Summertime sure calls for sun, sand, and surf. But sometimes the sun’s a little too hot, the sand is covered in seaweed, and the surf’s either void of inhabitants due to bacteria levels, or just the opposite and far too crowded to even enjoy. It goes without saying, but there are indeed summer days where your plans won’t involve a trip to the beach (try explaining that to the kids in your life), and that’s where one of the oldest pastimes in history comes to play; storytelling.
Children’s stories are more than simply entertainment, they teach lessons, and no matter how hard you try to hide it, well all need reminded of these lessons now and again, disregarding the fact that kids’ books are just plain fun. You could grab a good book off of the shelf or switch on your e-reader, but whether you’re looking to entertain yourself or you have little ones on your watch, this summer could be time to return to the world of storytelling at it’s foundation, someone straight out telling the story to you, and what if that someone was Scarlett Johansson or the inimitable Tim Curry?
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Narrated by Scarlett Johansson
You heard her in Her, now travel down the rabbit hole with Scarlett Johansson, whose angelic voice has apparently been hiding the voice of an evil queen, the Mad Hatter, and the Cheshire Cat for all of these years. What makes this particular version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland so interesting is that Johansson’s performance was actually directed by her very own sister, Vanessa, who is herself a voice actress, making this truly a family affair.
What Pet Should I Get?, Narrated by Rainn Wilson
The man behind childhood classics like The Cat in the Hat and The Lorax has impressed us all again with the release of What Pet Should I Get? a year ago this month, and 24 years after his passing. Dr. Seuss’ latest story is as relatable as ever, presenting the struggles of decision making in the form of choosing a pet. The audiobook is narrated by actor and comedian Rainn Wilson, best know for his role as Dwight in The Office, who perfectly performs the rhymes we all love and expect from the writings of the legendary Dr. Seuss.
A Series of Unfortunate Events, Narrated by Tim Curry
Now would be a superb time to return to the adventures of the Baudelaire siblings and their lives’ series of unfortunate events, with Netflix reimagining the story in a new series starring Neil Patrick Harris as the sinister Count Olaf. Who better to task the narration of Lemony Snicket’s life’s work than the incredibly talented and multidimensional Tim Curry? Sneak a listen at the audiobook and hear for yourself how fortunate we are that Curry was cast for this project.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Narrated by Anne Hathaway
This, this will blow your mind. We all know that Anne Hathaway’s acting chops range from giddy and hilarious to solemn and dramatic, but if that isn’t impressive enough for you, look no further than her interpretation of dozens of characters in the classic book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The video above presented by Audible is a truly interesting look at what goes on behind the scenes of an audiobook recording, and it gives the audience just a taste of what to expect from Hathaway’s performance.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Narrated by Stephen Fry
Harry Potter fans everywhere are already in the midst of rereads in order to be prepared for The Cursed Child‘s script release at the end of the the month, and to no one’s surprise, one of the best routes to take when it comes to consuming the series comes in the trusted hands of actor Stephen Fry. The first to narrate the series for audiobooks, Fry’s performance is often considered superior, though Americans tend to lean towards the narrator we remember fondly, Jim Dale. In all other forms, though, Fry is a much more prominent celebrity, and therefore makes this list above Jim Dale, apologies, sir.
Go the F*ck to Sleep, Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson
Any conversation revolved around children’s stories and celebrity narrations would be dull without the mention of Samuel L. Jackson reading this parents’ pick. Meant to parody the idea of reading a book to children to put them to sleep, Go the F*ck to Sleep represents what so many adults feel when they’re tired themselves, and just want their kids to, well, go the f*ck to sleep.
How do you plan on incorporating reading into your summer activities? Any audiobooks in mind? Let’s talk in the comments below, or find me on Twitter @bekahbabble!
Featured Image Credit: Audible
Image Credits: Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Audible, Akashic Books