A few months ago Marcie did a blog post about the importance of picking the right narrator for an audio book. If you missed it, check it out here. As a librarian who listens to more books than read (I read one book to every fifty I listen to), I have tried a variety of narrators and know how they can make or break a story. While just about everyone I know says that Jim Dale, the narrator of the Harry Potter books is their favorite, here is my list of Five Favorite Children’s Narrators.

GraveyardBookNeil Gaiman
Book to listen to: THE GRAVEYARD BOOK
by Neil Gaiman

As a general rule, authors should not narrate their own works. Writing a book takes a different talent than reading it aloud and they should leave it to the professionals—but Neil Gaiman is the exception.  A must-listen is his reading of The Graveyard Book.

RuinsofGorlanJohn Keating
Book to listen to: THE RUINS OF GORLAN
by John Flanagan

The is one of my all-time favorite series and Keating does a great job making you feel you have stepped back into time with brave knights defending castles.

FalsePrinceCharlie McWade
Book to listen to: THE FALSE PRINCE
by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Can you have a crush on a voice? Yes, you can, and for me it is Charlie McWade.  (Okay, I have a couple voice crushes but I’m focusing on Children’s book narrators here.) This book is a great adventure and the narration just brings the book to life.

heros guide to saving kingdomBronson Pinchot
by Christopher Healy

You might know him as Balchie from the 80s TV series Perfect Strangers but he now narrates books. He has the talent to come up with dozens of distinct voices, which comes in handy when he narrates The Hero’s Guide to Saving the Kingdom.

AmuletofSamarkandSimon Jones
Book to listen to: THE AMULET OF SAMARKAND
by Jonathan Stroud

The Amulet of Samarkand is actually better to listen to than to read—and that’s not just because Jones manages to weave footnotes seamlessly into the story but because he also has the perfect delivery of the sarcastic djinni.  I pretty much listen to anything Simon Jones narrates just to listen to his voice.


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