By Janeen Lewis
Pairing books with movies is an easy way to encourage reading during the winter months when it’s too wet or cold to head outside to play. While parents usually want their children to limit screen time, the silver screen may be the exception that encourages kids to read. This winter, make movies, and the books that inspire them, the double feature that hooks kids on books.
Here is a list of some books in a variety of genres that have been made into movies for kids of all ages. Many of the movies that go with these books can be checked out at the library for free. Fill your bookshelves, start the popcorn, and make it a double feature!
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
The Night at the Museum by Milan Trenc
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
Pippi Longstocking Series by Astrid Lindgren
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
Holes by Louis Sachar
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series by Jeff Kinney
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary
Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer by Megan McDonald
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp (the movie title: The Sound of Music)
American Girl Series by various authors
The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
The Chronicles of Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
The BFG by Roald Dahl
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg
The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr
Nancy Drew Series by Carolyn Keene
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
A Series of Unfortunate Events Series by Lemony Snicket
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Escape to Witch Mountain by Alexander Key
ESPECIALLY FOR TEENS
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Divergent Series by Veronica Roth
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Fantastic Beasts by J.K. Rowling
Watching movies and books hand-in-hand gives parents the opportunity to discuss books with kids. For example, you can ask questions like these:
• Which was better, the book or the movie?
• What were some differences between the book and the movie? Did you like the changes?
• Did the cast capture the personalities of the characters in the books?• How would you make the book different? How would you make the movie different?
• If you could pick any book that wasn’t already a movie, which book would it be and why? Which actors and actresses would you cast in the movie? Would you change the beginning, middle, or ending? Did the cast capture the personalities of the characters in the books?
• How would you make the book different? How would you make the movie different?
• If you could pick any book that wasn’t already a movie, which book would it be and why? Which actors and actresses would you cast in the movie? Would you change the beginning, middle, or ending?
Janeen Lewis is a mom, freelance journalist and teacher who holds a Master’s Degree in Education. Her favorite book/movie pair is Anne of Green Gables.