Is there anything more magical than finally seeing your favorite book brought to life on screen with real, human actors (or animated versions)? Book-to-screen adaptations aren’t anything new, of course. You’ve eaten up everything from Breakfast at Tiffany’s to To Kill A Mockingbird. Shoot, even everyone’s favorite monkey, Curious George, started as a book series. As technology advances and writers just keep getting better, so do book adaptations. Up next for Netflix is their very own adaptation of The Magician’s Elephant, based on the young reader novel by Kate DiCamillo. Sound familiar? She also wrote Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux, both of which were turned into films, too.
This newest adaptation might just be Netflix’s most ambitiously made movie, but it’s not the only book-to-screen adaptation on their ever-expanding menu. They have a ton of fantastic adaptations you should check out (after you read the books, of course!). Here are a few favorites.
Lyle, Lyle Crocodile
Come for Shawn Mendes but stay for nostalgia and laughable obsessions of one seriously posh croc. Will Lyle and his new best friend find safe harbor in New York? Gotta watch this movie based on the best-selling children’s book by Bernard Waber to find out.
Dragons: Race to the Edge
There are numerous How To Train Your Dragon spin-offs on Netflix, all based loosely on the 2003 book of the same name by author Cressida Cowell — and, friends, they’re all wonderful.
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
There’s no denying del Toro’s valuable spin (and gorgeous art) put into remaking this classic tale by Italian writer Carlo Collodi. And, hand-to-heart, the previews made it look creepier than it actually is.
The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants
OMG, Captain Underpants. The early reader books by best-selling children’s book author Dav Pilkey took the world by storm more than a decade ago, and they’re still spinning screen adaptations. They’re all silly, engaging, and a great way to get your kid to pick up a book.
Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical
Everyone loves Matilda… except her parents. Sometimes turning a book into a movie and then into a musical can feel a bit, well, cringe-y. This adaptation turns that worry on its head, though. Fellow ‘90s kids, take note: You won’t be disappointed.
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
There are technically two screen adaptations of this well-loved book series by author Daniel Handler. Both are amazing, but the Neil Patrick Harris-led Netflix version is leaps and bounds more colorful and intriguing.
Ada Twist, Scientist
This series of picture books by author Andrea Beaty is sweet and empowering to girls of all races and abilities, and the Netflix series is no different. Want to inspire your gal to take an interest in STEM? Try Ada Twist, Scientist.
The Worst Witch
Not just anyone can fit in at a witchy school, and in this series inspired by Jill Murphy’s books, bumbling Mildred Hubble is convinced she doesn’t belong. Soon enough, she’ll realize she’s one of the school’s most valuable students — but not without a few mishaps along the way.
My Father’s Dragon
Inspired by the Newbery-honored children’s book from author Ruth Stiles Gannett, this wild and wonderful journey follows Elmer as he sets out to find an island and rescue a dragon. As with all good dragon-based stories, mystery and adventure propel the story. However, it’s the heart of the matter that keeps you truly invested.
Green Eggs and Ham
The Dr. Seuss adaptations about nearly endless, but this super cute take on the super popular story might just be the best one yet. There’s something silly for all ages.
Live through a touch of nostalgia by picking up some old copies of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps to read with your fearless bookworm, then cue up the Jack Black-led movie on your next night in.
Ivy + Bean
Ivy and Bean are polar opposites… and best friends. The early reader chapter book series by Annie Barrows has 12 books, so it looks as though Netflix might make a movie based on each of them (all perfectly cast and adapted!).
Teaching girl power, teamwork, and individual strength, this new series is a hit on both paper — it was co-written by Today’s Savannah Guthrie — and on screen. Did we mention Drew Barrymore is a co-producer?!
This movie was so long-awaited that even the Queen of England took part in a bit of sweet, jammy hijinx in order to meet the film version of the world’s favorite bear.
Who doesn’t love the award-winning and best-selling book series of the same name by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney? Llama Llama has so much to teach about life, family, and friends. Each short new episode has another lesson for your favorite little drama llama.
Screen adaptations can sometimes be disappointing. The wrong cast. Left-out scenes. It’s hard to please everyone when you’re turning a beloved book into a show or film. These book-to-screen adaptations live up to their printed iterations and will surely help instill a love of reading into even the most stubborn of screen-obsessed kiddos.