There are SO many incredible pieces of children’s literature that have eventually been made into movies. In this post, we’d like to share just a few of our favorites. With a bit of extra time at home together, you might enjoy reading one of these books together, then watching the movie. Children love noticing the similarities and differences, plus doing so is great for building reading comprehension skills. We’ve included a link to the movie review from Common Sense Media for your reference. Enjoy!

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

The classic Christmas tale is appealing to both children and adults. It’s hard to tell which is more magical – the story of a boy’s journey to the North Pole or the stunningly gorgeous illustrations. So many movies stray noticeably far from their original book inspiration, but this one does not. The movie evokes the same feel of the book’s plot and artwork. The Polar Express Movie Review (ages 6+)

Shrek! by William Steig

Many of us are familiar with the animated classic, but did you know that Shrek! originated as a hilariously disgusting children’s book? Shrek reaches an age at which his parents decide to kick him out of their swamp and out on his own. Shrek prides himself on his repulsiveness, and after meeting a fortune-telling witch on his journey, he sets out on a mission to find his princess. Shrek Movie Review (ages 6+)

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Max, like most children, is replete with mischief. Unfortunately, one evening, his mother has had enough of his antics and sends him to bed with no supper. Whether Max slips into a dream or sets out on a journey is left for readers to wonder, but his travels take him across vast oceans to a land of mysterious beasts, of which he becomes the leader.  Where the Wild Things Are Movie Review (ages 9+)

The BFG by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake

One evening Sophie peeks out her bedroom window, only to see a large creature. When the creature sees her, he packs her up with his things and takes her away to his distant home. Luckily, for Sophie, the creature is the BFG, or the Big Friendly Giant. They become fast friends on a mission to save the world from the other giants, who are even bigger and not the least bit friendly. The BFG Movie Review (ages 7+)

The Ramona series by Beverly Cleary

Children have loved this relatable series for generations. Romana and her big sister Beezus, their cat Picky-Picky, and their parents live on Klickitat Street. The books explore all sorts of phases and situations children understand, including sibling relationships, friendships, starting at a new school, negotiating with parents, having to spend time with a babysitter, mischief caused by pets, preparing for a new baby, and so much more. Ramona and Beezus Movie Review (ages 6+)

Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Young Opal is new in town, and she and her father the preacher are all alone. Opal thinks about her mother, who left when she was three years old, and wishes she knew more about her. One day, while Opal was in the Winn Dixie grocery store, a stray dog snuck in and began running around the produce aisle. It was on that day Opal claimed him as her own, named him Winn Dixie, brought him home for a bath, and her life began to change. Because of Winn-Dixie Movie Review (ages 8+)

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Fern, a precocious child, begs and pleads with her father in an attempt to save the life of a young runt pig. Her father capitulates, and Fern cares for the growing pig (Wilbur) until he is too large and is sent to live at her uncle’s nearby farm. It is here that Wilbur meets a new friend – a spider named Charlotte. After learning about Wilbur’s unfortunate probable fate, he and Charlotte work together in an attempt to save him, securing his safety and cementing their friendship. Charlotte’s Web Movie Review (ages 5+)

The Witches by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake

A young boy and his grandmother take a vacation together, during which they find themselves inadvertently amongst a convention of witches. Witches, in Dahl’s tale, look very much like ordinary women, but after a childhood mishap, the grandmother knows exactly how to spot one. She teaches her grandson all she knows, and the two work together in hopes of protecting children everywhere. The Witches Movie Review (ages 10+)

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Be warned: this book is beautifully written, but terribly sad.  Jesse and Leslie are both in need of a friend. They’re neighbors, the same age, and seem to have a lot in common – even when they don’t. Near the creek by their homes they create an imaginary world that they both retreat to as often as possible. Their friendship grows, and Jesse’s life changes for the better. One day when Jesse is away, he returns to discover a horrible tragedy. Bridge to Terabithia Movie Review (ages 9+)

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit; and imaginary creature of Tolkien’s creation. This is a story of an epic journey that Baggins takes in hopes of winning a share of a treasure guarded by a dragon. Throughout his journey, he grows as a character in various ways. Another well-known book and sequel to The Hobbit is The Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit Movie Review (cartoon adaption, ages 7+) The Hobbit Movie Review (directed by Peter Jackson, ages 11+)