Top Tips : Book to screen adaptations to stream

19 June 2020

You may have noticed a new arrival on Disney+; Eion Colfer’s Artemis Fowl, the new movie adaptation of the book directed by British acting royalty, Sir Kenneth Branagh!

Books on screen can be a great way to get children into reading and very often children aren’t aware of just how many films and TV dramas started life as a book. In the classroom or the school library ‘Books on Film’ makes a fantastic display and a great topic for discussion. Put up a display with a selection of covers of favourite books and the corresponding film or TV image and start a conversation – which is better the book or the film?! Are the characters just as you’d imagine?  Does the film feel like the book when you read it? The debate doesn’t have to end there.  At home, next time you switch on a favourite TV show or film, find out whether a book came first and have a family vote on which is the best!

There’s a whole host of brilliant Puffin books that have been adapted for screen which you can watch via the power of not just Disney+, but also Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime. Watch and read and discover even more about these wonderful worlds.

Disney +

Puffin Classics such as The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green, Peter Pan by J.M Barrie and Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll have all inspired films, most famously as Disney movie animations. You can roam the jungles with Mowgli in the brilliant live action version of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book or travel through time with Meg, Charles and Calvin in Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. And as well as the brand new Artemis Fowl film you’ll find Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson battling Greek gods and monsters and  Jeff Kinney’s ever popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid doing battle with daily life, all on Disney+.

BBC iPlayer

For younger viewers on BBC iPlayer, there’s the delightful Charlie & Lola in a series based on the books by Lauren Child and a series about the adventures of the incorrigible Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. Who can resist Peter running through Mr McGregor’s garden?! For fans of Jacqueline Wilson, look no further than one of her most popular characters Tracy Beaker, immortalised on screen. Or if it’s the more historical Jacqueline Wilson stories that are preferred, try Hetty Feather set in Victorian times. Jill Murphy’s The Worst Witch is brought to life with Mildred Hubble and friends getting up to all sorts of magical mayhem. This year saw the release of the first series of the hotly anticipated adaptation of Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman, set in an alternate society where black "Cross" people rule over white "Noughts". With five books in the series, there’s sure to be more!

Amazon Prime

Roald Dahl fans will be delighted to know there’s a wealth of opportunities to enter the screen versions of the phizz-whizzing world of Dahl with The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr Fox and James and the Giant Peach all available to watch for Prime members. Puffin Classics such as Charlotte’s Web by E.B White, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett can be viewed no doubt bringing a tear to the eye in some cases.


The classic stories continue on Netflix with Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery inspiring a new drama and the brilliant musical version of The Wizard of Oz by Frank L Baum famously starring Judy Garland.  For more girl power, there is Roald Dahl’s Matilda and D C Superhero Girls based on the graphic novels. Peter Rabbits movie debut is also available.

With so much choice, see if you can find your favourite book on screen! If all these adaptations have inspired your pupils to start dreaming then there's still time to enter Into Film and Puffin's Big Dreams on Screen competition. All children have to do is draw a storyboard of their big dream for a chance to have it turned into a film and shown as part of the Into Film Festival in November.  Get your entry form here and make sure you get it in before 2 August!

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