Summer Fun: Read the Book, Watch the Movie

I love reading books to my kids. They get so excited about a good novel now. We love snuggling up and sinking into a world unlike our own. The problem is, much of the modern “chapter books” are absolute trash. Bratty kids with bad behavior. Unimaginative plots and shallow language. 

Fortunately, if you look further than the “early reader” section at the local bookstore you’ll find some great books. This summer I’ve decided to read through some of the good ones. After making a long list of good reads I noticed that a few of them were made into movies. 

This summer the kids and I will be reading a book and then watching the movie adaptation.  

Read the book

  The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread

The Secret Garden

 Fantastic Mr. Fox

 The Complete Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh

 Pippi Longstocking


 Charlotte’s Web

 Ballet Shoes

 A Little Princess

 Treasure Island

 There are so many more as well. We could spend a whole year on this series. Of course, some of the children’s books made into movies aren’t great specimens of literature and some of the movies adapted from great books are terrible adaptations.

Here are some others I’ve got my eye on;

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Anne of Green Gables, Because of Winn-Dixie, Black Beauty, The Black Stallion, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Danny the Champion of the World, Harriet the Spy, Harry Potter, Heidi, Holes, How to Eat Fried Worms, The Incredible Journey, James and the Giant Peach, Meet Kit: An American Girl 1934, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Little Women, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Nim’s Island, Ramona & BeezusStuart Little, Treasure Island, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, A Wrinkle in Time, The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1)    

And for your picture book age children you might consider these;

The Story of Babar, The Cat in the Hat, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, The Complete Adventures of Curious George, Horton Hears A Who!, Madeline

These are all Amazon affiliate links but I’m sure your local library has all of these titles. I love using Amazon for reading reviews though!

How about you? Any reading plans for the summer?


  1. says

    This is a wonderful list. I am going to book mark this post. We have worked through a few on your list (Pippi, Secret Garden, Desperaux, and Maltida are favourites). We are currently working on the Railway Children.
    Another good one is Ramona and Beezus, based on the Romana books which we love.

  2. says

    I always read aloud a book before seeing the movie. My older children didn’t like it at first, but then would notice when the movie was so different from the book. (Think Heidi.) It made me smile when they loved the book better than the movie. We’re reading The Chronicles of Narnia this summer. Thanks for the ideas.

  3. AnnaPK says

    The Secret Garden is one of my all time favorite books! For the younger set, my family is loving the picture book versions of the Little House series. They are fully illustrated excerpts from the novels, and we love them!
    Happy reading!