It’s that time of the day again. You’ve finished work, picked up the kids and all you want is a stiff Spritz lazing in a recliner watching your orchids grow.
But reality hits home. You must put those little monsters to bed as quickly as you can ; feed them at six thirtyish praying they’ll eat those goddamn carrots and on top of that your better half is still at work. Your eldest is babbling about girlfriends and boyfriends. You don’t have time to engage in those arcane schoolife anecdotes. So you just « hum hum » her while watching with a weary eye your two boys battling over who’s the better, Charizard or Pikachu ? Goddamn Pokémon ! You shift your attention to your toddlerhoping she might raise the bar among this bunch of slackers. But no ! She’s taunting you with those little eyes, trying to gobble as many marbles and tiny cars as she can, pursuing her relentless quest of exploring the world with her trachea.
But don’t worry. Take a deep breath. We’ve got you covered. By « we », I mean the BCUL and its very fine selection of free digital English Audio Books for children.
For example you can suggest to little Matthis and Noah to stop fighting about fake animals and listen to the Jungle Book. Of course, you’ll have to explain that, no, you’re not gonna watch the Disney movie but listen to the original stuff written by an English man with a very silly name and moustache who loved India and lived there when it was still the jewel of the British Empire.
For your young Sofia you can put on Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott, a classic story that follows the March sisters from childhood to adulthood through their hopes, love stories, friendships and passion for the arts. Trust me, she will definitely cry while falling in love with Jo March, her stubborness, resiliance, cleverness and ambition.
After that, you can carry on with Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, my favorite of all classic coming-of-age stories. Follow sweet and earnest Pip from rags to riches, from his boyhood in the marshes of Kent to the busy streets of London where he tries to become a gentleman and be worthy of Estella’s love. A terrific adventure full of passion and humanity.
And then, after checking if tiny Malia needs a Heimlich, you can take her on your lap and listen to Little Bear at Work and at Play or to some wonderful Nursery Rhymes. It’s a playful way to develop her ear for this beautiful but sometimes quirky language.
Finally, take some time before bedtime or on a rainy Sunday to listen, with the whole family, to timeless classics like White Fang, Anne of Green Gables, Treasure Island or The Adventures of Tom Sawyer among many others.
And finally finally, if you can manage to get rid of your lovely children – you must have some innocent friends or some grandparents who adore those brats – you can have a hot bath while listening to our selection of Epic poetry. After a day of chaos you will truly understand Achilles’ awesome wrath against men and gods in The Iliad. Or, you can take a long rest and listen to the very, very lenghty wanderings of Ulysses, the man of a thousand tricks, in The Odyssey. Will he find his way back to Ithaca and his faithful wife Penelope ? Well, this poem is only twelve thousand hexameters long. So take your time and you will find out all the answers.
That’s it folks ! See you all soon at the BCUL and on our website.
Eamon Jossen, site RiponneAudio Books for children