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Parents @ UAPL Blog

Five Movies You Didn't Know are Based on Kids Books

Written by published on Sat, 08/20/2016 - 12:15pm

Some of the most successful and popular films to ever hit theaters are movie adaptations of books for children and teens. We're all familiar with Harry Potter, as well as Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings film franchises. Recent and soon-to-be released films like The Jungle Book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (not yet released), and The BFG (not yet released), among others, are all adaptations of ever-popular children's stories. How many more of our most beloved movies are based on children's books? I was surprised to learn that the following five movies are actually adaptations of classic stories!

Reserve a copy of both the movie and the book for you and your family to enjoy together. Reading the book before the movie, or after, can give the viewer and the reader more insight into the story and teach kids how to compare and contrast. Plus, we can all agree, most of the time, the book is better than the movie. 

1) Mary Poppins (Film: 1964; Book Series: 1934-1988)


Mary Poppins, of the infamous “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and magic carpet bag, was created by author Pamela L. Travers. First published in 1934, there are eight books in the Mary Poppins series spanning 54 years. Reserve the Mary Poppins Complete Collection, which includes:Mary Poppins (1934), Mary Poppins Comes Back (1935), Mary Poppins Opens the Door (1943), Mary Poppins in the Park (1952), Mary Poppins from A to Z (1962), Mary Poppins in the Kitchen (1975), Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane (1982) and Mary Poppins and the House Next Door (1988). Reserve the Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyck Mary Poppins Film

2. The Princess Bride (Film: 1987; Book: 1973)


The Princess Bride film has become a cult classic. Even without having seen the film, you might be familiar with the passionate quote, “my name is Inigo Montoya!” The screenplay for The Princess Bride, and book it was adapted from, were both authored by William Goldman. Initially published in 1973 as The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure, the 'Good Parts' Version, Goldman wrote the novel as if he was comentating an abriged version of another author's original story. In fact, Goldman was the sole author of the fantasy adventure, having been inspired by his two young daughters.   

3. Shrek (Film: 2001; Picture Book: 1990) 


The movie Shrek won the first ever Oscar for Animated Films, has 3 sequels, and inspired a broadway musical. Author of the original picture book Shrek!, William Steig, is to thank for the original premise about a monstorous ogre who leaves his home and ends up saving a princess.     

4. Night at the Museum (Film: 2006; Book: 1993)


Dinosaur skeletons and artifacts come to life when the Natural History Museum closes in the film trilogy Night at the Museum. The films are actually adaptations of a children's picture book by Milan Trenc, Night at the Museum, where only the dinosaurs come to life. Leslie Goldman novelized the movies for young readers in 2006.

5. How to Train Your Dragon (Film: 2010; Book Series: 2003-2015) 




Now a series of movies, How to Train Your Dragon is the heartwarming tale of a viking boy and his dragon and has inspired short films, a television series, and video games. The entire franchise is based on a series of 12 picture books by author Cressida Cowell: How to Train Your Dragon (2003)How to Be A Pirate (2004); How to Speak Dragonese (2005); How to Cheat A Dragon's Curse (2006); How to Twist A Dragon's Tale (2007); A Hero's Guide to Deadly Dragons (2008); How to Ride A Dragon's Storm (2009); How to Break A Dragon's Heart (2010); How to Steal A Dragon's Sword (2011); How to Seize A Dragon's Jewel (2012); How to Betray A Dragon's Hero (2013); How to Fight a Dragon's Fury (2015). Reserve the entire series. 



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Join our Youth Department's Goodreads Group: connect with your librarians and other Goodreads Group members to discuss and share book recommendations.

Recommended Books

  • Beautifully illustrated, this series follows Mango Allsorts - good at karate and chess - and her new friend, the Asian tapir, Bambang as they explore the big city. As their unusal friendship develops, Mango and Bambang find themsleves in all sorts of wild capers, and of course, eating mountains of banana pancakes. Recommended for ages 6 and up.

  • A step-by-step walkthrough of being sad, through two stories told multiple ways. This picture book explains why sadness happens, that it's okay, how to handle it, and how to eventually move on. Especially good to read with children trying to understand sadness. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

  • Trying new food and learning from neighbors spice up Wilma and Hector's life, in the best way. From Lebanese to French, Mexican to Thai, the kids explore food through rhyme, showing that trying new foods is exciting and fun. Read this book with picky eaters or eaters wanting to branch out. Recommended for ages 4 and up.