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Classic Children's Books That Have Been Made Into Movies

Updated on December 11, 2013

Timeless Books For Kids Turned Into Movies

Here are some great books for children that have been made into movies worth watching. You might have kids that have their favorite books and now want to watch the movies - or they need to expand their horizons by reading the books that inspired some of their favorite films (I suspect the second is usually more the case). Either way both the books listed below and the movies that have been made from them are worth reading and watching.

Many children get curious once they've seen a film they love over and over again. They get motivated to read the book to see whether it is the same like the movie. This is a great tool for children to truly get excited about reading a book.

While a film leaves pretty much nothing to imagination, when reading a book the mind wanders, makes its own connections, the imagination can run wild and the storyline gets a life of its own through the mind of a child.

So if you have a kid who is not all too much into reading, this might be a great way to get them started in the wonderful journey of reading children's books.

These books are classic, have been written many years ago and they have withstood the tests of time. They will always be recommended and some are even required reading. I recommend them as well.

Image credits: Creative Commons

The Chronicles of Narnia
The Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia

by C. S. Lewis

The Chronicles Of Narnia is one of the most popular set of children's books of all ages. The seven books have been written many, many years ago, between 1949 and 1954 when many of us were just kids as well. It is in fact considered a classic in children's literature and with good reason.

No wonder that it has been turned into a set of movies, which is equally enchanting and fun to watch. And it's also no wonder that adults still love to read the books and watch the movies along with kids as well.

Currently there are 3 movies made from the first 3 books in the series (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe made in 2005, Prince Caspian in 2008 and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader finished in 2010, with a 4th movie being in the works just now.

Having read the books, when I watched the movies I was quite happy to see that the film adaptations kept quite close to the storyline in the books, and the characters were pretty much as I envisioned them as well.

If your kids have watched the 3 movies and loved them, but haven't read the books, I am pretty certain they will enjoy reading them. Why not make the entire series part of a birthday gift (along with some games or toys, of course) and let them read the books at their own pace? You never know, they might actually ask for anything else that this author has also written.

Note: You don't have to buy each book separately. The book I linked to here includes all 7 stories and it has a great price as well.

The Chronicles of Narnia - (3-Disc Set)

The Chronicles of Narnia - (3-Disc Set) - (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe/Prince Caspian & The Voyage of the Dawn Treader/The Silver Chair)
The Chronicles of Narnia - (3-Disc Set) - (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe/Prince Caspian & The Voyage of the Dawn Treader/The Silver Chair)

Here is the 3 disk set of the Narnia series, and it is the old movie set, which I find actually closer to the storyline in the book compared to the new edition (shown below).

This series is the BBC adaptation and it's really worth watching, even if your kids have already seen the new movies. Recommended.

 

Memorable Scenes From The Chronicles of Narnia- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Which Came First For You - The Books Or The Movies

Which Came First For You - The Books Or The Movies

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Winnie-the-Pooh
Winnie-the-Pooh

Winnie the Pooh

by A. A. Milne

I think Winnie The Pooh doesn't need any introduction. It has become so popular that there is a whole industry evolving around this charming and enchanting kids character, which includes everything from bedroom and wall décor to toys and so much more.

What many kids don't know is that the whole Pooh bear story has started from books written by A. A. Milne in 1926. Yes, Winnie is that old, and yet it's still so fresh and new in the minds and hears of kids today.

In 2011 the character has been made into a movie for kids by Walt Disney Studios. It is an animation movie, one that small children will simply adore. How can they not?

A great way to get a small kid acquainted with this adorable character is by buying both the old set of books and the movie as well. They will soon want to have everything they can get their hands on related to their idol, Winnie the Pooh.

Winnie The Pooh - The Movie

Winnie The Pooh
Winnie The Pooh

This is a wonderful cartoon movie for kids who love Winnie and if they haven't read the books yet, by watching this film, they will want to read the books as well. Noone can stay away from Winnie the Pooh for too long!

 
Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins

by P. L. Travers

I was quite surprised to learn even from adults that they didn't know about Marry Poppins that it's not only a movie, but a collection of stories as well. It is in fact a whole series written between 1934 and 1988 by an Australian author who lived in England many years ago.

Mary Poppins is such a charming character, and I am pretty sure that most of us think of Julie Andrews when hearing this name. She did indeed the character justice, and the movie is a real classic worth watching with your children over and over again.

The books feature Mary Poppins as an English nanny with magical powers who takes care of Banks' children. There are 8 books written, and in each book she takes on different adventures with the kids she is taking care of. I can highly recommend each and one of them. I think every child should have these books as part of their permanent book shelf.

Mary Poppins Movie And Musical

Mary Poppins has not only been made into an extremely popular movie, but also into a musical, both really worth watching.

Mary Poppins (Gold Collection)
Mary Poppins (Gold Collection)

Here is the gold collection of the instant hit that was made in 1964 featuring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. One of the personal movie collection.

 

Remember The Song? - I still can't pronounce it the right way - can you?

Robinson Crusoe
Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe

by Daniel Defoe

Robinson Crusoe is a true classic, one that will be always in the hearts of kids, no matter how many generations have passed. Did you know that the book has been first published back in 1719? That's almost 300 years ago and it's still one of the most popular children's books ever!

We all know the story of Robinson Crusoe who spent several years on a remote island called Más a Tierra. Crusoe was on a sea voyage and got stranded on the island where he had to spend a few years before he manages to make a boat again to sail away. His adventures don't stop, however, as he gets captured, enslaved and goes through many trials and tribulations before he finally is again shipwrecked on an island where he will spend many years and go through countless adventures.

It was actually one of the first kids books I've read and it stayed with me. Then I watched the movie as well and that stayed with me too. I can still remember Robinson Crusoe and his umbrella, the one he manufactured on the island all by himself.

It is truly a magnificent book and movie as well, one indeed worth reading and watching.

The Hundred and One Dalmatians
The Hundred and One Dalmatians

The Hundred and One Dalmatians

by Dodie Smith

The Hundred and One Dalmatians is again one of those very popular kids movies that need no introduction. And again, it is one that it is currently more popular as film than as book. So this is a great opportunity to get it for kids who have take into their hearts the cute little white dogs with black spots to read the book that made the movie so popular in the first place.

The book has been written back in 1956 by Dodie Smith and it became an instant success. Remember the evil Cruella de Vil, and the kind Dearly family that the dogs live with. Cruella is scheming every step of the way to get rid of the dogs, and oftentimes it looks like she succeeds.

Many kids have been glued to their TV screen watching in anguish whether the scheming and plotting was successful, or the cute little puppies actually escaped.

The book is worth reading and it makes for a great little gift for children as well.

The Count of Monte Cristo
The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo

by Alexandre Dumas

I am particular biased towards the words of Alexandre Dumas. Who hasn't read and watched the movies about the 3 Musketeers? They are classic. However did you know that he also wrote another popular and intriguing book for a bit older kids, called The Count of Monte Cristo?

He wrote the book in French back in 1844, and it has been soon after translated into English as well. And of course, there are now several movies made by this fantasic story, one that brings you to another world which you don't want to wake up and return from.

The story takes place during the reign of Louis-Philippe of France and it is in fact a great way to get started kids in becoming interested in history as well. The book is a true classic in every sense of the world, and it should be a required reading for all children.

The story is about Monte Cristo, a man who has been imprison without being guilty, who then escapes, becomes extremely rich and then goes on to get revenge on those who have him wrongfully put into jail. A wonderful story, if there ever was one!

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

by Mark Twain

This is another classic book, published in 1884, by one of my favorite author as a kid, Mark Twain. He has written several books for children, and more than one has been made into a movie. The Huckleberry Finn one I think was one of his best works.

I remember it was actually a required reading back in high school, however I had already read them several times before, so I had no problems enjoying it again and even writing a paper about it.

It is not only a story for kids, but also a pretty real view of a society filled with racism along the Mississippi River. Actually I have recently heard that the book has been rather criticized due to its relatively strong and not so politically correct language, and I'm rather saddened by it. I think it really made a strong impact with the young folks who read it and it should not be scolded at or censored.

At least for me, it's top of my list of books for kids.

The Adventures of Pinocchio
The Adventures of Pinocchio

The Adventures of Pinocchio

by Carlo Collodi

Even if a child hasn't read the book, nor watched a Pinocchio movie, they have heard about him and the story with the nose growing longer the more lies Pinocchio tells. Many parents gently 'threaten' their kids with them getting long and ugly noses if they tell lies.

Pinocchio is a classic, one that I have read as a kid and loved ever since. It is a timeless story told by Carlo Collodi back in 1883. The story evolves around Pinocchio, a wooden toy, an animated marionette and his woodcarver Geppetto. Pinocchio is made of a piece of wood and soon he becomes alive. Once he learns to walk, he runs out of the house to have his own adventures.

It is actually kind of a sad story and the main reason for it is that the author never had kids and never liked them either, and this strongly reflects in his book. Pinocchio is disorganized, disobedient, a 'disgrace', Now if you don't remember the story of Pinocchio as sad as this, it is because you remember the fun and cheerful adaptation by Disney in a movie. Here Pinocchio is completely different, a happy little guy who simply wants to live a real life as a kid.

If you haven't read the original story, it is worthwhile reading it. But beware, the book is so much darker than the actual movie, maybe it's not so suited to very small kids. The movie, however, is.

Memorable Scenes From The Movie Pinocchio

The Harry Potter Books - by J.K. Rowling

And last, but not least, let's not forget the Harry Potter series (the first book was published in 1999), which has already become classic a and has entered the hearts and minds of kids and adults alike. I have read the series as an adult and I was not ashamed of it at all. In fact I remember seeing people commuting to work in the morning on trains and buses, holding the latest Harry Potter book in their hands and being totally focused on the story.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

This is the first book that started it all. It has been read by more people than pretty much any other book for kids. It has entered our hearts, minds and souls and got a permanent space there to live. An amazing series!

 

I Love These! The Spells Included In All 8 Books - Worth watching

If you remember other stories that you've read and are now movie adaptations that kids can see, feel free to list them here. You can comment even if you are not a member of this site, Squidoo.

Can You Recommend Other Children's Books That Have Been Made Into Movies?

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    • dbitterman profile image

      dbitterman 

      5 years ago

      The Secret Garden...one of my mom's childhood favorites (including the black-and-white film version with Margaret Sullivan).

    • profile image

      dilipchandra12 lm 

      5 years ago

      Good set of collection. Great work, thanks for a good read. Liked!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      5 years ago

      Oh and blessed. :)

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      5 years ago

      I love this lens. I love children's books and movies! And you have found some great ones.

    • kislanyk profile imageAUTHOR

      Marika 

      5 years ago from Cyprus

      @Virginia Allain: The Borrowers, you're right, that's another great one as well.

    • profile image

      mommateaches 

      5 years ago

      Great list! I also loved "Charlotte's Web" as a book and movie.

    • EliasZanetti LM profile image

      EliasZanetti LM 

      5 years ago

      You have made an amazing list of classic & unique children's books .. So great that you added Mary Poppins ,, it was one of my favorite movies and books when I was a child :)

    • profile image

      moonlitta 

      5 years ago

      I still recall cuddling in the big living room armchairs with "Pipi Longstockings" and then organizing "thingsfinding" (it's when Pipi hid things and then she and Tomi and Anika went looking for them)... And I still dream of someone planting a lemonade tree for me! Oh dreams...:)

    • chas65 profile image

      chas65 

      5 years ago

      Those were definitely some of the classics. But the neat thing about literature is everyone like different things.

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 

      5 years ago

      We have a cute DVD of The Velveteen Rabbit. It has both live acting and animation in it. The movie adds in a lot of elements that aren't in them book, but it's well done.

    • profile image

      ChristyZ 

      5 years ago

      This is an excellent lens. I find that the books are always better than the movies, but the kids and I love both books and movies:) 101 Dalmatians is a family favorite.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      5 years ago from Central Florida

      The Borrowers series was made into made-for-TV movies. Maybe that should be another page, as you have a pretty long list already.

    • kislanyk profile imageAUTHOR

      Marika 

      5 years ago from Cyprus

      @Camden1: Oh you're so right, those are awesome too, thanks for the addition!

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 

      5 years ago

      Several of Roald Dahl's popular children's books were made into wonderful movies - Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory come to mind.

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