What makes a great children’s audiobook?
The ancient art of storytelling got a booster shot in the form of smartphones and reading devices. Be it through a CD, a USB drive, or a digital device, an audiobook is a pleasure to listen to, regardless of how old the listener is. An audiobook for children must walk a formidable tightrope – it needs to be paced just right, read in a voice that leaps off the device and into the reader’s mind, and must be accompanied by appropriate music and auditory cues.
Here are some of the things that make a good children’s audiobook stand out from the rest:
- A narrator with depth – a great narrator is one who becomes each of the characters, bringing the story to life rather than just reading it out aloud. The narration must be captivating, well-paced, and capable of stirring a child’s imagination.
- Music – professionally performed music adds a layer of enjoyment to the storytelling experience, making it fun while remaining educational. Catchy tunes also encourage the child to reach for the audiobook over and over again.
- Cues – an audiobook that’s accompanied by a book with text must contain auditory page-turn cues that give children their first journey into independent reading.
- Sound effects –sounds at crucial points help create an atmosphere of excitement and mystery. A gust of strong wind or the howl of a lonely jackal are best received as sound effects rather than plainly stating these instances as part of the story.
- A companion – for an audiobook to be successful, it must double up as a trusted friend who’s always ready with stories and laughs – a pleasant companion on a long journey or a gentle, reassuring voice right before bedtime.