Pop Culture Picture Books

May 20, 2022 | Katherine McG

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Have you ever wanted to share your favourite movie or TV show with your kids, but you were afraid that it wasn't age appropriate or that they were too young to really appreciate it? Well, maybe you can't show it to them, but thanks to these books, you can read it with them!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Jason Rekulak and illustrated by Kim Smith, based on the series created by Joss Whedon

 

In recent years, many ultra-popular films and shows have been reimagined as children's literature. Picture books based on some fan favourites have been created as both individual titles and part of the Pop Classics series. This makes these pieces of pop culture more accessible to children. And they give fandoms (people who are united by their love of a particular fictional world) a new way to enjoy their favourites.

The books based on films are usually basic retellings of the stories. They stay pretty true to the original plot, although sometimes plot points are removed or simplified to make the stories more kid-friendly.

On the other hand, picture books based on TV shows often contain newly created stories. Instead of recounting one or two episodes, the writers put the characters in new (although sometimes vaguely familiar) situations. Quite often, the characters are also reimagined as children. This can help the younger reader relate to them. Plus their fans, both young and old, can see beloved characters in a whole new way.

In a picture book, images and words work hand-in-hand to tell the story. In a pop culture picture book, they also celebrate the characters and original stories that inspired their creation.

The illustrations in these books are fantastic! They contain so many Easter eggs, hidden references to classic lines and cherished characters. So while some readers can just laugh at the book's silly stories, others can delight in finding all of the inside jokes. For fans, it's like playing a game of "Where's Waldo?" (or should that be "Find Smelly Cat"?).

Here are some of the pop culture picture books that we currently have at TPL:

 

Movies

Back to the Future by Kim Smith

Back to the Future by Kim Smith; based on the film written by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale and directed by Zemeckis

 

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial by Jim Thomas and Kim Smith

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: The Classic Illustrated Storybook adapted by Jim K. Thomas and illustrated by Kim Smith; based on the film written by Melissa Mathison and directed by Steven Speilberg

 

Home Alone: The Classic Illustrated Storybook

Home Alone: The Classic Illustrated Storybook adapted by Jason Rekulak, Rick Chillot, and Blair Thornburgh and illustrated by Kim Smith; based on the film written by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus

 

Home Alone 2 Lost in New York

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York by Rebecca Gyllenhaal and illustrated by Kim Smith; based on the film written by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus

 

The Karate Kid adapted by Rebecca Gyllenhaal and Kim Smith

The Karate Kid adapted by Rebecca Gyllenhaal and illustrated by Kim Smith; based on the film written by Robert Mark Kamen and directed by John G. Avildsen

 

TV Shows

Doctor Who The Runaway Tardis

Doctor Who: The Runaway Tardis adapted by Rebecca Gyllenhaal and illustrated by Kim Smith

 

Life is Better with FRIENDS

Life is Better with Friends by Micol Ostow

 

The Office A Day at Dunder Mifflin Elementary

The Office: A Day in the Life of Dunder Mifflin Elementary by Robb Pearlman and illustrated by Melanie Demmer

 

Parks and Recreation Leslie for Class President

Parks and Recreation: Leslie for Class President! by Robb Pearlman and illustrated by Melanie Demmer

 

The X-Files Earth Children Are Weird

The X-files: Earth Children are Weird by Jason Rekulak and illustrated by Kim Smith

 

Now that you know that there's a new way to "read the screen," which pop culture picture book are you going to read first?

If you are a big pop culture fan like I am, check out our You Oughta Be in Picture Books: Celebrity Authors post to find some books written by the stars!

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