TV tie-in books


I love this picture.  C is ‘reading’ to H (reciting the story from memory, yes, but he recognises a few words, matches the right sections of the story to each picture and does different voices for each character.  To me, that’s absolutely a sort of reading, even though I feel the need to present the word in inverted commas as he’s not actually READING reading, as it were).  It makes me indescribably happy to see the boys independently sharing books together and although I’m not kidding myself that life will always be this rose-tinted, I’m certainly enjoying it for now.

I’m choosing to gloss over the *actual* book that C is reading.  His outfit might be sooooome sort of clue, but just in case it’s not obvious, C is OBSESSED with Fireman Sam.

I have no problem with Fireman Sam as a person (though he does seem to reside in a village with the most spectacularly careless group of people I’ve ever come across.  All good business for him, I suppose 😉 ) and I’d certainly rather C chose this to watch over some of the other options.

I do, however, have a bit of a problem with the books that tie in with the series, of which we have many.  I’m all for the boys choosing their own reading matter and the stories certainly seem to entertain C and H, but they make me want to throw things.  Hard.  At other things.

I know that the books will simply be based on various episodes of the show and that they’re not pretending to be great literature.  I’m also happy to report that C still chooses other books as well.  I suppose it’s not too bad as long as this balance is maintained and if they encourage him to love books and to read then I’m actually making a big old fuss about nothing.

The reason for this post, however, is to ask whether anyone knows of any decent TV tie-in books?  I’ve seen plenty of nice crossovers when the book has been created before the TV programme, but it seems less successful the other way around.  Can anyone put me out of my misery and correct me?  Thanks in advance!


Having published this post and tweeted about it, I have since been chatting to a few lovely fellow book enthusiasts on Twitter and their thoughts have prompted me to write an update.

A few people were reminiscing about books from their own childhood that had been based on TV series and I remembered that I had very fond memories of such books myself.  Amongst my loft treasures I found these little gems…

OK, so the above book was actually M’s, but what’s his is mine, right? 😉



(Sorry about the neck-tilting required with this photo – it will not be rotated for love nor money and I simply couldn’t leave out my beloved Puddle Lane books!)

Watching a television programme that captures your imagination can be wonderful and if you are then allowed to immerse yourself further in this world through books, then the magic continues.  If your siblings and/or friends are also keen on the same series, then it becomes a shared experience and something that can form a sentimental part of childhood.  The popularity of ITV’s retro kids’ TV extravaganza last weekend is testament to this and maybe in 30 years C and H will be watching reruns of Fireman Sam with similarly nostalgic joy (then digging out the tie-in books from their own loft treasures!).

I’d still like to find some beautifully executed TV tie-ins, but in the meantime, I’ll indulge the boys’ Pontypandy passion as a more meaningful part of our reading.



  1. Not having a TV I can’t suggest anything personally, but this recent post from @mstick68 (Ali) might be of interest:

    1. Thanks, Zoe, it’s kind of you to share this. I watched the programme as well and am delighted to hear that a brilliant book has come out of it. A few people have suggested titles that might also be worth investigating and I’m looking forward to checking them out.

      On a related note, I’d be interested to know what response Nosy Crow have had to their picture book based on the John Lewis snowman commercial, as it’s the first time I’ve heard of a book being based on an advertisement!

  2. I think the best book/tv tie ins are those ones where the book comes first (just like movies). The recent Gruffalo tv special comes to mind as do the Paddington tv shows. The Charlie and Lola books also fall into this category as do the original Thomas books. The books born from tv shows are imminently less successful! (btw, how did you get that Fireman Sam hat to fit? Our one is a piece of junk! Also, I’ve found the Fireman Sam audio books to be a welcome alternative to the tv).

  3. […] month or so ago, I posted here about books that are created off the back of television series (as opposed to TV series which are […]

  4. […] blog to add the Abney and Teal books to the Rainbow Library wish list and I came across her previous tv tie-in post where she […]

  5. […] including the books and the television series (you can read my previous posts about this subject here and here) – C found it very hard to grasp that a book wasn’t always the original source […]

  6. […] previously written about TV tie-in books here and here, I was over the moon to find that the Octonauts series had been based on some pretty […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: