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50 Kids Books Made Into Movies

Everyone knows that the book is better than the movie, but that doesn’t stop us from the enjoyment that comes from seeing our favorite book stories come to life on the screen. If you’re looking for a list of the best children’s books that have been made into movies, you came to the right place!

Many of these kids books that were turned into movies are picture books, but feel free to filter down solely to picture books if you’re specifically looking for a younger age group. If you’re looking for chapter books turned films geared for slightly older audiences, like the “Harry Potter” series or “Little Women”, try filtering the list to sort for chapter books. The list will automatically show all books, showcasing the list in its entirety, as there’s a great variety of books on this list that their respective films were based on.

Whether you’re looking for books that were turned into G-rated movies for younger audiences, like the 1971 film adaptation of “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory,” or searching for recent book-based films like “Ferdinand” (2017, PG), “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” (2018, PG), and “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” (2019, TV-PG), this list has great picks that will make for memory-filled reading time and added to with a fun family movie night.

Enjoy, and let us know if you have any other favorite kids books that were turned into great films!

Anne of Green Gables (Puffin in Bloom) book
#1
Anne of Green Gables (Puffin in Bloom)
Written by L.M. Montgomery
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

Anne of Green Gables is such a fun tale! Her imagination is simply fascinating and so intriguing. It makes me want to learn all kinds of new words and enjoy fancy places. Of course, she creates many of these places through her thoughts and that was so fun to think that if life is ever boring we can make it brighter by thinking it so.

Puffin in Bloom is a charming assortment of classic novels with coming-of-age themes, aimed at the young reader. Bond, a stationary artist with Rifle Paper Co. renowned for her floral patterns, puts her signature touch on the covers in this line, because just as a flower blossoms, a young child comes into her own.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret book
#2
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Written by Brian Selznick
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

Beezus and Ramona book
#3
Beezus and Ramona
Written by Beverly Cleary & illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Ramona Quimby is the youngest of all the famous characters in Mrs. Cleary’s wonderful Henry Huggins stories. She is also far and away the most deadly. Readers of the earlier books will remember that Ramona has always been a menace to Beezus, her older sister, to Henry, and to his dog Ribsy. It is not that Ramona deliberately sets out to make trouble for other people. She simply has more imagination than is healthy for any one person. In this book Ramona and her imagination really come into their own. Starting with a fairly mild encounter with the librarian, which is harder on Beezus than anyone else, Ramona goes from strength to strength, winding up by inviting her entire kindergarten class to a part at her home without mentioning it to her mother. The riot that ensues is probably the most hilarious episode in this extremely funny book, which proves that Mrs. Cleary’s imagination is almost as lively as Ramona’s.

Holes book
#4
Holes
Written by Louis Sachar
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Winner of the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award! This book is a #1 New York Times bestselling, modern classic in which boys are forced to dig holes day in and day out.

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.

The Tale of Despereaux book
#5
The Tale of Despereaux
Written by Kate DiCamillo & illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

A brave mouse, a covetous rat, a wishful serving girl, and a princess named Pea come together in Kate DiCamillo’s Newbery Medal–winning tale.

Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other’s lives. What happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out.

With black-and-white illustrations and a refreshed cover by Timothy Basil Ering.

  1. A Wrinkle in Time - Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg’s father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.

  2. Inkheart - Cornelia Funke, the enormously talented author of the international best-seller THE THIEF LORD, brings readers another spellbinding tale of adventure and magic. Meggie lives a quiet life alone with her father, a book-binder. But her father has a deep secret— he posseses an extraordinary magical power. One day a mysterious stranger arrives who seems linked to her father’s past. Who is this sinister character and what does he want? Suddenly Meggie is involved in a breathless game of escape and intrigue as her father’s life is put in danger. Will she be able to save him in time?

  3. Horton Hears a Who! - A city of Whos on a speck of dust are threatened with destruction until the smallest Who of all helps convince Horton’s friends that Whos really exist. Reissue.

  4. The Bad Beginning - Readerly Mom - Who knew that a story about terrible things happening to children could be so utterly delightful? This book, and those that follow it in the series, are constructed in an absolutely charming, oh-so-clever way. And don’t let the titles fool you: they are chock-full of silliness.

Little Women  book
#10
Little Women
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-14

Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), which was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. Alcott wrote the books rapidly over several months at the request of her publisher. The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March—detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood, and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters. Little Women was an immediate commercial and critical success, and readers demanded to know more about the characters. Alcott quickly completed a second volume (entitled Good Wives in the United Kingdom, although this name derived from the publisher and not from Alcott). It was also successful. The two volumes were issued in 1880 in a single work entitled Little Women. Alcott also wrote two sequels to her popular work, both of which also featured the March sisters: Little Men (1871) and Jo’s Boys (1886). Although Little Women was a novel for girls, it differed notably from the current writings for children, especially girls. The novel addressed three major themes: “domesticity, work, and true love, all of them interdependent and each necessary to the achievement of its heroine’s individual identity.”

Where the Wild Things Are book
#11
Where the Wild Things Are
Written & illustrated by Maurice Sendak
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from Grammy

I really love this book! I have a copy from when my children were little and I have copies for each of their households when collecting children’s books starts to be relevant. Over the years I have heard of some of the criticism people have addressed toward this book but none of it has really resonated with me. Sendak’s story and illustrations appeal to children in the same way that fairy tales do—none of those is mild and sweet. For children, the world is really black and white, and filled with extremes; either everything is fantastic, or it is terrible. Children can relate to Max, having all experienced that separation from vigorous activity to solitude, with imaginations still running wild. It is excellent that Max is not afraid of the monsters, being master of his imaginary world, and fitting that when he has finished his adventures he returns to the safety and security of home.

Where the Wild Things Are is fifty years old! Maurice Sendak’s Caldecott Medal-winning picture book has become one of the most highly acclaimed and best-loved children’s books of all time. A must for every child’s bookshelf.

Introduce a new generation to Max’s imaginative journey with this special anniversary edition. Let the wild rumpus continue as this classic comes to life like never before with new reproductions of Maurice Sendak’s artwork.

Astonishing state-of-the-art technology faithfully captures the color and detail of the original illustrations. Sendak himself enthusiastically endorsed this impressive new interpretation of his art before his death in 2012. This iconic story has inspired a movie, an opera, and the imagination of generations.

The Field Guide book
#12
The Field Guide
Written by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi & illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

The Grace children discover the faerie world is closer than you think in this repackage of the first book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Spiderwick Chronicles.

After finding a mysterious, handmade field guide in the attic of the ramshackle old mansion they’ve just moved into, Jared; his twin brother, Simon; and their older sister, Mallory, discover that there’s a magical and maybe dangerous world existing parallel to our own—the world of faerie.

The Grace children want to share their story, but the faeries will do everything possible to stop them…

In honor of the tenth anniversary of the #1 New York Times bestselling Spiderwick Chronicles series, which has more than 12 million copies in print worldwide, this edition of The Field Guide features a larger trim size and an original cover with all-new art from Tony DiTerlizzi.

Bridge to Terabithia book
#13
Bridge to Terabithia
Written by Katherine Paterson & illustrated by Donna Diamond
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

All summer, Jess pushed himself to be the fastest boy in the fifth grade, and when the year’s first school-yard race was run, he was going to win.But his victory was stolen by a newcomer, by a girl, one who didn’t even know enough to stay on the girls’ side of the playground. Then, unexpectedly, Jess finds himself sticking up for Leslie, for the girl who breaks rules and wins races. The friendship between the two grows as Jess guides the city girl through the pitfalls of life in their small, rural town, and Leslie draws him into the world of imaginations world of magic and ceremony called Terabithia. Here, Leslie and Jess rule supreme among the oaks and evergreens, safe from the bullies and ridicule of the mundane world. Safe until an unforeseen tragedy forces Jess to reign in Terabithia alone, and both worlds are forever changed. In this poignant, beautifully rendered novel, Katherine Paterson weaves a powerful story of friendship and courage.

James and the Giant Peach book
#14
James and the Giant Peach
Written by Roald Dahl & illustrated by Quentin Blake
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG!

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!

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.

  2. The Tale Of Peter Rabbit - This original, authorised version has been lovingly recreated electronically for the first time, with reproductions of Potter’s unmistakeable artwork optimised for use on colour devices such as the iPad. The Tale of Peter Rabbit was first published by Frederick Warne in 1902 and endures as Beatrix Potter’s most popular and well-loved tale. Re-originated in 2002 to mark the centenary of publication bringing it closer to the original edition, six illustrations were restored, four that were removed in 1903 to make room for endpapers and two that have never been used before, Beatrix having initially prepared more illustrations than could be accommodated in the original format.

  3. The Polar Express - 1986 Caldecott Medal Winner A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical trip to the North Pole . . . Through dark forests, over tall mountains, and across a desert of ice, the Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish. For millions of readers worldwide, this mysterious journey to the North Pole has become a beloved classic. In this 30th anniversary edition, the inimitable artistry of Chris Van Allsburg is revealed in a never-before-seen fashion, with a new jacket design and expanded interior layout. Includes author’s note, downloadable audio read by Liam Neeson, and golden “All Aboard” ornament.

  4. The Lorax - Celebrate nature with Dr. Seuss and the Lorax in this classic picture book about protecting the environment! I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. Dr. Seuss’s beloved story teaches kids to speak up and stand up for those who can’t. With a recycling-friendly “Go Green” message, The Lorax allows young readers to experience the beauty of the Truffula Trees and the danger of taking our earth for granted, all in a story that is timely, playful, and hopeful. The book’s final pages teach us that just one small seed, or one small child, can make a difference. Printed on recycled paper, this book is the perfect gift for Earth Day and for any child—or child at heart—who is interested in recycling, advocacy, and the environment, or just loves nature and playing outside. Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. “Pretty much all the stuff you need to know is in Dr. Seuss.” –President Barack Obama

Jumanji book
#19
Jumanji
Written & illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle now Sony’s highest grossing film of all time!

Over thirty years ago, Peter and Judy first found the game—Jumanji—with the instructions that once the game is started, it must be finished or it will go on forever—and it was then, with this same wonderment, readers found Jumanji, too. Since its original publication, Jumanji has been honored with many awards, including the Caldecott Medal, and in 1996, the surreal story was adapted to fit the big screen for the first time.

The Lightning Thief book
#20
The Lightning Thief
Written by Rick Riordan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends — one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena — Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

Fantastic Mr. Fox book
#21
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Written by Roald Dahl
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Nobody outfoxes 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.

The Magician's Nephew book
#22
The Magician's Nephew
Written by C. S. Lewis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

In the first book of The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis shows us how it all began — the glorious birth of Narnia at the hand of its unforgettable King. It is followed by six more books that collectively tell the history of a world that has become as real as our own.

The Reptile Room book
#23
The Reptile Room
Written by Lemony Snicket & illustrated by Michael Kupperman and Brett Helquist
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent children. They are charming, and resourceful, and have pleasant facial features. Unfortunately, they are exceptionally unlucky.

In the first two books alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, a lumpy bed, a deadly serpent, a large brass reading lamp, a long knife, and a terrible odour.

In the tradition of great storytellers, from Dickens to Dahl, comes an exquisitely dark comedy that is both literary and irreverent, hilarious and deftly crafted. Never before has a tale of three likeable and unfortunate children been quite so enchanting, or quite so uproariously unhappy.

  1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! - The Dr. Seuss holiday classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas is now a major motion picture from Illumination Presents – Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch! Grow your heart three sizes and get in on all of the Grinch excitement with the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas—the ultimate Dr. Seuss Christmas classic that no holiday season is complete without! “Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot . . . but the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!” Not since “’Twas the night before Christmas” has the beginning of a Christmas tale been so instantly recognizable. This heartwarming story about the effects of the Christmas spirit will grow even the coldest and smallest of hearts. Like mistletoe, candy canes, and caroling, the Grinch is a mainstay of the holidays, and his story is the perfect gift for young and old. And don’t forget to celebrate Grinch-mas this Christmas season, the annual holiday tradition inspired by How the Grinch Stole Christmas that encourages readers to grow their hearts three sizes by doing good deeds!

  2. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - The beloved, bestselling tale of edible weather is brought to life! If food dropped like rain from the sky, wouldn’t it be marvelous! Or would it? It could, after all, be messy. And you’d have no choice. What if you didn’t like what fell? Or what if too much came? Have you ever thought of what it might be like to be squashed flat by a pancake?

Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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