Let’s face it: the quality of children’s programming is not always up to a high standard. While TV entertainment doesn’t need to be 100% educational or worthwhile, I think it’s safe to say that most parents or adults would prefer it if our children (or younger relatives) would watch TV programming that is at least appropriate for them—and if it gets them interested in new ideas and hobbies, that’s a great bonus!
It’s not unusual for children’s TV shows to be based on books. After all, that is one of the easiest ways for producers to get source material for new series or new episodes. But which TV shows for children based on books have you probably been overlooking? Let’s look at some underrated, but completely worthwhile, TV shows based on a kid’s book series.
David the Gnome, which was based on a children’s book called “The Secret Book of Gnomes,” originally aired in Spain. It was later aired in English speaking countries. The show focused on (as you might expect!) a gnome called David, who lived with his fellow gnomes in the countryside. In this series, gnomes are being harassed by trolls and the increasing presence of humans, who leave behind trash and change the ecosystem of the forests, gardens and farms on which gnomes live. The show had a great environmental message without being too heavy-handed, and children will no doubt grow to love David, the wise and loveable gnome.
Some readers might be familiar with the quirky, out there 80s movie which starred Fairuza Balk, Charlotte Rae, and Tim Curry. Both the TV series and that 80s movie were based on the same source material: “The Worst Witch” by Jill Murphy.
The Worst Witch was actually a book series which had, at the time of the TV show’s airing, four books: The Worst Witch, The Worst Witch Strikes Again, A Bad Spell for the Worst Witch, and The Worst Witch at Sea.
The TV series often took storylines from these charming books, which center on Mildred Hubble, a well-meaning but bumbling witch at Cackle’s Academy for Witchcraft. Children may love to identify with Mildred, who—despite all her efforts at school—still seems to mess things up! The TV series is well-made, fairly well acted, and will be a delight for children.