Watchworthy

The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies 

Walter Graves
Updated November 21, 2019 51.1k votes 2.1k voters 252.9k views 302 items

List Rules Upvote 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.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
Charlie and the Chocolat... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
Roald Dahl

First Published: 1964

Subjects: Chocolate, Classics, Adventure, Family, Folklore

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

Original Language: Welsh Language, English Language

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

More Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 

#72 of 1,295 The Best Novels Ever Written #63 of 314 The Top Must-Read Books of All Timelisted on The Best Selling Books of All Time

2
Mary Poppins is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
P. L. Travers

First Published: 1934

Subjects: Musical theatre, Women, Theatre, London, Performing arts, + more

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

Movie Adaptation: Mary Poppins (1964)

More Mary Poppins 

#175 of 1,295 The Best Novels Ever Written #132 of 314 The Top Must-Read Books of All Time #162 of 826 Books That Changed Your Life

3
How the Grinch Stole Chr... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
Dr. Seuss

First Published: 1957-11-24

Genres (Book): Children's literature

Original Language: English Language

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

4
Charlotte's Web is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
E. B. White

First Published: 1952

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

Original Language: English Language

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

More Charlotte's Web 

#29 of 1,295 The Best Novels Ever Written #45 of 314 The Top Must-Read Books of All Timelisted on The Best Selling Books of All Time

5
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

First Published: 1865

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

More Alice in Wonderland 

#15 of 1,295 The Best Novels Ever Written #13 of 171 35+ Books Everybody Lies About Having Readlisted on The Best Selling Books of All Time

6
The Wonderful Wizard of ... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
L. Frank Baum

First Published: 1900-05-17

Subjects: Music, Wizards, United States of America, 20th century, History

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

Original Language: English Language

Movie Adaptation: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1910)

More The Wonderful Wizard of Oz 

#38 of 1,295 The Best Novels Ever Written #72 of 314 The Top Must-Read Books of All Time #12 of 124 The Best Overall Books for Kids

7
The Jungle Book is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
Rudyard Kipling

First Published: 1894

Subjects: Music, India, Folklore, Animal

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

Original Language: English Language

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

8
Winnie-the-Pooh is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
A. A. Milne

First Published: 1926-10-14

Subjects: Literature, Classics, Friendship, Animal, Performing arts

Genres (Book): Children's literature, Fiction

Original Language: English Language

Movie Adaptation: Winnie the Pooh (2011)
9
The Hundred and One Dalm... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
Dodie Smith

First Published: 1956

Subjects: Literature, Classics, Dalmatian, English Literature

Genres (Book): Children's literature, Fiction

Original Language: English Language

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

10
The Chronicles of Narnia... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
Movie Adaptation: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
11
Jumanji is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
Chris Van Allsburg, George Spelvin

First Published: 1981

Subjects: Games, Adventure, Board Games, Animal

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

Movie Adaptation: Jumanji (1995)
12
Harry Potter and the Ord... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
J. K. Rowling

First Published: 2003-06-21

Subjects: Wizards, Coming of age, Schools, England

Genres (Book): Fiction, Young adult literature, Fantasy

Original Language: English Language

Movie Adaptation: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
13
The Polar Express is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
Chris Van Allsburg

Subjects: Education, Classics, Christmas

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

Movie Adaptation: The Polar Express (2004)
14
The Night at the Museum ... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
Milan Trenc

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

Original Language: English Language

Movie Adaptation: Night at the Museum (2006)
15
Harry Potter and the Phi... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
J. K. Rowling

First Published: 1997-06-26

Subjects: Wizards, Education, Adventure, Friendship, Schools, + more

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

Original Language: English Language

Movie Adaptation: Harry Potter

More Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone 

#53 of 1,295 The Best Novels Ever Written #4 of 171 35+ Books Everybody Lies About Having Readlisted on The Best Selling Books of All Time

16
The Lion, the Witch and ... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
C. S. Lewis

First Published: 1950

Subjects: Evacuations of civilians in Britain during World War II

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

Original Language: English Language

Movie Adaptation: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

More The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 

#11 of 1,295 The Best Novels Ever Written #18 of 314 The Top Must-Read Books of All Timelisted on The Best Selling Books of All Time

17
Matilda is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
Roald Dahl

First Published: 1988

Subjects: Education, Humour, Classics, Adventure, Schools, + more

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

Original Language: English Language

Movie Adaptation: Matilda (1996)
18
The Lorax is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
Dr. Seuss

First Published: 1971-08-12

Subjects: Consumerism, Ecology, Knitting, Environmentalism

Genres (Book): Children's literature, Fiction

Original Language: English Language

Movie Adaptation: The Lorax (2012)
19
Harry Potter and the Cha... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
J. K. Rowling

First Published: 1998-07-02

Subjects: Wizards, Magic, Schools, England

Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Fiction, Fantasy

Movie Adaptation: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
20
Harry Potter and the Gob... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
J. K. Rowling

First Published: 2000-07-08

Subjects: Wizards, Schools, England

Genres (Book): Speculative fiction

Movie Adaptation: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
21
Dumbo, the Flying Elepha... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
Helen Aberson
Movie Adaptation: Dumbo (1941)
22
Stuart Little is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
E. B. White

First Published: 1945

Subjects: Literature, Classics, Adventure, Friendship, Animal

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

Original Language: English Language

Movie Adaptation: Stuart Little (1999)
23
Horton Hears a Who! is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
Dr. Seuss

First Published: 1954-08

Subjects: Internationalism

Genres (Book): Children's literature

Original Language: English Language

Movie Adaptation: Horton Hears a Who! (2008)
24
Madeline is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies
Ludwig Bemelmans

Subjects: Boarding school

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

Movie Adaptation: Madeline (1998)
25
How to Train Your Dragon... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies

Genres (Book): Children's literature, Fantasy

Movie Adaptation: How To Train Your Dragon (2010)