Encouraging New Readers with Audiobooks & 10 Classic Read Alongs

This post is sponsored by Audible & Amazon. All opinions are my own.

Help kids learn to read by combining narration & written text - plus 10 classic kids books available with audio! Find out how to help your new reader by syncing audio and text - a perfect low stress way to encourage emergent readers!

I started reading when I was four years old. I credit two things - my then nine year old sister, who loved to play teacher and used me as her star pupil, and a stack of book and record sets that I played endlessly on my little red record player. I loved following along with the book while listening to the story (scratches, skips and all).

Fast forward thirty years and I now have four year old twins who are beginning the process of learning to read. And while I read aloud to them as much as my sister did with me, the old record player and book sets are long gone. But I've discovered something that works even better, and I'm so excited to bring some of my favorite first reading books to life for them in a whole new way - Immersion Reading with Audible.

Discovering Audible

Audiobooks have come a long way since my little red record player. We almost always have a book playing in the car - it's a great alternative to watching videos as it actually lets my kids use their imaginations while also working on their comprehension and listening skills. And we love to download our audiobooks from Audible - the quality is unmatched with incredible narrators and a huge library to choose from (Stockard Channing reading Beezus & Ramona is a must hear). If you haven't discovered Audible, be sure to check out their free 30 day trial which includes a free download!

Encourage New Readers with Audio Narration

Audible and Amazon have teamed up to create Immersion Reading - a way to dive into your books like never before. It's the perfect way to encourage young readers to discover the joy of reading and to encourage them to grow their reading skills in a fun, low pressure environment. Here's how it works - when you purchase your book in the Kindle store for your reader or tablet, you can add Audible narration for a small additional price (and right now Amazon & Audible are offering big discounts on narration for over 200 kids' books!).

Then, just turn on the narration when you open your book, and the audio automatically syncs with and highlights the text on the screen. This allows your child to follow along with the text and combine listening with the visual words of the book. Studies have shown that reading while listening improves comprehension by 76% (see more here).

Rethinking Read Aloud Time

Seeing the written word come to life along with the narration is a game changer for our family when it comes to read aloud time. I still love to read to my boys, and do so frequently, but Immersion Reading allows them to begin to read on their own. By combining high quality, engaging narration with highlighted text, they are beginning to see the correlation between the written words and the story they are hearing. And since they can do it on their own, it makes a great activity for quiet time and to encourage their independence (they are very much at the "I can do it myself!" stage). It also cuts down on the disagreements over which book we are going to read next - they can each choose a book for themselves and have their own personal narrator.

Childhood Classics Come to Life

Now that we've discovered Immersion Reading, I am so excited to share some of my childhood favorites with my kids. And there are so many of them available with Audible narration! Want to see my top 10 favorites for reading along? Here you go:

  1. Beezus & Ramona by Beverly Cleary
  2. Charlie & the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  3. Stuart Little by E.B. White
  4. The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  5. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (this one is free in the Kindle store and only .99 to add narration!)
  6. Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater
  7. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  8. James & the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  9. The Mouse & the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
  10. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Are your new readers ready to experience a brand new way to listen, read, and enjoy great books? Check out Audible's awesome collection and try it for yourself.

Which Read Along book is on your must read list? Check out the selections here and let me know in the comments below!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible & Amazon. The opinions and text are all mine.

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