It’s no secret that I love books. If you didn’t already know that, you’re probably new here. Spoiler: I LOVE BOOKS!

I will usually choose to pick up a book before turning on the TV, but sometimes you just need to sit, relax and let the story tell itself to you. This is when books that have been adapted for film are precisely my cup of tea.

I squealed when The Hunger Games came to Netflix. I fell in love with the Swedish films based on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series and still haven’t gotten to the books. And have you seen that they added Goosebumps and Baby Sitters Club? Those shows were so totally Jenny, The Middle School Years.

But enough about me. Passing on the love of books is probably in my top five priorities as a parent. (I’m estimating, so if you tick of five vitally important and responsible things, forgive me. I’m a reader – not a mathematician.) Reading to young triplets is no easy task. If I have the attention of all three, we can get through books with relative ease. If one goes astray, it’s likely the other one or two will follow, then distractions take over, and reading is frustratingly impossible.

Books-to-screen, enter stage right. Just as meeting a celebrity is exciting, being able to hold the book or story they’re watching come to life is thrilling for my little readers.

While it isn’t a specific story adaptation, ETC love seeing stories we’ve read become the focus of Super Why episodes.

Books like The Lorax come on the screen in vivid colors and sound, an experience totally different from what I can provide as their Seusstastic-attempting narrator.

Curious George is a regular favorite, and the number of available episodes means they’re always watching something “new” because it takes so long to get through the rotation.

Then there’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which we watched, read and did a craft for all on one rainy day. (Use an empty toilet paper roll to stamp out the body of a caterpillar, and have your artists color him in. Bigger kids can add their favorite caterpillar snacks to the masterpiece, but my 2.5-year-olds (at the time) were more than thrilled with making their own caterpillar.)

I thought I struck gold when I stumbled onto a collection of Scholastic children’s book adaptations. Classics like The Snowy Day and Is Your Mama A Llama are available next to new favorites like Click, Clack, Moo, How Do Dinosaurs Go To School?, I Stink! and Bark, George. These short, identical-to-the-book videos are my kids’ absolute favorites, as they can follow along while they’re watching the pictures move on the screen.

Last but not least, The Polar Express is back on Netflix now that we’re approaching the holiday season. While I’m not a big fan of the movie, I can certainly get behind it as a new tradition in our house. The book is magical, and the movie only enhances the experience for new generations of fans. Never mind their curmudgeon mother.

What are some of your favorite books-turned-videos?

p.s. Totally unrelated to books but equally smart and nerdy and amazing, Netflix just added Signing Time to its lineup. ETC started watching Baby Signing Time around 15 months old – later than the program intends – and they easily picked up signs, making our early communications much easier. We’ve continued with Signing Time DVDs we borrow regularly from the library, but Netflix just made my week by adding these, giving us 14 episodes at my fingertips rather than what’s available to borrow from the library. Happy, happy, happy!

As a Netflix Stream Team member, I was provided with a complimentary Apple TV device, and I receive free Netflix instant streaming service in exchange for sharing relevant topics and messages with you and your family. All opinions expressed on ActualJenny.com are 100 percent my own – those cannot be bought!

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3 Responses to From page to screen

  1. mjb says:

    My 3yo loves loves loves Pete the Cat – it’s a book/dvd combo but you can watch the videos on youtube.

  2. Bonnie says:

    My toddler loves Clifford. We have the books, stuffed animals, and just recently found interest in the TV shows. As a 5th grade teacher, there are so many great book to movie options I used in the classroom. Holes, Bridge to Terabithia, Because of Winn Dixie, Tuck Everlasting, etc.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I am so glad that you posted this. My girls are 2 & 3 & I’ve been looking for something new for them to watch during quiet time (since they stopped napping). I like Rapunzel but three times a week is my Tangled limit.

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