2023 TV shows and movies: The children's books to read before they hit your screens

Published on: 29 December 2022

We're so excited about all the brilliant children's books coming to our screens in 2023! Find out which ones you should be reading now to get ready...

The front covers of children's books that are expected to be adapted for TV shows and movies in 2023


Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

Big stars: Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates
Expected release date: 28 April

Judy Blume's books are absolute classics, so we couldn't be more excited that Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret is making its way to the big screen. It's a brilliant coming-of-age story, following a girl moving to the suburbs and trying to figure out religion, culture and relationships.

Read our review of the book

Harold and the Purple Crayon

Big stars: Zachary Levi, Zooey Deschanel
Expected release date: 30 June

Harold and the Purple Crayon is based on a 1955 book by Crockett Johnson that is much-loved in the USA. It's all about a young boy who - with the help of his purple crayon - has the power to create a world of his own by drawing it.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Big stars: Viola Davis, Peter Dinklage
Expected release date: 17 November

Get ready to be sucked into the world of The Hunger Games again! The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a big-screen adaptation of the prequel to Suzanne Collins' hit trilogy and follows a young Coriolanus Snow... before he becomes the horrifying President Snow we know so well.


Big stars: Timothée Chalamet, Keegan-Michael Key, Rowan Atkinson, Sally Hawkins, Olivia Colman, Matt Lucas... the list goes on!
Expected release date: 15 December

Netflix has bought up the rights to Roald Dahl's huge catalogue, so expect lots of adaptations of his stories! Wonka is a musical fantasy that explores Willy Wonka's early days as an eccentric chocolatier - before he's opened his iconic factory.

Read our review of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Peter Pan and Wendy

Big stars: Yara Shahidi, Jude Law
Expected release date: TBC

We've been waiting a long time for this live-action adaptation of J. M. Barrie's classic Peter Pan story to make it to our screens - but 2023 is apparently the year it will arrive on Disney+!

The Magician's Elephant

Big stars: Benedict Wong, Dawn French, Brian Tyree Henry, Mandy Patinkin, Sian Clifford and more
Expected release date: TBC

We've been waiting for an adaptation of Kate DiCamillo's 2009 novel for a while, but it looks like 2023 might be the year! This animated movie follows Peter as he searches for his long-lost sister - and a fortune-teller tells him to find a magician with an elephant.

The Little Mermaid

Big stars: Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Melissa McCarthy, Javier Bardem
Expected release date: 26 May

We are so excited about this brand new take on Hans Christian Andersen's famous fairytale! With new songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda, we've already circled the release date in our calendar...

Read our review of Metaphrog's version of The Little Mermaid

Turtles All The Way Down

Big stars: Judy Reyes, J. Smith-Cameron, Isabela Merced
Expected release date: TBC

To be honest, we've been waiting for this adaptation of John Green's novel for a long time - but perhaps it will finally arrive this year? The book follows a 17-year-old with obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety as she searches for a fugitive billionaire...

Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun

Big stars: Not confirmed yet - but it's being produced by Will Smith and David Oyelowo's companies
Expected release date: TBC

Okay, so we might be slightly optimistic putting this one in as the film is still in pre-production... but maybe it will just sneak into 2023, and we're too excited to leave it out! This Netflix adaptation of Tọlá Okogwu's fantastic novel follows a teenager who discovers that she has superpowers and travels to Nigeria to learn more about her origins.

Read our review of the book

White Bird: A Wonder Story

Big stars: Helen Mirren, Gillian Anderson
Expected release date: TBC

White Bird: A Wonder Story - based on the book by R. J. Palacio - was originally expected to arrive last year, so hopefully we won't have to wait too much longer! The book follows Julian from Wonder as his grandmother tells him stories from her time as a young Jewish girl in Nazi-occupied France.

Read our review of the book


A Kind of Spark

We could not be more excited that the BBC is adapting Elle McNicoll's fabulous story A Kind of Spark into an ten-episode series! We don't have a release date yet, but we can't wait to meet the television version of Addie, a neurodivergent girl exploring the history of witch trials in her hometown. Expect 'magic, mystery and friendship'.

Read our review of the book

Lockwood & Co

You don't have too long to wait for this one! Netflix's adaptation of Jonathan Stroud's fabulous series is arriving on 27 January - and given that it's been written by Attack the Block's Joe Cornish, we think we're going to be in for a treat. Strap in as we join three teenage ghost-hunters on their adventures...

Read our review of the book

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder

If you've read Holly Jackson's thrilling tale for teenagers, you'll be very excited to hear that BBC Three is turning it into a six-part series! It's all about Pippa, who decides to investigate the murder of Andie Bell in her village five years ago, convinced that Andie's jailed boyfriend is innocent. But could she be putting herself in real danger...? We think you'll be absolutely hooked.

Read our review of the book

The Spiderwick Chronicles

We're expecting this adaptation of Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black's series to arrive on Disney+ this year - we're promised six episodes (starring Christian Slater, no less!) The books follow the Grace children after they move into the Spiderwick Estate and discover a world of fairies...

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

This may not actually arrive until 2024, but we've been waiting for it for so long that we're including it here just in case it comes a little earlier! Based on Rick Riordan's hit series of books, this Disney+ show follows 12-year-old demigod Percy Jackson as he's accused by Zeus of stealing his lightning bolt. We cannot wait.

Read our review of the book

Returning TV shows

We're counting down the days until Heartstopper returns for its second season! Luckily, we should expect the adaptation of Alice Oseman's brilliant graphic novels to continue in 2023. Elsewhere, the second season of Shadow and Bone adapted from Leigh Barduro's novels - is due to arrive on Netflix on 16 March, and we're expecting a second season of The Summer I Turned Pretty too.

Which children's book adaptation are you most excited about watching in 2023? Let us know on Twitter @BookTrust!

Topics: Features

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