Last month, Audible (home to the world’s largest collection of audiobooks) announced that as long as schools are closed, they will provide hundreds of children’s titles completely free of charge. This collection includes stories spanning six different languages, traditional tales from around the world and some familiar voices (Stephen Fry, Audrey Hepburn). Whilst life at the moment certainly feels outside of the norm, some things don’t need to change. The experts at Kenwood have put together a list of free audiobooks that should help keep the travel dream alive whilst the world waits.

Robinson Crusoe

Let’s start with a travel classic. Capturing the spirit of adventure, Daniel Defoe’s 1719 novel, Robinson Crusoe, still to this day feels exciting. Centred around a wandering protagonist who finds himself stranded in the Caribbean, this story features dramatic escapes, cannibals, pirates, and pretty much everything else you can think of to spark a young imagination. Intrepid listeners will be spellbound by this tale of exotic discoveries and human endurance. Themes of hope in isolation are also extremely relevant in the current climate.

  • Author: Daniel Defoe
  • Narrator: John Lee
  • Length: 10hrs 57mins

Listen to it free here


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Japanese Fairy Tales

A charming snapshot of Japanese culture, this audio anthology is packed with precautionary folk tales to inspire Asia lovers of all ages. 22 short stories await listeners with enchanting plots featuring magical creatures (The Goblin of Adachigahara, The Ogre of Rashomon), royalty (The Story of Princess Hase, The Story of Prince Yamato Take), and amazing animals (The Quarrel of the Monkey and the Crab, The White Hare and the Crocodiles). In easy, bite-size chunks ideal for bedtime stories, this collection will inspire young ones and teach them a little Japanese at the same time.

  • Author: Yei Theodora Ozaki (translator)
  • Narrator: Leslie Bellair
  • Length: 6hrs 32mins

Listen to it free here


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The Jungle Book I & II

What child doesn’t like the Jungle Book? If the Disney adaptation went down a treat with your kids, why not try these free audiobooks? Follow the adventures of Rikkitikkitavi the mongoose, Toomai the elephant worker, and Mowgli as he lives life amongst the exotic creatures in India’s lush jungles. Spirited capers with tigers, snakes, birds and bears will prove to be a winner for animal lovers and anyone who classes themselves as a wild child. 

  • Author: Rudyard Kipling
  • Narrator: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 11hrs 8mins

Listen to it for free


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Wonder Tales from Around the World

The clue’s in the name! Embark on a journey around the world with these tales borrowed from the folklore of destinations ranging from China to Ecuador, the Middle East, Norway and West Africa to name just a few. Heather Forest interweaves prose, poetry, and musical instrumentals in her re-telling of these global stories that are bound to inspire your young explorer and, to quote the blurb, ‘remind us that as we enter the realm of imagination, anything is possible.’

  • Author: Heather Forest
  • Narrator: Heather Forest
  • Length: 53mins

Listen to it for free


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Rapid French: Volume 1

As the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. Whilst there aren’t too many ways to sugarcoat your family holiday being cancelled, this is the ideal time to work on your language skills. Melding key phrases en français with rhythmic melodies, Rapid French: Volume 1 promises a ‘revolutionary accelerated learning technique’ that will make picking up the lingo simple. French is spoken across the world – not just in Europe, but in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Africa, Canada and Asia, so whether school is on pause for you or a thing of the past, this free audiobook is the one for you.

  • Author: Earworms Learning
  • Narrator: Marlon Lodge
  • Length: 1hrs 9mins

Listen to it here


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To conclude…

We think Audible said it best: ‘Right now, kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids.’ Not only that, but these stories are free to stream on your computer or mobile device without even needing a profile, password or subscription. What a fantastic opportunity to nurture fond holiday memories, keep the wanderlust alive and pick up new skills or cultural passions regardless of age.

About The Author

Resident foodie and festival-obsessive, Georgia is always looking for her next big adventure. Between writing and researching for Kenwood, she can usually be found thinking about her next meal or exciting getaway (sometimes both at the same time). While frequenting obscure gigs and discovering local delicacies are major hobbies, she also gets a thrill from correcting our wayward grammar and spelling.

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