books on film

I never got busted. For an English major, and a published author, of all things, I should be embarrassed that I chose most essay topics and college classes based on the reading syllabus, ticking off the books that had become films—whichever class offered the most adaptations was the one for me. I was all about Cliff’s Notes, and I likely read double the length of the book in critical essays, trying to pretend that I’d read the book. To this day, I am an absolute Book Club Fraud, buying the audiobook in lieu of the actual book. I wonder if there’s a web site that focuses only in this area, describing the exact differences between the book and the film. If I were in school, I’d subscribe.

I do it now with my children, age 6. Somehow with them it feels less devious and far more magical to see books come to life. Of course it helps that we actually read the books before watching the film. Our cozy bedtime rituals become a magical moment complete with a snuggle blanket and popcorn. The best moment, however, is when we’ve completed a book, and they don’t know it exists as a film. I set it up, paused on the opening credits, then watch as their faces reveal the familiarity. “We know this!” Lucas says of The Magic School Bus. “We just read this crazy adventure!” It’s pure joy on his face, which is the best moment for me.

I’m currently reading Anne of Green Gables to them at night, trying to do all the voices the way I’ve heard them on TV. They don’t know that the book exists on DVD. I cannot WAIT to finish, just to surprise them. To be honest, they don’t love the book, mostly because it’s heavy on the descriptions, pages about fields and streams. It’ll be worth it when they fall in love with the film. Wicked, along with the soundtrack, will also eventually come alive for them on Broadway. But in the meanwhile, we’re trying other books, too…

13 Great Titles Based on Kids’ Books Streaming on Netflix
Which means you can watch them on your iPad, iPhone, Laptop, or webTV, apple TV, etc.

Use these Netflix titles to connect with your big bean sprouts:
Netflix #StreamTeam Books on Film

Escape to Witch Mountain
James and the Giant Peach
The Baby-Sitters Club
A Wrinkle in Time

And these Netflix titles to connect with your sweet little beans:
Netflix #StreamTeam Books on Film little kids
Charlotte’s Web
The Velveteen Rabbit
The Very Hungry Caterpillar and
The Magic School Bus
The Little Engine That Could
Stuart Little 2

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As a Netflix Stream Team member, I received an Apple TV and a year’s subscription to Netflix in exchange for sharing 1 post each month about Netflix movies and TV Shows. As always, though, all opinions are mine, mine, mine!



  1. Be careful with Wicked! The book is very different from the musical in several not-great-for-first-grader ways. I’m dying to read Anne to my first grade daughter but I’m hoping that by holding off a bit she’ll be more likely to love it as much as I do. I love the idea of showing them one they’ll recognize without announcing it beforehand.

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