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9 classic audiobooks you need to listen to

Experience these classic stories and best-loved books in a lively new way, through the most entertaining of audio retellings. 

Ballet Shoes

An extraordinary tale of triumph over adversity, Noel Streatfield’s Ballet Shoes describes the trials and tribulations of the remarkable Fossil sisters: Pauline, Petrova and Posy. Adopted by the eccentric professor Great Uncle Matthew as babies, the sisters are sent to live with Sylvia and Nana when he goes on an expedition abroad. When money begins to run out, the sisters must take to the stage in order to support the household. Read by Janet Streatfield, the author’s great-niece, this delightful story about dance, determination and different talents, will stay in listeners' hearts forever. 

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The Jungle Book

Few stories have captivated readers as much as Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. This astonishing dramatisation starring Eartha Kitt, Freddie Jones and Johnathan Hyde, retells the tale of Mowgli the ‘man-cub’ with spectacular vibrancy. As he grows up, Mowgli is taught all the wonderful ways of the Jungle by Baloo the bear, Bagheera the black panther and Kaa the rock python. With added jungle sounds and music, listeners will experience all the magnificence of the mighty jungle for themselves. 

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

In this dazzling full-cast dramatisation staring David Bamber as the White Rabbit, Roy Hudd as the Mad Hatter and Sarah-Jane Holm as Alice, Lewis Carroll’s fantastic classic comes to life. One day, Alice, a bored little girl, spots a white rabbit in a waistcoat scampering past. He is so very late for wherever he must be! Alice catches up with him and tumbles down a rabbit hole, landing in a whole other world of wonderful Mad-Hatter nonsense.

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The Wizard of Oz

Prepare to be transported to another world in this outstanding audio version of L.Frank Baum’s classic novel. One day, Dorothy and her little pup Toto get caught up in a Tornado that uplifts them from Kansas and drops them in the fantastical Land of Oz. Along the Yellow Brick Road, Dorothy and Toto make friends with the Tinman, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion, and invite them to join their journey to Emerald City. With exciting sound effects and music, this is a stunning adaption of a treasured American fairy tale. 

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The Secret Garden

When Mary Lennox - a spoilt young orphan - is sent to stay at her Uncle’s grand-but-gloomy manor in Yorkshire, she starts to explore the tumbledown grounds for herself. With time, Mary discovers not only the lost key to a secret garden but the healing and everlasting power of friendship too. Frances Hodgson Burnett's much-loved story receives a fresh lease of life in this engaging BBC Radio full-cast audiobook.

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The Twits, the Minpins & the Magic Finger by Roald Dahl

Hollywood starlet Kate Winslet and comedians Bill Bailey and Richard Ayoade breathe new life into some of Roald Dahl’s most cherished stories in this entertaining audiobook. Experience The Magic Finger, The Minpins and The Twits in these witty and engrossing retellings that will keep listeners of any age entertained from start to finish. Not to be missed!

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The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

In a calm, captivating voice, Andrew Scott reads seven of Roald Dahl’s classic stories which are intended for slightly older readers. This varied and imaginative collection includes tales about a boy who can talk to animals, a mysterious hitchhiker, and a gambler who can see without his eyes, as well as autobiographical accounts from the author’s life.  These are fascinating stories from a best-loved storyteller that make for many repeat listens. 

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The Emerald Atlas: The Books of Beginning 1 by John Stephens

Peter Pan

Starring Toyah Wilcox and Ron Moody, this is a magical audio version of J.M. Barrie’s beloved story of a mischievous boy who never grows up. One night Peter Pan flies into the Darling nursery and takes Wendy, John and Michael on an unforgettable adventure. In Neverland they encounter an extraordinary cast of characters, including fairies, Native Americans, mermaids, and of course, callous Captain Hook!

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The Wind in the Willows

This is a not-to-be-missed full-cast dramatisation of Kenneth Graham’s charming classic. Narrated by Alan Bennett and staring cast members from the acclaimed National Theatre production, this enchanting audio production will delight a new generation of listeners. Hearts will be warmed and imaginations captured by the wonderful escapades of Mole, Rat, Badger and Toad along the banks of the River Thames. 

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