Series and Serial Podcasts That Will Keep Kids Listening All Summer

Summer is the perfect time for series and serial podcasts across genres to keep kids entertained and engaged.

Summer has always been a great time for kids to find a book series or serial they can sink their teeth into—ongoing stories that allow them to revisit to favorite characters, plotlines, or magical realms. Now, with an ever-growing list of series and serial podcasts, children and teens can dive into reading and listening this summer.

These shows provide families with miles of listening on long car trips or screen-free hours for hanging out. This list is an introduction to a range of genres, including fantasy, fairy tales, mythology, science fiction, historical fiction, political fiction, mysteries, and humor. They include well-known kids' book characters, such as Hank the Cowdog, and plenty of new ones, including Lucy Wow, written by well-known series author Patrick Carman. Many audio fiction shows also offer trans-media experiences, with books, gaming, comics, and activities, so kids can continue exploring the worlds they discover. Check out the production companies and creators behind these shows for more audio dramas.

Kidcasts: Audio Dramas: Serials/Series Playlist

All audio dramas can be accessed from your favorite podcast app or by streaming directly from Listen Notes. Unless otherwise noted, audio dramas should be listened to in order, starting with episode one.

The Adventures of Power Dog in Dogland

Genre: Fantasy, Animals Ages: 5 to 9

Power Dog in Dogland opens with a powerful punk ballad that will reassure kids they are in the right place if they love dogs! Power Dog, as you might guess, has superpowers. He can help his dog friends be more compassionate. The characters of Dogland include other animals, too, such as Tick-Tock Bunny, a professor at the College of the Dogarts, where dogs learn how to harness their powers. This serial drama unfolds over 12 episodes, with additional bonus episodes. The story is told by narrator Phoebe Owens—author, librarian, and producer. Her thoughtful pacing and calm delivery will ease young listeners into Dogland as Power Dog’s adventures unfold. The audio production will draw kids into the drama, where mindfulness and compassionate solutions prevail, and six-year-old Hank, co-writer and the inspiration for Power Dog, joins Phoebe to react to the adventure and share a joke.

Hank the Cowdog

Genre: Humor, Western Ages: 5 to 9

Kids and librarians have loved John Erickson’s “Hank the Cowdog” series for years. Now Hank, the beloved head of security, has a new five-part podcast series, produced by QCode. This serial is full of new comical encounters written, with the blessing of Erickson, by writer and filmmaker Jeff Nichols. Nichols honors the original character and feel of the books, while adding something new and worthy to the brand. Hank is voiced by Matthew McConaughey, which draws in kids and grownups. Families discovering Hank for the first time will be thrilled to know they can continue the antics with the book series.

Fairies and Dragons, Ponies and Knights

Genre: Fairy Tales, Adventure Ages: 5 to 9

In this virtual theater production-turned-podcast, Beatrice the dragon is convinced fairies and ponies stole her egg. To get it back, she gets the help of a valiant knight. Produced by Dirt Road Theater in Northfield, VT, with narration by Maren Langdon Spillane, this adventure tale is sure to satisfy fans of mythical creatures series, such as How to Train a Dragon, Emily Windsnap, Rainbow Magic, and more. If your young listeners are looking for another fairy tale in another magical kingdom, give a listen to The Adventures of Red Knight by Red Knight Stories. Red Knight, the greatest knight in all of the land, provides humorous banter with other jovial voice characters.

Mary Farfisa Outer Space Radio Theater

Genre: Fantasy, Humor, Music Ages: 6 to 11

Did you know the sun enjoys playing the drums and the moon has a favorite tune? Mary Farfisa is a cheerful, resourceful, eight-year-old space explorer who, along with her space horse Briscoe, travels the universe listening for music and sounds to round up with her audio lasso for everyone in her listening library. Their adventures, more series than serial, are guided by a lovely narrator who orients kids to the many unusual, nonsensical places, creatures, and sounds as the quests unfold with a host of voice actors. Fans of The Phantom Tollbooth will enjoy this fun-filled fantasy. This independent production was written and produced by Jim Cheff.

Hey Now, it’s Lucy Wow!

Genre: STEM, Mystery Ages: 6 to 11

Meet Lucy Wow! She’s an innovator and tinkerer with quite the imagination. In fact, she built her own sidekick Kapow, a mechanical goat. In this evolving tale, Lucy will build new mechanical objects while using clues to solve a mystery. The podcast is as comical and wacky as the powerhouse NPR science podcast Wow! In the World. It includes talented voice actors, including Michaela Dietz from Steven Universe as Lucy Wow herself. The creative storytelling is written by children’s author Patrick Carman, a collaborator on the serial The 39 Clues. It's perfect for STEM and Maker educators to share, but specifically engineering-inclined students; it's exciting to see GoKidGo's universe of shows enter the podcast scene, with a slate of audio drama character-driven series, including Bobby Wonder about superheroes that enjoy waffles and R.L. Stine’s Story Club, from the Goosebumps author himself.

The Fina Mendoza Mysteries

Genre: Political Fiction, Mystery Ages: 9 to 13

Fina’s father is a congressman and when she loses her sweatshirt in the Capitol Crypt, she thinks she is cursed by the ghost of a cat. Readers of Harriet the Spy, “The Boxcar Children” series, and “A to Z Mysteries” will want to engage with this spirited sleuth. Teachers and librarians will find this podcast produced by Kitty Felde, and the book an engaging way to help kids connect their lives and the political processes that impact their lives. Bonus episodes explore voting and the January 6 insurrection, and there is an online educators guide.

Live From Mount Olympus

Genre: Greek Mythology, Fantasy Ages: 9 to 13

This ongoing saga about the Greek myth of Perseus and his perilous odyssey is narrated by Hermes, the messenger to the gods, who helps the story of this prophecy play out in audio drama form. To the listener’s delight, Hermes is acclaimed Tony Award-winning actor André De Shields from the musical Hadestown. This kidcast, produced by Onassis Foundation, is a listen-alike for fans of “Percy Jackson,” nonfiction mythology, or theatrical performances. It’d be hard not to also mention on the podcast scene the topnotch The National Geographic Kids’ Greeking Out podcast exploring Greek mythology for kids, covering a plethora of gods, goddesses, heroes, and monsters.


Genre: Historical Fiction, Adventure Ages: 9 to 13

The Ventura twins, Alexi and Beni, think they are dreaming when they meet a distant cousin who tells them about a timestorm that would allow them to travel to other dimensions. This begins their serial adventure, produced by Cocotazo Media, through five centuries of history. They are given a mission to “Witness. Find. Remember” their Puerto Rican heritage so they can carry the stories forward. Already on the third season of adventures, Timestorm has plenty of content to enthrall its listeners, including bloopers, recaps, and mini-episodes. For budding historians, intrepid globe trekkers, and anyone who enjoys complex, immersive, gratifying storytelling.

The Rez

Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery Ages: 9 to 13

The Rez is a sci-fi podcast adventure, set in the distant future, that will resonate for tweens after this past year. The 10 suspenseful, humorous episodes, produced by Rezilience, Ltd., opens on the two main teen characters—a shallow digital media influencer and a rebel girl outsider. When they discover an old phone, it connects them to humans from the past, called Pastlings, who help them shed their AI-programmed happiness to search for authentic connections and kindness. Rez is short for resilience, which is the overarching theme for all the media connected with the show, including online games, comics, educational resources, and more. Science fiction stories have always played a part in helping us grapple with changing technology and culture, so be sure to also check out similar serials, including the ABC-produced Mackaroy Uncovered, made by and for tween audiences, and the heroine-powered political thriller for older teens, Daughters of DC, produced by Einhorn Epic Productions.

Consultant Anne Bensfield teaches librarians how to be mentors for managing new media in their schools and communities. Pamela Rogers is a children’s librarian and the creator of “Buttons & Figs.”  

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