Looking for new ways to get your kids to read more books? Try sharing one that has been turned into a movie! Reading children’s books that have been turned into movies can entice your most reluctant readers. As a bonus, they provide ample opportunities to compare and contrast the two. Not only am I sharing some of my favorite books & movie adaptations, but I also have a fun popcorn craft you can pair with them.
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CHILDREN’S BOOKS THAT HAVE BEEN TURNED INTO MOVIES
Not sure where to start? Here are some picture books and chapter books that have been made into movies. Click on any of the images below to learn more OR click here to find these books and movies on Amazon.
NOTE: If you’re planning to share a movie with your students, make sure you preview it first AND have permission to show it in your classroom.
THE POLAR EXPRESS
A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical train to the North Pole. Through dark forests, over tall mountains, and across a barren desert of ice, the Polar Express makes its way to the huge city standing alone at the top of the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish.
CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS
The tiny town of Chewandswallow was very much like any other tiny town—except for its weather which came three times a day, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
But it never rained rain and it never snowed snow and it never blew just wind. It rained things like soup and juice. It snowed things like mashed potatoes. And sometimes the wind blew in storms of hamburgers.
Life for the townspeople was delicious until the weather took a turn for the worse. The food got larger and larger and so did the portions. Chewandswallow was plagued by damaging floods and storms of huge food. The town was a mess and the people feared for their lives.
Something had to be done, and in a hurry.
Grab some activities to pair with the book here.
CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!
BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE
One summer’s day, ten-year-old India Opal Buloni goes down to the local supermarket for some groceries—and comes home with a dog. But Winn-Dixie is no ordinary dog. It’s because of Winn-Dixie that Opal begins to make friends. And it’s because of Winn-Dixie that she finally dares to ask her father about her mother, who left when Opal was three. In fact, as Opal admits, just about everything that happens that summer is because of Winn-Dixie. Grab some activities to pair with the book here.
ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY
Alexander could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. He went to sleep with gum in his mouth and woke up with gum in his hair. When he got out of bed, he tripped over his skateboard and by mistake dropped his sweater in the sink while the water was running. He could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Nothing at all was right. Everything went wrong, right down to lima beans for supper and kissing on TV.
What do you do on a day like that? Well, you may think about going to Australia. You may also be glad to find that some days are like that for other people too.
THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE
Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.
Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.
Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she’s just a nuisance. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. It’ll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves and Matilda may be just the one to do it!
The game under the tree looked like a hundred others Peters and Judy had at home. But they were searching for something interesting to do, so they decided to give Jumanji a try. Little did they know when they unfolded its ordinary-looking playing board that they were about to be launched into the most exciting and bizarre adventure of their lives…
August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Beginning from Auggie’s point of view and expanding to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others, the perspectives converge to form a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope.
FANTASTIC MR. FOX
Someone’s been stealing from the three meanest farmers around, and they know the identity of the thief—it’s Fantastic Mr. Fox! Working alone they could never catch him; but now fat Boggis, squat Bunce, and skinny Bean have joined forces, and they have Mr. Fox and his family surrounded. What they don’t know is that they’re not dealing with just any fox—Mr. Fox would rather die than surrender. Only the most fantastic plan can save him now. Grab some activities to pair with the book here.
Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.
It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth.
CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG
Clifford is big and red, but most of all, Clifford knows how to be a good friend! Like other dogs, Clifford sometimes chases cars; unlike other dogs, Clifford catches them. Like other dogs, Clifford digs in the garden; but while other dogs may dig up a few flowers, Clifford can dig up a whole tree. Also like other dogs, Clifford chases cats—big cats, like lions! When Clifford messes up, he messes up big time!
LYLE, LYLE CROCODILE
Lyle the crocodile lives in a house on East 88th Street in New York City. He enjoys helping the Primm family with everyday chores, and playing with the neighborhood kids.
He’s the happiest crocodile any home ever had…until one neighbor insists that Lyle belongs in a zoo! Mr. Grumps and his cat, Loretta, don’t like crocodiles, and everything Lyle does to win them over seems to go wrong.
It will take all of Lyle’s charm—and courage—to reveal the hero, and friend, behind the big, crocodile smile.
THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN
Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
When Max dresses in his wolf suit and causes havoc in the house, his mother sends him to bed. From there, Max sets sail to an island inhabited by the Wild Things, who name him king and share a wild rumpus with him. But then from far away across the world, Max smells good things to eat…
Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That’s because he’s being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he’s really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.
Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Born to a family of humans, he lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. Though he’s shy and thoughtful, he’s also a true lover of adventure.
Stuart’s greatest adventure comes when his best friend, a beautiful little bird named Margalo, disappears from her nest. Determined to track her down, Stuart ventures away from home for the very first time in his life. He finds adventure aplenty. But will he find his friend?
Grab some activities to pair with the book here.
The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, or any of the other giants—rather than the BFG—she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!
BEEZUS AND RAMONA
Having a little sister like four-year-old Ramona isn’t always easy for Beezus Quimby. With a wild imagination, disregard for order, and an appetite for chaos, Ramona makes it hard for Beezus to be the responsible older sister she knows she ought to be…especially when Ramona threatens to ruin Beezus’s birthday party. Will Beezus find the patience to handle her little sister before Ramona turns her big day into a complete disaster? Grab some activities to pair with the book here.
An ordinary ogre leaves his swampy childhood home to go out and see the world. Ordinary, that is, if a foul and hideous being who ends up marrying the most stunningly ugly princess on the planet is what you consider ordinary.
JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH
After James Henry Trotter’s parents are tragically eaten by a rhinoceros, he goes to live with his two horrible aunts, Spiker and Sponge. Life there is no fun, until James accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree and strange things start to happen. The peach at the top of the tree begins to grow, and before long it’s as big as a house. Inside, James meets a bunch of oversized friends—Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug, and more. With a snip of the stem, the peach starts rolling away, and the great adventure begins!
THE BAD GUYS
They sound like bad guys, they look like bad guys . . . and they even smell like bad guys. But Mr. Wolf, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Snake, and Mr. Shark are about to change all of that…Mr. Wolf has a daring plan for the Bad Guys’ first good mission. They are going to break two hundred dogs out of the Maximum Security City Dog Pound. Will Operation Dog Pound go smoothly? Will the Bad Guys become the Good Guys? And will Mr. Snake please stop swallowing Mr. Piranha?!
In an old house in Paris
That was covered in vines
Lived twelve little girls
In two straight lines.
Madeline is the smallest, yet bravest of the twelve girls at the boarding school under the care of their teacher, Miss Clavel. She is only 7 years old and is the only redhead in the school. This story follows her daily adventures in Paris.
SPOOKLEY THE SQUARE PUMPKIN
One day in the pumpkin patch the strangest little pumpkin hatched…. Spookley the Square Pumpkin was different. All the other pumpkins teased him, until Spookley proved that being different can save the day! Grab a free craft to pair with the book here.
MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS
The Poppers unexpectedly come into possession of a penguin, then get a penguin from the zoo who mates with the first penguin to have 10 baby penguins. Before long, something must be done before they eat the Poppers out of house and home! Grab some activities to pair with the book here.
FREE POPCORN CRAFT
When a book becomes a bestseller, there’s often talk of it being made into a movie. Sometimes, the movie follows the book very closely, and other times, it’s vastly different. No matter what happens, it offers a great opportunity to compare and contrast the book and movie. Here’s a fun popcorn craft to help your students record the similarities and differences between the book and movie.
First, you’ll need to print out enough pages for each student. Students will write information about the book and movie, color the pages, cut along the outer edge, and then assemble. Once they are complete, you can put them on a bulletin board for others to see.
Click the button below to download this free popcorn craft.
Do you have a favorite book and movie combination that didn’t make the list? Let me know so I can check them out!
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