Once Upon a Story
May 31, 2012

I’m writing this post today as a follow-up to a post I wrote a couple months ago about using audiobooks in the car.

When I was in preschool and grade school, I had several book-and-cassette sets.  Do you remember those?  Mine included titles from Disney, Sweet Pickles, Teddy Ruxpin, and Mr. Men/Little Miss series (does that tell you what decades I grew up in?)  The books were small and had a pocket in the back to hold the cassettes.  The audio was of such amazing quality, and included a little jingle to tell you when to turn the page.  Even better was when I had my own cassette player to play my tapes on.  Oh, and to increase my cool factor?  I also had several book-and-record combos and my own record player.

A few months ago, when my husband was complaining of having to listen to the same toddler tunes cd over and over and over again on every car trip, I decided to try mixing things up by playing audio books in the car instead of toddler tunes.

It worked.  Preschooler enjoyed listening to the stories, and our ears were spared the 1000th round of “Hey Diddle Diddle”.  Over time, though, enthusiasm began to wane a little.  Part of it, I think, was the limited access I had to short audiobooks through our local library system.  Chapter books, yes.  Adult novels, plenty.  But not so many picture books.

Until I discovered I was looking in the wrong section of the library.  When I found the rack where the picture book-and-cd kits were stored, a whole new opportunity opened up for us.

We now pick up 2 or 3 kits on each library visit.  The books stay in the backseat in her book basket, while the cds stay up front with me for safekeeping.  When she wants to hear a story, she can request a cd, I’ll pop it in, and she can “read” independently with the corresponding picture book in the back seat.

What have we read? Arthur books by Marc Brown, The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster, The Runaway Bunny and Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, Curious George books by Margaret and H.A. Rey, and currently, Lilly’s Big Day by Kevin Henkes, and The Gingerbread Man retold by Eric Kimmel.

Lots of variety.  And not a Diddle in sight.  It may be time to add audiobooks to our indoor collection, too.

(And in case you’re wondering… we still have both a working cassette deck AND a working record player.  In case that technology ever comes round again.)

One response to “An Alternative to Toddler Tunes: Part II”

  1. Oh I like this idea. No clue about if my local library has anything like that – but the idea of playing audiobooks for the kids in the car is great. Also, I love that they have a book basket in the back seat. Might have to steal that idea!

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