DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!

movie adaptations

For me, there is one Disney princess that stands out from the rest and that is Belle from Beauty and the Beast.  I identify with her because she is a princess who reads. I also like how the movie discusses appreciating people for who they are as opposed to what they look like.Belle

Bob Thomas, in his book Disney’s Art of Animation, discusses Walt Disney’s beginnings in film with characters such as Mickey Mouse and Snow White (the first princess). Last Christmas, I watched a documentary about how Snow White was made into the first feature film for Walt Disney. It discussed in length the process of getting to the finished result.  The journey continued after Walt Disney passed on with The Little Mermaid and then Beauty and the BeastThe Little Mermaid was the first feature made after Walk passed and Beauty and the Beast the second. Thomas goes onto to share the updates of animation and storyboarding in the process of making Beauty and the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast was adapted from the original story by Ms. Jean Marie Leprince De Beaumont.  We have some versions of the translation here at the library. In the original, there was no Gaston or animated inanimate objects that acted like servants.  Did you know that Belle actually had sisters?  These sisters were considered Belle’s enemy instead of Gaston.  The character of the beast is different as well.  He was more polite and not like the Disney version of the  character. Beauty and the BeastThe finished product  of  1991 Beauty and the Beast is a personal favorite of mine.  It is also a DVD we carry in the DCPL system.   I still remember all the words to songs like “Belle” or “Be Our Guest.”  I revisited the movie over the weekend and enjoyed it just as much as the first time seeing it in the theater.  We have a special edition DVD of the 1991 movie which includes a preview of the live action Beauty and the Beast that is in theaters now.

Be Our Guest and check out these fabulous books and media about Beauty and the Beast:

Beauty and the Beast 1991 movie

Beauty and the Beast soundtrack

DISNEY’S ART OF ANIMATION:  From Mickey Mouse to  Beauty and the Beast by Bob Thomas

Beauty and the Beast by Ms. Jean Marie Leprince De Beaumont (There are also other versions of this story in the DeKalb Library System)

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast by A.L. Singer


Apr 19 2016

Monkey Town, U.S.A.

by Hope L


While reading the latest issue of my favorite DCPL mag, Smithsonian, I learned that one can still visit Monkey Town, U.S.A. ( actually Dayton, Tennessee), where they celebrate annually one of the most controversial trials in our nation’s history.

“Pretty much every summer since 1988, this tiny Appalachian town (pop. 7,200) has roused itself to celebrate that publicity stunt gone viral.  The Scopes Trial Festival, held over two weekends in July, features live bluegrass, tractor and craft shows, and a fried-Oreo food truck.  A storyteller spins his tales like a barker at a sideshow.  The centerpiece of the festival is a town-commissioned musical, Front Page News, which re-enacts the trial in the vast courtroom where it was held.

The play, performed by members of the nearby Cumberland County Playhouse, is essentially a rebuttal to Inherit the Wind ( both the DVD of the film starring Spencer Tracy and the book by the same name are available at DCPL).  The Hollywood version of the trial is widely loathed in Dayton, and the Front Page News does hew much more closely to the court transcript.”

Both the book and the DVD are available at DCPL.




Comic books have had a huge positive impact on my life. As a child of 7 or 8, I would visit the gas station at the edge of my neighborhood on a weekly basis to buy a couple of comics with my meager allowance earned by completing household chores. Pouring over these weekly purchases expanded my vocabulary, sharpened my reading comprehension skills, and whet my appetite for more. By the third grade I was reading at a level well above my peers, and though I eventually progressed to lengthier novels, I continued to read comic books regularly, all the way into high school. As such, I have a permanent place in my heart for comic books and was incredibly pleased and excited when movie adaptations of my favorite titles began to be released. The transition of those superheroes onto the big screen and into mainstream pop culture resulted in a whole new generation of fans. Sadly though, many of these new fans have never been exposed to the comic books that the films they’ve grown to love were adapted from.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Winter Soldier coverDCPL not only carries many of the recent superhero film adaptations, but frequently we also carry the corresponding print comic book titles in our Young Adult and Adult Graphic Novel collections. In many cases, the story ideas and even titles for the film adaptations were directly inspired by their print predecessors. A good example is the recently released Captain America: The Winter Soldier, much of which is based on the comic by Ed Brubaker of the same name. Others films may draw from their ancestral comic series more generally, although they’ll often contain allusions and references that old school fans will pick up and delight in. While there are far too many DVDs and comic series for me to enumerate on this blog, I’ve posted a sampling of some of the most recent films and some of the corresponding comics below. If you are interested in more titles from a particular superhero or superhero team, ask a librarian for assistance, or just try searching the catalog for yourself; both movies and comic books can typically be pulled up with a title search.

Essential X-men
You’ve seen the movie: X-Men: Days of Future Past

Now read the comic book!: Essential X-Men


You’ve seen the movie: Iron Man 3Invincible Iron Man

Now read the comic book!: Invincible Iron Man

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May 27 2014

2013 Bram Stoker Award Winners

by Jesse M

bsawinners2013A couple of weekends ago, the Horror Writers Association handed out its annual Bram Stoker Awards at the World Horror Convention in Portland. In all, fourteen haunted-house statuettes were awarded to the writers responsible for creating superior works of horror in 2013. Notable recipients included Stephen King and R.L. Stine. You can view the full list of winners here.

Stephen King won in the “Superior Achievement in a NOVEL” category for Doctor Sleep (a sequel to his 1977 novel The Shining). King, arguably one of the most well-known writers of popular fiction alive today, is famous for the plethora of his novels that have been adapted into successful films, including The Shining, Stand by Me, and The Shawshank Redemption, among many others.

R.L. Stine was one of two people honored with a lifetime achievement award (the other was editor Stephen Jones). This prestigious award is given in recognition of the recipient’s overall body of work. Throughout R.L. Stine’s lengthy career he has written fiction for kids, teens, and adults, and is responsible for the very popular Goosebumps series, among many others (including Fear Street, Mostly Ghostly, The Nightmare Room, and Rotten School series).

You can view a video of the awards ceremony here.

Horror fans may be interested to know that next year’s awards will be held here in Atlanta.


Jul 12 2013

ShareReads: A View From the Peanut Gallery

by Veronica W


For anyone who loves sci-fi and/or fantasy, the Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins was a treat. It held you enthralled until the very end and when the movie came out, it was greeted with cheers. Although I didn’t go to the movies to see it, I didn’t want to be number 328 in line for a library copy either. So, when I found it on sale, I grabbed a copy. Big mistake. The book was wonderful; the movie, in my opinion, not so much. Even on sale, I felt it cost me too much.

FredericaAs I read my way leisurely through the summer, I can’t help thinking sometimes “What a great movie this book or that book would be!”  I even select the cast for them. A friend and I lament continually about the injustice of Jane Austen’s many works being made into movies (which we love) while the fans of the prolific and wonderful Georgette Heyer must make do with rereading her books over and over again.  (I know, literary elitists will be appalled that we would compare the two). However for those who often find it tiring to read Austen but love the regency era, Heyer’s works are clever, witty, true to the times and darn good reading. I would recommend starting with Frederica.

motherrainwaterThis summer, in addition to rereading Heyer, I have been drawn to fiction about the Dust Bowl during the depression era and can recommend two very good books. Mother Road, by Dorothy Garlock, has everything you need for some lightweight, on-the-beach reading, as does Rainwater by Sandra Brown. They have drama, history, suspense, action and romance. Also, they would both make great movies.

Have you ever been disappointed in a book’s transition to the big screen? Is there a book you feel screams to be made into a movie? Let me know. I have Warner Bros. studio on speed dial.


Mar 21 2012

Feeding your hunger

by Dea Anne M

Regular readers of this blog probably already know that my posts often involve food and you might assume from the title of this post that this one is more of the same. Well…surprise—it’s not! By “hunger” I’m referring to this coming weekend’s release of the eagerly awaited film version of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. The book is, of course, the first in Collins’ wonderful dystopian trilogy (which includes Catching Fire and Mockingjay) in which ruling powers demand a yearly “tribute”—a girl and a boy selected by lottery from each of twelve districts. The twenty-four tributes are expected to fight each other to the death in a televised (required viewing, no less) gladiatorial-style contest until only one is left standing. The trilogy’s primary character is Katniss Everdeen – a brave and emotionally complicated young woman who is sometimes infuriating but always (in my opinion) remarkable. I’ve heard some equate the success of the Hunger Games series with that of Stephanie Meyers’  Twilight books. Both series have been hugely popular but they are, I think, really nothing alike. Certainly there’s a strong romantic sub-plot in the books but it definitely takes a back seat to the rest of the action. Needless to say, I’m eager to see the film which features Jennifer  Lawrence (as Katniss), Woody Harrelson, and  Stanley Tucci among many others.

To celebrate the release of the film, the Stonecrest branch of DCPL will be hosting a Hunger Games Release Party on Saturday, March 24 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The party will feature “training stations” where teens can test their skills in archery, plant identification, and trivia; crafts; refreshments; and a prize drawing. Remember, attendance is limited to the first 25 teens so do keep that in mind if you plan to celebrate with us at Stonecrest. The Decatur branch will also be celebrating the film release with a Hunger Games Trivia event featuring  pizza and prizes this Thursday, March 22, from 4:30-5:30. The event will be held in the Decatur Meeting Room and attendance is limited to the first 25 participants.

Are you going to celebrate the release of the Hunger Games film and, if so, how?


Nov 11 2011

A Plum of a Movie

by Amanda L

Over a decade ago, I was looking for a light read when a coworker suggested reading Janet Evanovich’s One for the Money. I must admit that the premise grabbed me at once because of my previous career. I used to work in retail security and my main job was to catch shoplifters. The main character, Stephanie Plum, is a bounty hunter for her cousin Vinny’s bail bondsman company. Stephanie’s job is to round up the people that Vinny throws her way and take them back to jail.

Janet Evanovich introduces a wide variety of, shall we say, interesting characters. Stephanie has two love interests that are always intersecting her life and job. There is Joe Morelli, a pretty straight laced cop who went to high school with Stephanie. Her other love interest is the not so kosher Ranger who is also a bounty hunter. Her family has a wide variety of characters, but my favorite is grandma. You never know what she will do or how she might potentially embarrass Stephanie. Each book in the series has a variety of mystery and murder (not to mention the different cars that are blown up…).

About ten years ago, I remember reading that someone had purchased the rights to the Stephanie Plum books to turn into movies. At that time, fans were deciding who would play which character. The one person that stood out for me was Estelle Getty to play grandma. Fast forward today, the movie is actually turning into reality. They have announced that Kathryn Heigl will be playing Stephanie, Debbie Reynolds will be playing grandma, Daniel Sunjata as Ranger and Jason O’Mara as Joe.

Here is the trailer for the upcoming movie.


For those of you who have not heard of this series, the Library has all seventeen titles of the series. For those Evanovich fans, what do you think about the casting? Who would you have liked to have seen as Stephanie, Joe, Ranger, Lulu or grandma?


Oct 12 2011

Don’t Panic!

by Joseph M

On Monday’s blog post we looked at a list of the top 100 scifi and fantasy novels as compiled by users of NPR’s website.  Today I’d like to talk about the book that came in at second place: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

First published as a novel on October 12, 1979, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy started out as a BBC radio comedy and has since been adapted into a variety of other mediums, including a stage play, several TV adaptations, a computer game, a comic book series, and a major Hollywood film.  It also led to the other books in the Hitchhiker’s “trilogy”: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe; Life, The Universe, and Everything; So Long and Thanks for All The Fish, and Mostly Harmless.  The series follows the adventures of hapless protagonist Arthur Dent and his companions, and can be conveniently enjoyed in a single volume, available at the library.

I have a great personal fondness for the series, and I hope you enjoy it too!

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This week I have a real treat for all of you fantasy fans. Peter Jackson, acclaimed director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy of films, has unveiled the first in a series of behind-the-scenes production videos from the set of his newest Tolkien adaptation, The Hobbit.

The Hobbit, along with The Silmarillion, served as prequels to the more well-known Lord of the Rings trilogy authored by J.R.R. Tolkien. Unlike the Silmarillion and the LOTR trilogy, The Hobbit is written with a younger audience in mind (although adults will enjoy it too!). The film is scheduled to be released in late 2012, so you have plenty of time to familiarize yourself with the book beforehand. And if you can’t wait to see Bilbo and all the rest come to life on screen, you can always check out the animated adaptation. Pick up a copy at your local library!

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Oct 21 2009

The Magic of Children’s Literature

by Jnai W

Right now many adults are revisiting (and perhaps introducing their kids to) the 1963 classic Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, thanks largely to the new film adaptation of the book from director Spike Jonze. From the critics salivating over the new film to readers and scholars with fond memories of Sendak’s book, most fans agree that Where The Wild Things Are is impeccable in its celebration of childhood imagination and groundbreaking in its recognition of childhood angst and anger, even. But you can troll the web yourself for in-depth critical analysis of the book–I’ll try to steer clear of all of that.

In my day-to-day library work, I’m often stumbling onto old childhood favorites of mine, books that resonated for one reason or another. Here are a few of the ones that are truly special to me:

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale by John Steptoe: I remember truly enjoying this book, not for the intriguing Cinderella-esque story alone but also because of Steptoe’s gorgeous and evocative illustrations. The thing that struck me most about the artwork was that it seemed to have so much richness and texture. The illustrations had this quality about them that made me want to reach out and touch the characters.

Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard: To this day, this book reminds me of my 4th grade teacher Miss Armstrong. She was a very sweet lady but my class sort of took her kindness for weakness. Miss Armstrong would have done well to have a raven-haired alter ego like Miss Viola Swamp, with scary make-up and even scarier temperament.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats: As a kid growing up in Atlanta, where the snowy days are few and far between, it was a real treat reading about the travails of little Peter in the beautifully snow-covered city.

Also, I’ve found some great adult books that celebrate the works of some of the great authors of children’s literature:

The Art of Maurice Sendak by Selma G. Lanes: This book is a smorgasbord for Sendak fans that features essays on his life, his career and his body of work as an illustrator and author. My favorite things about this book so far are the pages (three foldout pages!) of his brilliant artwork and a facsimile of “Where The Wild Horses Are“, the prototype of what would become the aforementioned Sendak masterpiece.

The Art of Eric Carle: This incredible book reflects upon the life and the art of legendary (and one of my favorite) children’s author Eric Carle. Much like Carle’s stunning book illustrations and artwork, this book is multi-textured and very colorful, an insightful collage of autobiography, essays and tributes from his peers and admirers.

Do you remember your favorite books from childhood? What are the qualities that make these books truly special?