With busy days of working and doing schoolwork at home, you may be looking for ways to break up the day a bit. Have you considered having a storytime at home? How about a family storytime that caregivers can sit back and enjoy? You can even set it up for the kids and take advantage of having a bit of free time for yourself while the kids are occupied by their story. Mead Library cardholders have access to Hoopla. Hoopla offers a variety of media for both children and adults to check out – up to 10 items per month. Included in this media selection are thousands of children’s audiobooks. There are short stories for younger listeners, as well as chapter books for older listeners. You can search for specific books, or simply browse the children’s selection. I have some recommendations for chapter books that will appeal to school-age children. Try pairing a story up with another relaxing activity, such as coloring or doing a puzzle. Listen to a couple of chapters, and enjoy a screen-free break in your day!
A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold
Bat is a boy who loves animals. One night, his mother brings home an orphaned baby skunk. The plan is to care for it for a month until it can be taken to an animal rescue. Bat adores the skunk and wants to figure out a way to convince his mother to let him keep it. It’s worth noting that Bat is autistic, and while that isn’t specifically pointed out, readers/listeners will notice this about him through some of his characteristics. This endearing story is best suited for kids ages 6-10..
Fairest of All by Sarah Mlynowski
Fairest of All is the first book in the Whatever After series of fractured fairy tales. Siblings Abby and Jonah move to a new home and find a creepy magic mirror in their basement. They stumble into Snow White’s world through the mirror and save her from the evil queen. However, their heroic act alters Snow White’s life in a way that prevents her from meeting her prince and finding her happily ever after. Abby and Jonah have to figure out a way to fix the story. This is a fun story for anyone who has ever wondered what could happen if details of a story are changed, and is recommended for kids ages 8-12.
The Triumphant Tale of Pippa North by Temre Beltz
Pippa North is content with her common family life, while everyone else in her fairy tale kingdom wants to be a Triumphant. When Pippa is sent away to the school for Triumphants, she wants nothing more than to return to her family. An enchanted twist connects her path with a struggling student magician. A magical adventure to save their kingdom ensues in this charming fairy tale suited for kids aged 8-12.
Into the Wild by Erin Hunter
Into the Wild is the first book of the Warrior Cats series. Rusty, a house cat, goes off into the woods and discovers a different world full of wild cats living in feuding clans. Rusty joins the Thunderclan and trains to become a warrior. Full of battles and adventure, this fantasy story is recommended for kids ages 8-12.