8 free audio books to celebrate World Book Day –

8 free audio books to celebrate World Book Day

It’s that time of year again – World Book Day! We know the benefits of reading for children are incredible, from boosting creativity and indulging imaginations to expanding vocabulary and improving concentration.

Thanks to the rise in popularity of audiobooks, with trail blazers like RNIB Reading Services and Audible bringing accessible reading to the mainstream, blind and partially sighted children can enjoy reading with a broad range of stories to suit wherever their imagination takes them.

Young boy listening with headphones on, two soft toys are on the sofa with him


Did you know?

  • The number of visually impaired people who read braille has been in long-term decline for a number of years, with some experts estimating it to be as low as 8%.
  • Fewer than 5% of book titles are available in braille format.
  • In 2019, a survey by the Publishers Association put the number of audiobook consumers at around 1 in 5.


So, it seems that audio is changing the landscape of literature and as children are growing up more tech-savvy than ever before that trend is only set to continue. 

You can find an impressive range of audiobooks or accessible books for free at your local library or through services such as Living Paintings and Clear Vision Project. While it can be hard to find mainstream books that are accessible for children who are blind or partially sighted, the Booktrust does have a few ideas of good titles with tactile elements, embossing, die-cut holes, braille and audio.


Give reading a go…

The organisers of World Book Day have updated their World of Stories section with a bundle of free audiobooks of some wonderful children’s stories. There’s something for all ages, below are a few of our favourites for beginner readers, early readers and independent readers!

Beginner readers

Sleepy Stories, Olive Wants to Play cover.

Olive Wants to Play

Meet some new nocturnal friends with Olive the Owl in this lovely story, which is part of Yoto’s 5-Minute Sleepy Stories collection, perfect for calm time.









In the Wild cover

Sloth in the Fast Lane

Follow Stella the sloth as she zips through the rainforest in this wonderful story, which is part of Yoto’s 5-Minute Stories in the Wild audio collection.








Early Readers

Maggie Sparks and the Monster Baby

Maggie Sparks and the Monster Baby

Maggie Sparks does NOT want a baby brother!

Especially not one who is noisy, smelly and gets ALL the attention.

The good thing is, Maggie’s a witch. A super powerful, super smart, super talented witch … who sometimes gets her spells wrong. But that won’t stop her finding a way to win back her mum and dad from the evil monster baby. Especially when she’s got Bat, her pet chameleon, to help.

All she needs is a little magic …



Little Dreamers, Rida Kahlo

Little Dreamers, Frida Kahlo

Some of the most influential people in history started out as little dreamers with something they wanted to change. With their unique ideas and incredible talents, they went on to change the world with their boldness and bravery.

Their journeys from young children to world changers are now available in audio format, including the incredible story of Frida Kahlo, one of the world’s best-loved artists!



Brainbots: Dinosaurs – Triceratops

Meet the BrainBots: Nellie, Buzz and Gibbs! When school closes, these high-tech knowledge gathering robots come to life to find out as much information as they can for kids before the next school day starts. They can do some amazing stuff, too – think travelling back in time, shrinking all the way down to explore tiny spaces and getting where humans can’t… In this series – the kids are at Dino Camp!

Each night after camp the BrainBots try to find out as much as they can about dinosaurs and upload their findings to the BrainBank – a big cloud where all that information is stored and shared to kids. Join Nellie, Buzz and Gibbs as they head way back in time to discover everything there is to know about Triceratops in this amazing dino audio adventure. 



Independent Readers

Tales From Norse Legends

Tales from Norse Legends

The tales of the Norse gods, of the giants, demons, trolls and dwarves, still have the power to fascinate more than a thousand years after they were first told. Here are the stories of the one-eyed god Odin, the all-seeing, who from his throne in Asgard the home of the gods, has to prepare for Ragnarok, the final conflict between good and evil. There are tales too of Tyr the god of war, of the cunning Loki, of Thor the mighty thunder god and a host of others. These retellings of the old tales are given extra dramatic perspective by the music of Mahler, Grieg, Smetana. They come to life as never before.



Moonlight Riders: Fire Horse

Fire Horse

When Amara started riding at the Moonlight Stables Riding School, she never expected that the ponies there could do magic! Rose can harness the strength of Earth, Tide has the abilities of water and Ember has fire power! Amara is delighted when Ember chooses her to be his True Rider, but she has a lot to learn. Can she help Ember to master his powers and protect him from the evil Night Riders?




Solar system

The Solar System

Join Kat and Jamal as they travel to the Sun and Mercury and discover loads of amazing facts in this awesome audio adventure, which is part of Yoto’s Solar System audio collection. Kat and Jamal are in their last year of Solar System Space Camp. Their final mission? A scavenger hunt around all eight planets. Using nine Solar System cards, kids become space cadets, joining Kat, Jamal and their trusty Transmitter as they find flags and unlock clues on each planet in our solar system.

Start your space adventure with the Sun card before exploring further afield. Switch cards to land on Mercury and learn everything there is to know about the rocky planet while searching for the flag. Then unlock your clue and head back to the Sun to carry on the mission. (Or, stay on the planet and discover a secret quiz…) What will the clues reveal? Only those who complete the mission will find out.

Ready to add to your library?

Here are some useful specialist services and suppliers:

  • Living Paintings: a free library of tactile books with audio description.
  • Clear Vision Project: a postal lending library of mainstream children’s books with added braille (or Moon), print and pictures.
  • RNIB Library: a free library of digital, audio, braille and giant print books.
  • Listening Books: a postal and internet audio book service.
  • Access2Books: a community interest project supplying giant print and braille books.
  • Bag Books: supply multisensory books.