Perfect for: 8-12 year-olds
When Beverly Cleary was a child, she was put on academic probation. She really didn’t care for reading – all the books were so boring, the kids in them so neat and polite.
She solved the problem by penning her own books, about real-life children and their big and small real-life problems. Beverly’s stories are so special that in 2000 the Library of Congress declared her a “Living Legend.” She passed away in 2021, but left us with a treasure trove of books to enjoy and remember her by.
The Ramona Quimby audiobooks read by Stockard Channing and the Henry Huggins audiobooks narrated by Neil Patrick Harris and William Roberts are the best present for any child, whether they already know books can become their best friends or are still waiting for the right pal to come by…
Perfect for: 8-12 year-olds
I didn’t grow up in an English-speaking country, so my first time reading Charlotte’s Web was not that long ago. I have been working in kids’ publishing for many years now, so during the pandemic I decided I was going to cure all the breaches in my knowledge, and this was one of them.
It was a treat. What a wonderful book, starting with its very first sentence. I now understand why authors often cite this book as one that they would like to be able to read for the first time again. It is a wonderful story for a child. But also a wonderful story for a teenager. For an adult. For your grandparents. Your neighbors. Your dog? Yeah, maybe your dog will like it too!
Our edition of this Newbery Honor book is narrated by a full cast, including Meryl Streep!
Those were my suggestions for – as promised! – all ages! I hope it has given you some ideas of books to listen to on your Yoto. We are eager to hear your thoughts on these books, and we will keep more incredible classics coming your way.