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The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies

Updated November 21, 2019 55.3k votes 2.2k voters 257.6k views300 items

List RulesUpvote the best film versions of classic children's books and memorable childhood stories.

The book might usually be better than the movie, but that hasn't stopped these classic kid's books from being turned into films. This list of children's book to movie adaptations ranks the best of these kid's books that have been adapted into feature films. Children's books made into movies are always fun because children already know the characters. Children's literature is in many ways timeless. Then  The books we were read as a child, we now read to our own kids. This makes children's books a safe bet for film adaptations, and the film adaptations on this list are some of the best. If multiple adaptations of a children's book have been made, we've tried to list the most popular kids books made into movies. Since only the best, famous, and most popular children's books tend to be made into movies, one could also consider this to be a list of some of the greatest children's books of all time.

So what top books were made into movies? This list seeks to answer that question with a thorough look of all books that made it onto the big screen. Cast your votes for the best on this list of books made into movies, or rerank the list and add any great kid's book movie adaptations that are missing! Then check out the best children's books of the decade and see how many have been turned into feature films.

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  • 1

    First Published1964

    SubjectsChocolate, Classics, Adventure, Family, Folklore

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageWelsh Language, English Language

    Movie Adaptations:
    Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

    #60 of 103 The Best Selling Books of All Time#4 of 126 The Best Overall Books for Kids#18 of 704 Books That Changed Your Life

  • 2

    Mary Poppins

    P. L. Travers
    475
    128

    First Published1934

    SubjectsMusical theatre, Women, Theatre, London, Performing arts

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Children's literature

    Movie Adaptation: Mary Poppins (1964)
  • 3

    First Published1876

    SubjectsEducation, Linguistics, 19th century, Mississippi River, Men

    Genres (Book)Bildungsroman, Children's literature, Fiction, Reference

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Movie Adaptation: Tom Sawyer(2000)
    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain is an 1876 novel about a young boy growing up along the Mississippi River. The story is set in the fictional town of St. Petersburg, inspired by Hannibal,...  more

    #11 of 161 The Greatest American Novels#4 of 331 The Top Must-Read Books of All Time#16 of 1,236 The Best Novels Ever Written

  • 4

    Charlotte's Web

    E. B. White
    401
    108

    First Published1952

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Children's literature

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Movie Adaptations:
    Charlotte's Web (1973)
    Charlotte's Web (2006)

    #8 of 117 The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written#3 of 54 The Best Books for First Graders#2 of 51 The Best Books for Second Graders

  • 5

    Alice in Wonderland

    Lewis Carroll, William Glennon
    390
    104

    First Published1865

    Movie Adaptations:
    Alice in Wonderland (1951)
    Alice in Wonderland (2010)

    #13 of 171 35+ Books Everybody Lies About Having Read#4 of 52 The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels#27 of 97 The Greatest Books to Read to Kids

  • 6

    First Published1957-11-24

    Genres (Book)Children's literature

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Movie Adaptations:
    How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)
    How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

  • 7

    First Published1884-12

    SubjectsPopular literature, Education, 19th century, Slavery, Mississippi River

    Genres (Book)Humour, Satire, Children's literature, Fiction, Adventure fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Movie Adaptation: Tom and Huck (1995)
    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel by Mark Twain, first published in the United Kingdom in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. Commonly named among the Great American...  more

    #7 of 65 The Best Satirical Novels#21 of 102 The Best Books for Teens#21 of 315 300+ Great Books of the Western World

  • 8

    My Friend Flicka

    Mary O'Hara
    236
    42

    First Published1941

    SubjectsWyoming

    Genres (Book)Young adult literature, Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Movie Adaptation: Flicka (2006)
    A young man is given a colt to take care of, Flicka, in hopes of teaching him responsibility....  more
  • 9

    Winnie-the-Pooh

    A. A. Milne
    333
    94

    First Published1926-10-14

    SubjectsLiterature, Classics, Friendship, Animal, Performing arts

    Genres (Book)Children's literature, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Movie Adaptation: Winnie the Pooh (2011)
    Winnie-the-Pooh is the first volume of stories about Winnie-the-Pooh, by A. A. Milne. It is followed by The House at Pooh Corner. The book focuses on the adventures of a teddy bear called...  more
  • 10
    345
    100

    First Published1900-05-17

    SubjectsMusic, Wizards, United States of America, 20th century, History

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Movie Adaptation: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1910)
    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children's novel written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow. Originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago on May 17, 1900, it has since...  more

    #18 of 20 The Best Books That Have Been Banned#14 of 102 The Best Books About Wizards#17 of 28 25+ Audiobooks Kids Of All Ages Will Love

  • 11

    The Jungle Book

    Rudyard Kipling
    336
    98

    First Published1894

    SubjectsMusic, India, Folklore, Animal

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Children's literature

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Movie Adaptations:
    The Jungle Book (1967)
    The Jungle Book (2016)

  • 12

    White Fang

    Jack London
    211
    42

    First Published1906-05

    SubjectsLiterary, Education, Alaska, Adult, Libraries

    Genres (Book)Children's literature, Fiction, Adventure fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Movie Adaptation: White Fang (1991)
    White Fang is a novel by American author Jack London — and the name of the book's eponymous character, a wild wolfdog. First serialized in Outing magazine, it was published in 1906. The story takes...  more

    #77 of 99 The Best Books With White in the Title#2 of 19 The Best Jack London Books

  • 13
    274
    75

    Genres (Book)Children's literature, Young adult literature

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Movie Adaptation: Night at the Museum (2006)
    The Night at the Museum, published in 1993, is a children's picture book written and illustrated by Milan Trenc. This book is Trenc's best known title, and in 2006 was produced as a feature film...  more
  • 14

    First Published1956

    SubjectsLiterature, Classics, Dalmatian, English Literature

    Genres (Book)Children's literature, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Movie Adaptations:
    One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
    101 Dalmatians (1996)

  • 15
    One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of West and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. It is often known in English as the Arabian Nights, from...  more
  • 16
    Movie Adaptation: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
  • 17

    The Iron Man

    Ted Hughes
    301
    93

    First Published1968

    Genres (Book)Children's literature, Fiction, Novel, Science Fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Movie Adaptation: The Iron Giant (1999)
    The Iron Man: A Children's Story in Five Nights is a 1968 science fiction novel by British Poet Laureate Ted Hughes, first published by Faber and Faber in the U.K. with illustrations by George...  more
  • 18

    First Published2003-06-21

    SubjectsWizards, Coming of age, Schools, England

    Genres (Book)Fiction, Young adult literature, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Movie Adaptation: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fifth novel in the Harry Potter series, written by J. K. Rowling. It follows Harry Potter's struggles through his fifth year at Hogwarts School of...  more

    #5 of 7 All Harry Potter Books, Ranked Best to Worst#2 of 32 The Best Novels About Prep School#8 of 16 The Saddest Deaths In Children's Books We're Still Not Over

  • 19

    The Polar Express

    Chris Van Allsburg
    293
    91

    SubjectsEducation, Classics, Christmas

    Genres (Book)Picture book, Children's literature, Fiction

    Movie Adaptation: The Polar Express (2004)
    The Polar Express is a 1985 children's book written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg, a former professor at the Rhode Island School of Design. The book is now widely considered to be a classic...  more
  • 20

    The Lorax

    Dr. Seuss
    266
    79

    First Published1971-08-12

    SubjectsConsumerism, Ecology, Knitting, Environmentalism

    Genres (Book)Children's literature, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Movie Adaptation: The Lorax (2012)
    The Lorax is a children's book written by Dr. Seuss and first published in 1971. It chronicles the plight of the environment and the Lorax, who speaks for the trees against the greedy Once-ler. As in...  more
  • 21

    Jumanji

    Chris Van Allsburg, George Spelvin
    325
    111

    First Published1981

    SubjectsGames, Adventure, Board Games, Animal

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Fiction, Fantasy

    Movie Adaptation: Jumanji (1995)
    Jumanji is a 1981 fantasy children's picture book, written and illustrated by the American author Chris Van Allsburg. It was made into a 1995 film of the same name. Both the book and the movie are...  more
  • 22

    Matilda

    Roald Dahl
    291
    95

    First Published1988

    SubjectsEducation, Humour, Classics, Adventure, Schools

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Humour, Children's literature, Fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Movie Adaptation: Matilda (1996)
    Matilda is a children's novel by British author Roald Dahl. It was published in 1988 by Jonathan Cape in London, with 232 pages and illustrations by the notable illustrator Quentin Blake. It was...  more
  • 23

    First Published1997-06-26

    SubjectsWizards, Education, Adventure, Friendship, Schools

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Movie Adaptation: Harry Potter
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is the first novel in the Harry Potter series and J. K. Rowling's debut novel. The plot follows Harry Potter, a young wizard who discovers his magical...  more

    #91 of 169 Books You'll Never Finish Reading#1 of 51 The Best Children's Book Series#20 of 20 20 Books That Deserve Much Better Adaptations Than They Got

  • 24

    First Published1950

    SubjectsEvacuations of civilians in Britain during World War II

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Movie Adaptation: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a high fantasy novel for children by C. S. Lewis, published by Geoffrey Bles in 1950. It was the first published of seven novels in The Chronicles of Narnia...  more

    #1 of 71 Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving#3 of 20 If You've Read More Than Four Of These Books Or Series, You're A Real Fantasy Nerd#2 of 38 The Best Irish Novels

  • 25

    Pippi Longstocking

    Astrid Lindgren
    251
    77

    Genres (Book)Children's literature

    Original LanguageSwedish Language

    Movie Adaptation: Pippi Longstocking (1969)
    Pippi Longstocking is a children's novel by the Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren, published by Rabén & Sjögren with illustrations by Ingrid Vang Nyman in 1945. Translations have been published in more...  more