World Book Day 2019: Five of the best free audiobooks for Primary School children

Thursday, 07 March 2019 | Written by Jonathan Wallis-Leggett; Digital Marketing Manager at PrimarySite

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World Book Day 2019 provides a great opportunity to open the door to the joy of sharing stories. Schools will likely already be aware of the charity’s mission to give every child a book of their own, and perhaps you’ve already received a stack of £1 book tokens, ready to be used either to purchase one of ten £1 titles or put towards the cost of another book of the pupil’s choice.

However, teachers will also be aware that it’s not always easy to engage the whole class – for children who don’t have books at home, or those with special educational needs that impact on their literacy skills, a traditional book may give rise to feelings of anxiety rather than excitement.

Luckily, World Book Day has you covered. As well as allowing children to spend their book token on any audiobook worth over £2.99, there are a number of complete audiobooks that are available for free on the World Book Day website. Here, we count down five of the best to share with your pupils:

A Boy Called Christmas, by Matt Haig

A whimsical reimaging of Father Christmas’s childhood, this charming book encourages children to believe the impossible. Brimming with intrigue, kidnap by elves, and most importantly, positivity, it’s the perfect ‘read’ to encourage your class to get into the literary spirit (especially if you’re already missing the holiday season).

Suggested age group: In the words of the author, “Everyone from 6 to Yoda”

Atticus Claw Lends a Paw, by Jennifer Gray

Atticus Grammatticus Cattypuss Claw is the world’s greatest police cat, and we’re confident that children aged 7+ will love this story that is part crime drama and part treasure hunt. The wittily names characters are a particularly nice touch, and once a child can spell Atticus Claw’s full moniker the next spelling test will seem a lot less daunting.

Suggested age group: 7-9 years

The Girl, the Bear and the Magic Shoes, by Julia Donaldson

Buying running shoes has never been so interesting thanks to this lovely adventure from Julia Donaldson. Can Josephine use her magical new shoes to escape from the bear that is following her? The unfolding chase and unexpected ending are sure to be a hit with younger pupils, with lots of opportunities to join in with a ‘click, click’ or ‘crunch, crunch’ as the bear follows behind.

Suggested age group: 4-6 years

Dragon’s Green, by Scarlet Thomas

The first book in a series, this tale of magical education could be the perfect starting point for a longer reading project with your class. Euphemia ‘Effie’ Truelove and her schoolfriends must band together to stop the mysterious Diberi from destroying the universe in this first instalment which has drawn comparisons to Harry Potter from fans.

Suggested age group: 9-11

Hamish and the Neverpeople, by Danny Wallace

Quirky and fast-paced, this topsy-turvy tale sends Hamish and his friends on a mission to save the world. A hilarious story which goes all the way from 10 Downing Street to an alternate universe where everything is reversed, this audiobook is sure to get your class laughing. What’s more, pupils could also put their book token towards purchasing the next instalment in the series - Hamish and the Gravity Burp.

Suggested age group: 7+

A love of books is a gift for life, and studies have shown that reading for pleasure is a key indicator of future success. A 2018 study found that only half of UK children were being read to daily, and that 61% of parents of 0-13 year olds were concerned by the amount of time their children spent in front of a screen. In an increasingly digital and busy world, it’s never been harder for parents to find time to read to their little ones, and the school environment provides a key opportunity to introduce children to the pleasure of reading.

Which is your favourite? Drop us a tweet @PrimarySite and tell us your best #ShareAStory moments.

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