By: Bethany Porter, Collection Development Specialist.
This list is for all you parents out there who cannot take another episode of Caillou, for those of you who are going crazy because it may be too hot or too rainy for your kids to play outside, and for those who just want to chill out and have a Netflix-binge day with your kids. Click here for the complete list of titles!
Dinotrux (TV Series)
Dinotrux is a hilarious picture book by Chris Gall, and an even better Netflix-original TV Show. (I know, I know. The book is always better than the adaptation – but trust me on this one. This show is great!) This show will teach your little one how to work together with others, and how to solve problems. You’ll get a few laughs out of it, too. This is perfect for a light summer watch/read with your almost-Kindergartener and up.
Bonus: There’s just enough super-subtle adult humor – nothing inappropriate, though. Some wordplay and idioms for the grownups. You’ll get it if you watch it.
Fangbone (TV Series)
This is probably the weirdest show on this list. Fangbone is a third-grade barbarian from an alternate universe who hangs out with his friend Bill. Fangbone and Bill work together to protect the disembodied toe of the Evil Drool. (I’m still not sure WHY or HOW they acquired the toe, but I guess the kids don’t mind that part too much?) This show gets weirder and weirder as it progresses, and some of the later episodes aren’t for the squeamish – there’s loads of body humor.
Bonus: The books are a series of graphic novels!
The BFG (Movie)
This was one of my favorite books as a child, and I have made sure to give it to many of the children I’ve been in contact with – I even used it as a book club book for tweens when I was working at a public library. If you haven’t read this one lately, you should! It’s hilarious, and the puns and nonsense words will keep you groaning for all 200 pages. Ask your kids which words are real and which are made up. They’ll be laughing at fizzy frobscottle and whizzpoppers.
A Series of Unfortunate Events (TV Series)
Oh, let me tell you about this series! I have loved A Series of Unfortunate Events since “The Bad Beginning” was released 18 years ago. I remember thinking about how baffling it was that someone as dumb, oafish, and manipulative as Count Olaf could trick so many people into doing what he wants them to do. (Side note: talk to your kids about how important it is to know which grownups to trust! This show/series may not be super helpful for that.) I loved reading about how kids like me (witty nerds) solved problems, no matter how whacky those problems were.
Bonus: Neil Patrick Harris plays Count Olaf in the adaptation, and he does an amazing job! Top of Form.
Pretty Little Liars (TV Series)
Ok, confession time: I spent December 2014 – January 2015 reading all 16 books of this series. Don’t tell anyone. They were trashy, and terrible, and repetitive, and…I loved them. I haven’t finished the TV series yet, but I enjoyed what I saw of it. This one is great for teens who are stuck inside on a rainy day. Murder, aliases, and sabotage may not seem like they make a great teen series, but trust me. You’ll both like this one.
Bonus: The book series is broken up into 4-book arcs, so you don’t have to read ALL 16 books if you don’t want to. You’ll get the gist with the first 4.
Sherlock (TV Series)
Are you having trouble getting your kids to read the same classics you love so much? Worry no more about what to recommend! Sherlock Holmes stories are fast-paced, engaging, and exciting. They’re also short, bite-sized stories that are perfect quick summer reads! The Sherlock BBC TV series is not quite so bite-sized, but these episodes will be perfect for family movie nights if you have older teens. Each episode is about an hour-and-a-half long, and they’re all absolutely beautiful. The writing is fantastic, the actors are delightful, and there’s an interesting added level of social media/modern technology that will resound with younger audiences.
Bonus: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are both in the movie version of The Hobbit, too! This is a great jumping-off point into other book-to-screen adaptations.
Check out our list of other books-to-Netflix adaptations! Let us know which one is your favorite, or what we’re missing! What shows and movies do YOUR kids enjoy most?
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