Earlier this year, I shared my favorite podcasts for finding books to read. Podcasts have quickly become one of my favorite ways to add to my list of books to read. Despite finding those wonderful resources, I was still getting most of my picture book and middle grade recommendations on Instagram and a few favorite blogs. That is until this summer, when I embarked on The Great Quest for Podcasts About Books for Kids. Turns out, there are a whole host of podcasts devoted to the love of children’s books. For the purposes of narrowing down the choices, here were my criteria (modified slightly from the original podcast search):
The host(s) must not be annoying. This is a personal thing, I know. Today’s list reflects nothing more than my personal taste, so your mileage may vary.
The podcast should be kid friendly. I was not looking for a story-telling podcast (although there are many great ones out there), but my children were naturally interested in the book recommendations as well. I don’t mind something directed at adults, but a few contenders were eliminated due to excessive profanity.
The recommendations must be for books we want to read. If each episode has me frantically scribbling down titles and authors, I know I’ve found a good fit.
If you, too, are looking for someone to tell you all about great children’s literature while you drive to work/scrub the toilets/get ready for the school year/hide from noisy children, here are 4 podcasts I’ve been loving lately:
The Best Book Ever (This Week) is just one of the podcasts from the good people at All the Wonders. All three of their podcasts are great options, but I especially enjoy The Best Book Ever (This Week). Each week, the host highlights 5 fabulous picture books. I wasn’t sure how picture books would translate to an audio platform, but Matthew Winner does a really nice job of describing the art and reading excerpts from the books. It ends up working really well, and I love hearing about great new books for my littlest readers.
Lu and Bean Read is seriously adorable. In each episode, the mom and daughters team interview an author whose book they love. The author reads the book to the girls (and all us listeners) and then they all talk about the idea behind the book and the author’s writing process. If you’ve ever wondered whether a podcast hosted by a 5 year old could work, the answer is yes. My children especially love listening along to this one.
Read Aloud Revival has been on my radar for a while because it’s a favorite of many homeschooling families I know. I finally took the time to listen to a few episodes, and I can see why it’s so popular. Episode topics range from how to read Shakespeare with children to using the library without losing your mind. I finish every episode with new books to read, motivation to keep building a culture of reading in our home, and a fresh perspective on the role reading can play in our family. Each season of the show corresponds with a school year, so I’m using the summer break to catch up on as much of the previous 8 seasons as I can.
Professional Book Nerds is not dedicated exclusively to children’s books, so I went back on forth about whether or not to put it on the list. In the end, I decided it was fair game because many of the episodes feature middle grade or YA authors and most of the authors (of all genres) talk about books they loved growing up. The podcast is produced by the people at OverDrive (my favorite app for borrowing audiobooks from my library), which is another reason I enjoy listening in.
You may notice a definite lack of YA book podcasts. I haven’t yet found one I like. I have a few theories about why this is. If anyone wants to discuss my issues with the current options, come over for an afternoon and we can chat. Also, to any enterprising teens or high school English classes or YA lovers out there: I would listen to your podcast. Talk to the world about great books you’re reading and what you love about YA and I think you’d find many a listener. Go forth and podcast!