LET’S face it, who doesn’t love getting curled up on the couch with a stash of Christmas chocs and the latest festive TV?

Alongside the usual new Doctor Who and Strictly Christmas specials, the festive season always brings with it a raft of new TV adaptations of much-loved books.

And 2019 is no different with everything from the now-traditional animated offering from former Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson (The Snail and the Whale) to a new all-star version of arguably the greatest Christmas book ever written, A Christmas Carol. Here Wendy Molyneux, LiveWire’s strategic library manager, looks ahead to what we’ve got to look forward to.


BBC One, December 22 to 24

Warrington Guardian:

Bah humbug. I’m sure everyone is familiar with A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens’ timeless 19th century novel of a miserly, selfish old man, Ebenezer Scrooge, who hates Christmas. One cold Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited first by his dead, business partner, Jacob Marley and then, in turn, by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. The ghosts’ journey through time teaches Scrooge the error of his mean-spirited ways and he is transformed into a kind, gentle man who pledges to evermore honour ‘Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year’. I can’t wait to see this new haunting, hallucinatory screen version starring the always reliable Guy Pearce as Scrooge and with a great supporting cast including Charlotte Riley, Stephen Graham and Andy Serkis.


BBC One, Boxing Day and December 27

It’s fantastic to see that Barbara Euphan Todd’s iconic character, Worzel Gummidge, is returning to our television screens this Christmas with not one but two adaptations. This means there will be double fun and laughter when we are transported to Ten-Acre Field in the village of Scatterbrook.

John and Susan move to the countryside with their dad (after having recently lost their mum).

Once they get over the shock of meeting a walking-talking scarecrow they soon befriend Worzel who transforms their lives with his clumsy antics and good-natured ways.


BBC One, Christmas Day

Warrington Guardian:

When it comes to children’s picture books, I love the rhyming stories created by Julia Donaldson and beautifully illustrated by Alex Scheffler. The Snail and the Whale – the story of a tiny, itchy-footed snail who hitches a ride around the world with a humpback whale – is one of my favourites. It’s an excellent way for children to learn about the natural environment as the pair go on an incredible journey. The snail feels so small in the vastness of the big, wide world but when disaster strikes and the whale is beached in a bay it is the snail who saves the day. The Snail and the Whale, a delightful tale of adventure and friendship, is one not to be missed for young families.


BBC One, Boxing Day

A snowy, Christmassy story from the master storyteller, Michael Morpurgo. Mimi and the Mountain Dragon is a story about a village that quakes in fear of the mighty Mountain Dragon who lives high up in the mountains of Switzerland. Her fire sets the trees ablaze in summer and her shaking rage causes the avalanches in the winter. The villagers are terrified, then a young girl called Mimi finds a lost baby dragon in her family’s woodshed. Unafraid Mimi sets off on a perilous journey to return the baby to her mother – a bold decision that affects the village forever. A lovely story of bravery and friendship.


BBC Four, Christmas Eve

Warrington Guardian:

Martin’s Close, an unsettling, hair-raising tale of unrequited love, is just one of the chilling ghost stories written by M. R. James. It is set in 17th century London. The week before Christmas, Squire Martin is on trial for his life. His crime? The murder of a young girl with learning difficulties called Ann Clark. Presiding over the case is the infamous ‘Hanging Judge’, Lord Chief Justice, George Jeffreys. Is Squire Martin found guilty or is he acquitted? Told in the form of a report of the trial, Martin’s Close will definitely send a shiver down your spine.


Channel 4, Christmas Eve

The Tiger Who Came to Tea is one of Britain’s best-loved children’s picture books. An ageless classic written by Judith Kerr, it is the story of a very unusual teatime guest. Sophie and her mother are just sitting down to tea when the doorbell rings. The last thing they expect to see is a big, furry, stripy tiger – who is hungry. What do tigers eat for tea? Anything and everything. When he is full, the tiger says ‘good-bye’ and leaves.

The next day Sophie and her mum go to the supermarket and buy an extra-large tin of tiger food...but will he come back?

All the books and many more can be found in Warrington’s libraries