Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Friday 13 November 2020

Seen the Movie? Now Read the Series.

Join Felicity Sly as she makes some great connections between movies and children’s fiction series good timing with ahead holidays on the horizon and summer viewing fun to look forward to.

The release of movies Mary Poppins Returns (2018) and Doolittle (2020) had me wondering how many young readers have explored the books behind these movies. I’ll leave the more current and well known titles: Harry Potter; His Dark Materials; A Series of Unfortunate Events; Chronicles of Narnia and Artemis Fowl (movie release 2020) for you to explore independently

Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins has been reimagined in Disney films and as a stage musical, based upon the first P. L. Travers book published in 1934, and subsequently in Mary Poppins Returns loosely based on Travers books, and Saving Mr Banks, loosely based on Travers life. Travers wrote eight Mary Poppins books featuring the Banks children between 1934 and 1988. 

Doctor Dolittle
Complete Collection


Hugh Lofting published fifteen Doctor Dolittle books between 1920 and 1952. Young readers may be more familiar with any one of the films (more than seven), stage shows, animations, video games or audio books (three narrated by Alan Bennett: the discovery of Bennett’s narrations has now opened a wormhole!)


Psammead Trilogy

Edith Nesbit’s The Psammead Trilogy (Five Children and It, The Phoenix and the Carpet, The Story of the Amulet) were written between 1902 and 1906. Five Children and It has been iterated in film (most recently in 2004), a television series, anime, a stage musical and a comic strip.


The Complete Borrowers

The five Borrowers books (1952-1982) by Mary Norton have also made it to film, TV series and anime. The delightful anime Arriety (2010) is well worth a watch, as is the 2011 BBC Film with Stephen Fry as Professor Mildeye. There is a potential animation also in the works (2018). 

Frog and Toad

There are four Frog and Toad books, written by Arnold Lobel (1970-1979). Their story has appeared on stage as a play (1990s) and a musical (2003), and in a series of eighteen 30 minute clay animations. 

The Books of Earthsea

The Earthsea series by Ursula K. Le Guin (1984-2001) occurs over six books. Earthsea has appeared in a two part mini-series in 2004 and animated film (2006).

As holidays approach there may be an opportunity to share film and text with your family. Are there other book-to-film series that you would like to add to this list? Please add these in the comments section.

Felicity Sly is a Teacher Librarian at Don College, Devonport and Treasurer of CBCA Tasmania.

Enola Holmes Mysteries

Editor’s note:
I will take up Felicity's challenge for more recent contributions to add one more to the list with my favourite for 2020 - Enola Holmes. Inspired by the Enola Holmes Mysteries written by Nancy Springer between 2006 - 2010. Do you have another to share as a comment?

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