Children's Literature as Netflix Specials

More and more today, books are making their way to the big screen, and now they are being made into Netflix specials that can be viewed at home to paid subscribers. Below are some books that were made into shows or movies and are available to Netflix subscribers. All of these book versions are available with a library or One Access card through Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Sharing a book is a great way to introduce familiar characters in a new context for kids of all ages. 


Anna Dewdney’s beloved Llama Llama stories such as, Llama Llama Red Pajama and Llama Llama Time to Share, has been adapted into a Netflix produced series for children. Some episodes include themes on going to the beach, summer, reading, and sleepovers. This series is great for children aged four and up.


The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry follows a pilot whose plane is force to land in the Sahara Desert. Here, he meets a little prince who tells the pilot about all of his adventures while he tries to understand the meaning of life. The film is 3D animation in English; this is the first film adaptation of this story. This movie is appropriate for children aged eight and up. 


The Who Was? book series is extremely popular for second graders and up, and is now a series on Netflix. Each book is a biography about all different kinds of well-known people from a wide range of backgrounds. Each episode on the show is about two different people. Some of the people covered are: GhandiBenjamin FranklinMarie CurieSacagawea, and Julius Caesar. This series is great for second through fifth graders.


A newer series available is The Magic School Bus series, which has previously been made into a show from the 1990s and into a multitude of juvenile chapter and non-fiction books. In 2017, Netflix revamped the series giving it the title, The Magic School Bus Rides Again. In the new series Ms. Valerie Frizzle retires and hands over the bus’ keys to her younger sister, Ms. Fiona Frizzle.  This series is appropriate for children aged five and up.


Lastly, we have the extremely popular Netflix series, now in its second season, A Series of Unfortunate Events. In the second season, Neil Patrick Harris reprises his role as Count Olaf. The first season follows the first four books; season two covers books five through nine. A third season is currently in development to finish covering the book series. This series is appropriate for third grade and up.


Some other Netflix shows and movies that are available to Netflix subscribers that are based on books: The Cat in the HatClifford, The GruffaloCurious GeorgeWinnie the PoohThe BFGCoralineElla EnchantedThe Worst WitchThe Boss Baby.

*Netflix is a subscription not offered through the library. Netflix is a streaming service available to those who are paid subscribers. 


Maeve Dodds is a children's librarian at University City Regional Library with Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. She has also worked as a teen librarian and adult librarian. She is an Appalachian State Alumni, enjoys exploring Charlotte, and  loves reading to her son Deklan.