Five Favorite Friends for a Roadtrip (and One for a Sleepover)

Amy Rees
July 15, 2008

What?!  Is it not enough to consider hours trapped in a car with a preschooler or two to whom you are already parentally obligated?  You'd consider taking along a friend too?  Has Being Savvy lost its mind?!

Nah.  These are the easiest guests you'll ever invite.  And you don't even need to make room for another car seat for them! 

These friends are the audio kind.  Companions via CD.  Digitally presented buddies.

We are devotees of the power of reading aloud to children, of course (and you will know why you and your little ones all love storytime so much when you finish The Read Aloud Handbook).  And we are the primary readers in our houses, but we aren't the only readers.  Sometimes an older sibling or cousin or neighbor is pressed into service.  A grandparent is a cherished guest reader.  And in the car, or during a child's quiet time in her room, or in other spots where a CD or mp3 version suits the practicalities best, we love to open our preschoolers' ears to some wonderful children's books on CD. 

For your summer roadtrips, or plane trips, or just the trip to the grocery store for the tenth time already this week, we suggest inviting:

  1. Frances (or as our cherished Glynis Johns -- a.k.a. the Banks family matriarch in Mary Poppins -- says "FRAHN-siss") from the four-book, full-length, unadorned and just-perfect-that-way Frances Collection
  2. The mischevious monkeys of Caps for Sale, a nicely repetitive, simple but darling perennial preschool favorite
  3. The dynamic duo of Frog and Toad
  4. The endearing arachnid protagonist of Diary of a Spider
  5. And anyone at all from the brilliant Sendak compendium chock full of masterpieces such as Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen and The Sign on Rosie's Door and more

Some of these audio CDs come with companion books, some of them have special versions with a subtle bell at the end of each page in the original volume, some of them are available for free (yippee!) at your local library.  All of them are especially Savvy travel companions! 

And if you are looking for the perfect friend to invite over to stay the night, look no further than Meryl Streep's reading of The Velveteen Rabbit.  For nap time or bedtime or any sweet quiet time at all, your preschooler will love to listen to this classic tale, told simply perfectly.

From the Parents

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