Ebooks and Audiobooks: What to Read When the Library is Closed

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Are you running short on children’s books to read?

We started last week with a gigantic stack of library books—but we usually drop by our library about once a week. With our library closed, our stack of new books is slowly dwindling.

Soon, I’ll probably need to swap to ebooks to find new reading material.

children's books from Indie authors

When we do swap to ebooks, I’m planning to take advantage of Kindle Unlimited’s 30-day free trial! It's a good way to find tons of picture books (and chapter books) on a budget.

Since a lot of parents are looking for digital/easy-to-access resources right now, I asked some fellow Indie authors in one of my Facebook groups to share their ebooks and audio books. So, here are some new books for you to check out, many of them available for free through Kindle Unlimited!

(Feel free to leave your own ebook/audiobook recommendations in the comments.)

Happy reading!

Free Resources: 

  • Children’s publisher Mim’s House is offering all of their ebooks and audio books free right now. This includes a variety of fiction and nonfiction books for multiple ages.
  • Pigeon Drives the Bus author and illustrator Mo Willems is hosting a lunchtime doodle for kids. The episodes are available on YouTube, and you can find more about it here.
  • If you haven’t checked yet, your library may also have ebooks! Sometimes libraries are also members of a statewide digital collection, so check if they have a special page for digital resources like ebooks. Many libraries are also allowing members to request/renew library cards online right now.
picture books

Ebooks:

*Books that are free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription are marked with an asterisk (as of March 24, 2020). If you don’t have Kindle Unlimited already, you can get a 30-day free trial.

Amazon links are for Amazon(dot)com, the site for United States customers. If your Amazon account is registered in a different country, you may see a notice that the book is unavailable. If you are not in the US, switch to your own country’s site and look for the books there.

Also, you also don't need to have a Kindle device to read ebooks. Amazon offers apps for most devices, as well as instructions for downloading and installing them.


  • *Can a Tree Be Blue? by Audrey Sauble – Discover all the colors that a tree can be with this engaging picture book!
  • *Edward the Entrepreneur, by Susan Junkins, illustrated by Jay Lutes – A little boy starts his own business to earn money to buy a new toy.
  • *Hilda’s Wonky Wand, by Cora Lydon, illustrated by Annette Jukes – Hilda is trying her best, but the wand’s wishes are just coming out wrong – can four children help?
  • *The Not-So-Great Zoo Swap Shop, by Cora Lydon, illustrated by Illustrations Hub – The zoo animals want to swap characteristics with each other. But…will it make them happy?
  • *Crab and Whale, by Mark Pallis and Christiane Kerr, illustrated by James Cottell – How can a tiny crab help a beached whale? This heartwarming story teaches kindness and will introduce a child aged 2-7 to the basics of mindful breathing and relaxation.
  • *The Rocket that Flew to Mars, by Audrey Sauble - A rocket, a robot, and the beginnings of a Mars colony! See how Mars might, possibly be colonized with this space-age nursery rhyme.
  • *Save the Earth series, by Bethany Stahl – A three-book series environmentalism, conservation, and friendship! Includes Save the Ocean, Save the Bees, and Save the Arctic. All three books are also available as animated audio books on YouTube.
  • *Charlie the Cavalier Travels the World, by Lisa Rusczyk Ed. D., illustrated by Mag Tac – Travel the world with Charlie the Cavalier and discover how to stay connected with home, even while far away.
  • *Khanda's Adventures Beyond the Milky Way, by Debra A. Harkins, Khanda goes beyond the Milky Way during her first candy adventure to sing, dance and of course eats lots of candy. But the King’s Sour Drops try to stop Khanda. Will she succeed?
  • *A lil' twirly story of candy, by Debra A. Harkins – What is candy? Trying to answer that question turned out to be as hard as trying to find the raspberry crème in a Whitman’s box of assorted chocolates.
  • *The Little Lost Fishing Cat, by Nadishka Aloysius, illustrated by Iaz Abdul Cader – Follow in the footsteps of an endangered animal as she looks for a forever home.
  • *Until There Was You, by Sarina Siebenaler, illustrated by Devika Joglekar – A heartfelt poetic message from a mother to her child.
  • *Who Laid the Egg? by Audrey Sauble – Can you guess who laid the egg? Was is a chicken…or a dinosaur?
  • *Mitch and Mooch Try Swimming, by Jan Foster, illustrated by Jorge A A Paiva – Will the funny funky monsters sink or swim as they conquer their fears and overcome the unexpected?
  • *Ranvir Cannot Hear, by Genevieve Yusuf – A book of empathy, kindness and friendship. BSL and ASL to learn at the back.
middle grade chapter books
  • That Easter Sunday, by Nadishka Aloysius, illustrated by Iaz Abdul Cader – Based on a true event in Easter Sunday bomb attack in Sri Lanka, this book remembers a tragic tale in a child friendly way.

  • Weirdo, by Ben Spies – A book for children written by a child. (Free download from Bookfunnel.)
  • *Kestrel Island, by A.B. Martin- A thrilling chapter book adventure about friendship, courage and never giving up.
  • *Trust Danny James, by Max Delaney – Danny is a bit of rogue, his life is always filled with chaos, and right now he is plotting ingenious ways to raise money... (Middle Grade Fiction)
  • *Danny's Jokefest, by Max Delany – Hundreds of fun, clean, jokes for children - hand picked by Danny James himself! (Middle Grade Fiction).
  • *Blizzard on the Plains, by Heather Kauffma-Peters – A middle-grade adventure novel about a group of one-room school classmates who use their ingenuity and pioneering spirit to battle freezing temperatures and whiteout conditions!
  • *Now I Know How!, by Demetra Yuvanu, illustrated by Florence Barrington – A middle-grade book on how to think positively, with a clear and powerful message about focus, choice, consequences and the importance of taking action. (Also available on Audible.)
  • *My Dog Sees Ghosts, by Dakota Duncan – Fans of the Magic Treehouse series will enjoy getting caught up in this middle-grade adventure as Liz and her brother, Toby, attempt to rescue their dog from the creepy, local haunted house and whatever wants to keep him there!
  • *Ronan's Dinosaur, by Nadishka Aloysius, illustrated by Manoshi de Silva – A chapter book about a young boy who overcomes anxiety with the help of a fantastic friend.
  • *The Fantastic Flatulent Fart Brothers Go to the Moon!, by MD Whalen, illustrated by Des Campbell – After stowing away on a lunar mission, brothers Willy and Peter and their sister’s hamster save the moon from flatulent aliens from Uranus. Middle grade fiction.
  • *Lottie Saves the Polar Bears, by Heather B. Moon – Lottie is on a special dog-sledding trip when an accident derails her trip and sends her on a magical adventure in this illustrated chapter book.

When the library is closed, keep reading with ebooks and audiobooks.

    Audiobooks/Animated books:

    Tip—if you haven’t used Audible before, they offer a 30-day trial period with one free audio book credit. Audible’s regular subscription costs $14.95 per month, which comes with credits for one audio book two Audible originals. Listeners also get a discount on other audio books. 

    In the past, when I’ve had a subscription, I use my credit to buy a longer, more expensive audiobook (like Winnie-The-Pooh, Freddie the Detective, or The Moffats. Then, while I have the subscription, I usually buy a few of the shorter, $1-5 books, including a variety of fairytales and Robert McCloskey picture books. I've also had Audible offer 3 months at 50% off when I go to cancel after the free trial. It's not the cheapest option, but it is a nice way to pick up a few audiobooks occasionally!

    • Roo the Little Red Tuk Tuk, (YouTube), by Nadishka Aloysius, illustrated by Privanka Fonseka - A collection of short adventures with a little vehicle on the streets of Colombo Sri Lanka.
    • Now I Know How! (Audible), by Demetra Yuvanu, narrated by Saluda Camp – A middle-grade book on how to think positively, with a clear and powerful message about focus, choice, consequences and the importance of taking action.
    • The Jungle of Jojee (Audible), by Amy McMahon – Mario the microraptor feels unimportant and useless…until the day he accidentally helps a big friend, and slowly the jungle starts changing.
    • Invisible Scribble, (YouTube), by Diane Alber – Invisible Scribble is the new scribble to the group and he is worried he will never fit in because he can't make a colorful swirl.
    • Who Laid the Egg?, (YouTube), by Audrey Sauble – Can you guess who laid the egg? Was is a chicken…or a dinosaur?

    • High in the Sky, (YouTube), by Kathleen Gauer, illustrated by Shari Richter – High in the Sky is a bouncy, fun-to-read-aloud story about a child whose solution to boredom and restlessness is riding on a tire swing.

    children's books by Indie authors


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