Great Children’s Books we’ve adapted for the stage (for now…)

Jul 6, 2017 | Posts

Each year, NYCCT produces world premiere productions, most of which are based on books for children of all ages! Take a look at all of the books that have inspired some of our productions. Want to check any of them out? 

The Emperor's New Clothes - NYC Children's Theater Show

The Emperor’s New Clothes and More Magical Stories
inspired by the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen

This enchanting collection, retold by writer and critic Naomi Lewis, contains twelve of Hans Christian Andersen’s magnificent stories. It includes The Emperor’s New Clothes, the tale of a man who cares only for his appearance. With a new introduction by award-winning picture-book creator Jan Pienkowski.

This is Sadie - NYC Children's Theater Show

This is Sadie
based on the book by Sara O’Leary

Sadie is a little girl with a big imagination. She has been a girl who lived under the sea and a boy raised by wolves. She has had adventures in wonderland and visited the world of fairytales. For Sadie, the world is so full of wonderful possibilities. This is Sadie, and this is her story.

Laurie Berkner's Pillowland - NYC Children's Theater Show

Laurie Berkner’s Pillowland
based on the song by Laurie Berkner

Laurie Berkner, “the queen of children’s music” (People), pairs the lyrics of her beloved hit with Camille Garoche’s gentle illustrations in this winning bedtime picture book—a must-have for fans of Laurie’s music and all things soft and sweet.

Interstellar Cinderella Nyc Childrens Theater Show

Interstellar Cinderella
based on the book by Deborah Underwood

When the prince’s ship has mechanical trouble, someone will have to zoom to the rescue! Readers will thank their lucky stars for this irrepressible fairy tale retelling, its independent heroine, and its stellar happy ending.

The Little Red Fish - NYC Children's Theater Show

The Little Red Fish
based on the book by Tae-Eun Yoo

After falling asleep in the library, a young boy awakens to find that his little red fish has gone missing and wonders whether it has ventured into a special red book on the shelf, in the hopes of having a grand adventure of his very own.

A Beautiful Warrior

A Beautiful Warrior
based on the book BEAUTIFUL WARRIOR: THE LEGEND OF THE NUN’S KUNG FU by Emily Arnold McCully

This is the dramatic, multilayered story of two legendary women warriors, Wu Mei, the “beautiful warrior”, and her most famous pupil, Mingyi, set in the vibrant colors of China.

The Upside Down Boy

The Upside Down Boy
based on the book THE UPSIDE DOWN BOY/EL NINO DE CABEZA by Juan Felipe Herrera

In this bilingual book, Juanito describes how he loved his life in the country and feels like he doesn’t fit in when his migrant family settles down to allow him to attend school.

Wanda's Monster - NYC Children's Theater Show

Wanda’s Monster
based on the book by Eileen Spinelli

Wanda is afraid there’s a monster in her closet. Her mom and dad say there’s no such thing. But Granny, listening at the closet door, says, “Yep, I do believe there’s one in there.” Granny actually she feels sorry for the monster!

Dear Albert Einstein Nyc Childrens Theater Show

Young Charles Dickens 
based on the book A BOY CALLED DICKENS by Deborah Hopkinson

As a child, Dickens was forced to live on his own and work long hours in a rat-infested blacking factory. Readers will be drawn into the winding streets of London, where they will learn how Dickens got the inspiration for many of his characters.

Derek Christopher Murphy In Love That Dog

Love That Dog
based on the book by Sharon Creech

Love That Dog shows how one boy named Jack finds his voice with the help of a teacher, a pencil, some yellow paper, and of course, a dog. Written as a series of free-verse poems from Jack’s point of view, and with classic poetry included in the back matter, this novel is perfect for kids and teachers, too.

A Band Of Angels (2015) - NYC Children's Theater Show

A Band of Angels
based on the book by Deborah Hopkinson

Founded for former slaves in 1866, Fisk School (now Fisk University) had to struggle to survive its early years. Hopkinson tells the fictionalized story of Ella Sheppard, pianist for the Jubilee Singers, who went on tour to raise money for their school and were instrumental introducing spirituals to the world.

Please Bring Balloons (2017) Nyc Childrens Theater Show

Please Bring Balloons
based on the book by Lindsay Ward

Ever wondered what it would be like to ride a carousel right off its platform?  As Emma discovers, all it takes is a handful of balloons and a very kind polar bear to show you the way.  This soaring story of friendship, between a carousel bear and the little girl who noticed him, will take readers to the arctic and back—in time for bedtime, of course—and remind them anything is possible.  Even flying.

Wringer Nyc Childrens Theater Show

based on the book by Jerry Spinelli

In Palmer LaRue’s hometown of Waymer, turning ten is the biggest event of a boy’s life. But for Palmer, his tenth birthday is not something to look forward to, but something to dread. Then one day, a visitor appears on his windowsill, and Palmer knows that this, more than anything else, is a sign that his time is up. Somehow, he must learn how to stop being afraid and stand up for what he believes in.

Sky Boys

Sky Boys
based on the book SKY BOYS: HOW THEY BUILT THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING by Deborah Hopkinson

A riveting brick-by-brick account of how one of the most amazing accomplishments in American architecture came to be. Join a young boy as he watches the Empire State Building being constructed from scratch, then travels to the top to look down on all of New York City in 1931.

A Shelter In Our Car

A Shelter in Our Car
based on the book by Monica Gunning

Zettie and her Mama left their warm and comfortable home in Jamaica for an uncertain life in the United Sates. With Papa gone, Mama can’t find a steady job that will sustain them and so they are forced to live in their car. But Mama’s unwavering love, support, and gutsy determination give Zettie the confidence that, together, she and her mother can meet all challenges.

Ballerina Swan (2015) Nyc Childrens Theater Show

Ballerina Swan
based on the book by Allegra Kent

From her pond in the city park, sophie, a swan, loves to watch the dancers in Madam Myrtle’s Studio. She longs to join them, but Madam shoos her away. Then one day a much jollier teacher, Miss Willow, comes to class. Although Sopie is feathered, winged, and webbed, Miss Willow permits her to stay. When the school performs Swan Lake, the part of the swan seems perfect for Sophie–but she can only hope she’ll make the cast.

The Butterfly

The Butterfly
based on the book by Patricia Polacco

Ever since the Nazis marched into Monique’s small French village, terrorizing it, nothing surprises her, until the night Monique encounters the little ghost sitting at the end of her bed. She turns out to be a girl named Sevrine, who has been hiding from the Nazis in Monique’s basement. Playing after dark, the two become friends, until, in a terrifying moment, they are discovered, sending both of their families into a nighttime flight.

Ben Laxton In The Amazing Adventures Of Harvey And The Princess

The Amazing Adventures of Harvey and the Princess
based on the book HARVEY, THE CHILD MIME by Loryn Brantz

Harvey is a child mime. Every day he goes to the docks to perform for the crowds. On this particular day, during this particular act, he must have been performing the very best invisible box he ever had, because two workers at the dock mistook his box for one of their own and loaded him on to a cargo ship! Harvey the Child Mime follows Harvey’s adventure as his invisible box is shipped overseas. He makes friends, teaches life lessons, and even becomes a jelly fish along the way

Tea With Chachaji

Tea with Chachaji
based on the book CHACHAJI’S CUP by Uma Krishnaswami

Neel loves listening to Chachaji’s many stories over steaming cups of tea. Chachaji’s tales of great Hindu gods and demons and of his adventures in the Indian Army leave Neel openmouthed. But it is the tale of his great-uncle’s favorite teacup that teaches Neel the most, for Chachaji’s cup holds far more than sweet, spicy masala chai. When the precious cup and Chachaji’s health both prove to be more fragile than they look, Neel knows what he must do.

's Dream

Appelemando’s Dreams
based on the book by Patricia Polacco


Appelemando loves to dream! The villagers think he will never amount to much, but his friends know better. They can see his dreams drift up from the top of his head and float into the sky. Then, one rainy day, Appelemando’s dreams are blown onto all the wet walls and roofs of the town, covering the houses and stores with fantastic pictures!

Little Kit

Little Kit
based on the book LITTLE KIT, OR, THE INDUSTRIOUS FLEA CIRCUS GIRL by Emily Arnold McCully

Kit is an orphan girl in Victorian London, selling flowers from dawn to dusk just to survive. When a showman mistakes her for a boy and offers her a job, Kit sees this as her opportunity to start a new life. Along the way, she encounters dashing adventures–and a cast of characters as quirky and memorable as the one and only Industrious Flea Circus.

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