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Best new audiobooks

Hear, hear! These audiobooks add new dimensions to kids' literary adventures.

By Rob Baedeker

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By Kevin Henkes, read by Katherine Kellgren

Ages: 4-6

This sweet book celebrates the short but magical time when a child invents her own (imaginary) best friend out of whole cloth. Recommended by Denise Schmidt, children and teen’s collection librarian at the San Francisco Public Library, this audio version of Jessica successfully brings the picture book to life. Katherine Kellgren — a popular audiobook reader — does a beautiful job with the different young voices and the soft narration. Terrific background music and inventive sound effects enhance the story for little listeners with short attention spans.

Bottom line: Lovely and timeless tale delivered flawlessly by a mega award-winning reader.

Rob Baedeker is a writer living in Berkeley, Calif. He is the coauthor, with the Kasper Hauser comedy group, of SkyMaul: Weddings of the Times and Obama's BlackBerry.