Learning to read is quintessential to the experience of being a child. Discovering the wonder between pages, building relationships with characters of fiction, being spirited away to faraway worlds – all while learning a crucial life skill. Although, not all children find reading as stimulating as others. Audiobooks are an excellent way to enthuse early readers to engage with books.
Summon the voice of the narrator and introduce the rhythm to Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat; bring the individual characters of the Harry Potter books to life with emotion and energy that would have needed to be imagined. A child’s understanding of etymology, expressive language, and vocabulary are bound to improve through a great narrator.
A fantastic narrator for Children’s audiobooks elevates the reading experience in a variety of ways; let’s explore!
Benefits of a Children’s Audiobook Narrator
Modern and digital technologies are at the forefront of E-learning experiences. While there are benefits for audiobooks playing passively in the background, the major upside for early learners is in the ability for the reader to listen whilst reading.
Enhancing Attention and Retention
One-to-one teaching is the ideal environment for learning, we all know this, but it can be nigh impossible to facilitate this each time that a child opens a book. Audiobooks are a great way to export the one-to-one experience in a scalable manner.
Engagement and retention benefit from spoken content, a struggle for a young reader can come from the likelihood to lose interest as they read – the narrator is a guide, at the side of the reader, ensuring that they are not lost on the trail. Although, a child learner is only as good as their teacher. Attention and passion from a guiding voice can amplify the effect of the reading experience and even push reluctant and less skilled readers to advance quicker.
Crafting a Story
For thousands of years (most of human existence) people have transferred stories audibly – so there may be an evolutionary aspect to the benefits of audiobook narration. Until the invention of record keeping through writing, telling stories verbally was the keyway to pass on lessons and values across time and space. Stories bring facts to life; It is much easier for listeners to remember the abstract lesson of the importance of telling the truth through “The Boy who Cried Wolf” as opposed to just saying “don’t lie”. A story is demonstrable and easy to recall when similar conundrums arise.
A Children’s book being transformed into audiobook form can tap into this evolutionary inclination to hear a story. Reading along with the speaker also holds the added benefit of enhancing the clarity of the story. The proficiency of the reader directly impacts the smoothness of which a story is embraced and digested. Consistently stopping and starting a sentence as the reader struggles to eloquently pronounce words can break the flow of the story. Building tension around an important plot point can be similarly impacted. An audiobook format allows the reader to grasp tension, vocabulary, and story quicker and easier than just reading.
Emotiveness and Expression
Reading is about so much more than just words on a page. The ability to connect with characters and the struggles they endure; the joy they feel is so central to any memorable story. Some fantastic audiobook narrators go out of their way to provide unique voices for each character in the story – to truly build the scene and express each of the characters’ attitudes.
If you live in the U.S., Jim Dale might be a recognisable name for Harry Potter fans. He is known for his ability to create a unique voice for every character. In The Order of The Phoenix, he read as 134 different characters in an equal number of voices. A child reading will value this immensely, as Jim Dale’s delivery on certain lines or phrases can be internalised and provide a deeper understanding of the dialogue in a book.
What is the Perfect Narrator Voice?
Accessing the wealth of benefits to a narrator for children’s audiobooks can be made far easier with specific traits, which can be paired with genres of books to improve the impact that they have.
In an age of Zoom lessons and Explainer videos, a voice that is trustworthy can be important for a learner. Understanding the authority that the narrator holds is similar to appreciating the authority a teacher possesses, therefore learning through this speaker can be easier facilitated.
An authoritative speaker doesn’t mean dominating or tyrannical, David Attenborough is an authoritative narrator – it just means coming across as an expert. For E-Learning material, this kind of tone can help improve the rate at which young students may accept narrated content.
Children love to have fun. I mean, who doesn’t? So, providing a comedic tone to a story or early learning content can help engage kids. Stories like Cat in the Hat require a playful, rhythmic tone to help the flow of the writing. Stories of a comedic vein become instant classics in the minds of children and can solidify a love for reading for a lifetime.
Engrossing storytelling represents the peak of audiobook narration. Keeping a listener on the edge of their seat, hanging on each word, as they follow along the words on the page strikes to the heart of the wonderment of a book. The Lord of the Rings audiobook uses the voice of Gollum, Andy Serkis, from the Academy Award winning movies. There is no better way to engage a young reader than bringing a familiar voice from a film that they love.
Reading can connect children with kingdoms long gone, characters of origins unknown, and stories that can only exist in the abstract. Learning to understand the medium by which these stories are told is paramount, and a Children’s audiobook narrator can do this.
The marriage of audio and the visual brings the best parts of modern media to augment the reading experience and amplify immersion. Whether you are writing a book or publishing, it’s worth considering the potential for audiobooks in your plan – it’s worth it.