The Best New Audiobooks That Encourage Children to Feel Pride in Their Heritage

Best New Audiobooks for Kids Ages 4-6
AudioFile for The Children’s Book Review

This month’s selections for the youngest listeners include gentle and heartwarming audiobooks that will encourage children to feel pride in themselves and their heritage, inspire curiosity about math and the natural world, and reflect the love they share for their families. Each audiobook is a companion to a picture book you can enjoy along with your young listener, or each can be listened to on its own, with talented narrators bringing the stories to life.

Eyes That Speak to the Stars: Audiobook Cover

With warmth and sensitivity, Justin Chien presents this tender story about honoring oneself and one’s heritage. A Chinese boy tells his Baba that he is saddened by a friend’s drawing of him with eyes “as lines stretched across his face.” The boy’s Baba explains that his eyes “rise to the skies and speak to the stars,” and the boy realizes that his legacy, culture, and deep family ties are represented by his eyes. Chien’s smooth narration and soothing tones showcase the close relationship between the boy and his family. A gentle, impactful, and enduring message about pride in who one is and where one comes from. Review »

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Bake Infinite Pie with X + Y: Audiobook Cover

Bake Infinite Pie with X + Y

Story by Eugenia Cheng

Read by Kim Mai Guest

Ages 4+ | Hachette Audio | 23 min. | Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

A cheery musical introduction sets the tone for Kim Mai Guest’s animated narration of two children’s magical time with their aunt. X and Y’s pie-baking session with their Aunt Z becomes a lesson in math and cooking techniques, with plenty of confidence-boosting words of encouragement. Guest’s chirpy voice conveys the excitement and wonder that X and Y experience with baking and mathematical concepts. There’s much to learn and try in this infinitely fun and educational listening experience. Review »

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EMILE AND THE FIELD

Emile and the Field

Story by Kevin Young

Read by Kevin Young

Ages 4+ | Listening Library | 3 min.

In a warm voice filled with wonder, poet Kevin Young reads his ode to finding peace and belonging in nature. Young boy Emile falls in love with a field and chronicles its changing seasons as he spends time there—yellow flowers and bumblebees in spring, snow in winter. Snow, though, means sharing the field with loud sledding kids. With gentle wisdom, Emile’s father explains that sharing and caring for the field will preserve it, and Emile comes to understand that the “field would not, could not, be bought, or belong to anyone.” Young listeners will be inspired to seek out their own magical corners of the natural world. Review »

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Wishes Audiobook

Wishes

Story by Muon Thi Van

Read by Muon Thi Van

Ages 4+ | Weston Woods Studios | 5 min.

Author Muon Thi Van narrates this moving story inspired by her own Vietnamese family’s perilous journey as refugees. Muon’s simple words, delivered in a quiet, solemn voice, are powerfully enhanced by Victo Ngai’s evocative illustrations in the companion picture book. Each double-page spread depicts an emotionally charged scene and a wish for something essential: “The path wished it was shorter.” “The heart wished it was stronger.” Melancholy music and subtle environmental sound effects work in perfect harmony with the narration and pictures as the story progresses from dark and fearful beginnings to a brighter, hopeful future. Review »

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WITH LOTS OF LOVE Audiobook Cover

With Lots of Love

Story by Jenny Torres Sanchez

Read by Marisa Blake

Ages 4+ | Listening Library | 5 min.

Bilingual narrator Marisa Blake’s voice is full of warmth; it pairs perfectly with this beautiful story of familial love. It is Rocio’s birthday, and she is in a new home in the US She misses her old home in Mexico with her abuela and extended family; the grocery store that Abuela owns; and the colorful homemade piñatas, chiles, and sweets. Little does Rocio know that Abuela has a birthday surprise planned for her despite their distance. Blake’s voice is like warm sunshine, making this audiobook a delightful and tender listening experience for children and adults alike. Review »

This list, The Best New Audiobooks That Encourage Children to Feel Pride in Their Heritage, was curated by AudioFile. AudioFile is an independent source of audiobook reviews and recommendations with a clear focus on the performance and listening experience. AudioFile Earphones Awards are given to exceptional audiobooks. To learn more, visit audiofilemagazine.com, Twitter @AudioFileMagFacebook @audiofilemagazine.

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