2024 TV shows and movies: The children's books to read before they hit your screens

Published on: 29 December 2023

There are some fantastic television shows and movies based on children's books in the works - and we can't wait to see them!

Here are the stories you should be checking out before they arrive on our screens...

A collage of front covers: Paddington, The Tiger's Apprentice, Turtles All The Way Down, Kensuke's Kingdom, Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, Orion and the Dark, White Bird, Geek Girl, A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, and Oliver Twist


Paddington in Peru

Big stars: Ben Whishaw, Olivia Colman, Antonio Banderas, Imelda Staunton, Jim Broadbent, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Hugh Bonneville
Exepcted release date: 8 November 2024

We're kicking off with our most anticipated children's book movie of 2024! The Paddington movies so far have successfully captured the charm of Michael Bond's original stories, so we can't wait to see what happens when Paddington and the Browns decide to take a trip to Peru to visit Aunt Lucy.

The Tiger's Apprentice

Big stars: Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding, Sandra Oh, Lucy Liu
Expected release date: 2 February 2024

Based on the book by Laurence Yep, this animated fantasy adventure on Paramount+ follows Tom Lee, whose life changes when he meets a talking tiger named Mr Hu and discovers that he has magical powers - and great responsibiltiies. Soon, he's joining a group of creatures to protect an ancient talisman...

Turtles All The Way Down

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

John Green's books tend to make fantastic screen adaptations - from The Fault in Our Stars to Looking for Alaska - and Turtles All The Way Down is being made by the same production company, so we're expecting good things. The story follows Aza, a teenager with OCD and anxiety who embarks on a search for a fugitive billionaire - her neighbour's father. The story also explores her grief for her own father, the budding romance between her and the billionaire's son, and her relationship with her best friend.

Kensuke's Kingdom

Big stars: Cillian Murphy, Sally Hawkins, Ken Watanabe
Expected release date: TBC

This classic story by Sir Michael Morpurgo (BookTrust's President) is has been adapted for the screen by the man himself, along with another superstar author - Frank Cottrell-Boyce! It follows a child who is shipwrecked on a remote island and must adapt to life alone - only to learn that this new world is home to both danger and beauty. With a stellar voice cast, this animation premiered at the BFI London Film Festival, so hopefully we'll be able to see it soon.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Road Trip

Big stars: Eva Longoria, Cheech Marin
Expected release date: TBC, but possibly January 2024

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a classic American story by Judith Viorst - it was previously made into a movie starring Steve Carell and Ed Garner. This new version, which will be available on Disney+, sees Alexander and his multigenerational family embarking on a road trip (but we suspect that not everything will go to plan...)

Orion and the Dark

Big stars: Jacob Tremblay, Paul Walter Hauser, Werner Herzog
Expected release date: 2 Feburary 2024

We love Emma Yarlett's delightful picture books - you might have enjoyed the Nibbles stories, for example. Now, her book Orion and the Dark is coming to Netflix with a starry cast and a screenplay from Charlie Kaufman - the writer behind films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindConfessions of a Dangerous Mind and Being John Malkovich. So we're definitely intrigued! Orion is scared of lots of things, but especially the dark... and then one bedtime, a new visitor arrives called Dark! Will Orion be able to find light and fun in the darkness?

Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun

Big stars: TBC
Expected release date: TBC

We're probably being too optimistic including this Netflix adaptation of Tọlá Okogwu's brilliant novel in here, as we haven't heard much since the rights were picked up in 2022... but we're certainly hoping it will arrive in 2024! The film follows a teenager who learns she has powers and travels to Nigeria to learn more about her origins, only to discover a threat to her newfound magical community.

White Bird

Big stars: Helen Mirren, Gillian Anderson
Expected release date: 4 October, 2024

Will we finally get to see R. J. Palacio's novel on the big screen in 2024? White Bird has been in the works for a while and was originally expected to be published in summer 2023 - but was pushed back because of the writers' strike in the USA. The story sees a grandmother sharing stories of her life as a young Jewish girl in Nazi-occupied France.


Geek Girl

Big stars: Emily Carey, Sarah Parish, Jemima Rooper
Expected release date: TBC

We are so excited for Netflix's adaptation of Holly Smale's brilliant series! Filming took place in the summer, so we're hoping we don't have to wait too long to join Harriet Manners on her adventures, as she is spotted by a top model agent and her life turns upside down...

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder

Big stars: Emma Myers, Mathew Baynton, Anna Maxwell Martin
Expected release date: TBC

Holly Jackson's YA novel became a big hit when it was published in 2019, and we think it will make a really gripping television show when it arrives on BBC Three - filming finished in the summer, so fingers crossed it's coming soon. The story follows Pip, who decides as part of a school project to investigate the murder of a popular student and the suicide of the alleged perpetrator. She believes the real killer is still out there - but is she putting herself in danger?

The Artful Dodger

Big stars: Thomas Brodie-Sangster, David Thewlis
Expected release date: 17 January, 2024

We might be cheating a bit by including this - is Oliver Twist a children's book? But we're including it because we're really looking forward to this exciting new show, which has already aired overseas. Former Royal Navy surgeon Jack Dawkins is working as a doctor in Australia, but when his old acquaintance Fagin appears, Jack - previously known as the Artful Dodger - is forced back into a life of crime.

We're also excited about...

  • The Spiderwick Chronicles - This new television adaptation of the book by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black has been in the works for some time, but while it's due to air in the USA in 2024, there's no word on a UK release date yet. Fingers crossed!
  • The return of A Kind of Spark on CBBC and the third series of Heartstopper on Netflix
  • More from The Famous Five on CBBC - after the first episode on 9 December, we're looking forward to more episodes in 2024!
  • The new Adventures on Trains movie - but don't get too excited! It's only just been announced that M. G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman's fabulous mystery series will be adapted into a film, but we still couldn't resist including it.

Topics: Features

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