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The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies

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)

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    #60 of 103 The Best Selling Books of All Time#58 of 331 The Top Must-Read Books of All Time#36 of 1,236 The Best Novels Ever Written

  • 2
    P. L. Travers
    470
    126

    First Published1934

    SubjectsMusical theatre, Women, Theatre, London, Performing arts

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Children's literature

    Movie Adaptation: Mary Poppins (1964)
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  • 3
    Lewis Carroll, William Glennon
    387
    102

    First Published1865

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

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    #13 of 171 35+ Books Everybody Lies About Having Read#5 of 52 The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels#2 of 40 The Best Books Written Under Pen Names

  • 4
    E. B. White
    397
    107

    First Published1952

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Children's literature

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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

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    #7 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

    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)

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  • 6
    A. A. Milne
    329
    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
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  • 7
    341
    101

    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
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    #19 of 20 The Best Books That Have Been Banned#41 of 102 The Best Books About Wizards#17 of 28 25+ Audiobooks Kids Of All Ages Will Love

  • 8
    Rudyard Kipling
    332
    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)

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  • 9

    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)

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  • 10
    270
    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
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  • 11

    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
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  • 12
    Chris Van Allsburg
    291
    90

    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
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  • 13
    Movie Adaptation: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
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  • 14
    Dr. Seuss
    264
    77

    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
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  • 15
    Chris Van Allsburg, George Spelvin
    323
    110

    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
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  • 16
    Roald Dahl
    289
    94

    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
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  • 17

    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
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    #1 of 64 The Best Children's Book Series#91 of 169 Books You'll Never Finish Reading#1 of 102 The Best Books for Teens

  • 18

    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
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    #9 of 128 The Best Overall Books for Kids#3 of 704 Books That Changed Your Life#2 of 71 Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving

  • 19

    First Published1998-07-02

    SubjectsWizards, Magic, Schools, England

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Fiction, Fantasy

    Movie Adaptation: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second novel in the Harry Potter series, written by J. K. Rowling. The plot follows Harry's second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,  ...more
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  • 20

    First Published2000-07-08

    SubjectsWizards, Schools, England

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction

    Movie Adaptation: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the fourth novel in the Harry Potter series, written by British author J. K. Rowling. It follows Harry Potter, a wizard in his fourth year at Hogwarts School of  ...more
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  • 21
    233
    82
    Movie Adaptation: Dumbo (1941)
    Dumbo, the Flying Elephant is a book written by Helen Aberson.  ...more
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  • 22
    E. B. White
    215
    73

    First Published1945

    SubjectsLiterature, Classics, Adventure, Friendship, Animal

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

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Movie Adaptation: Stuart Little (1999)
    Stuart Little is a 1945 children's novel by E. B. White, his first book for children, and is widely recognized as a classic in children's literature. Stuart Little was illustrated by the subsequently  ...more
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  • 23
    Ludwig Bemelmans
    209
    70

    SubjectsBoarding school

    Genres (Book)Picture book, Children's literature

    Movie Adaptation: Madeline (1998)
    Madeline is a media franchise that originated as a series of children's books written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans, an Austrian author. The books have been adapted into numerous formats,  ...more
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  • 24
    H. A. Rey, Margret Rey
    176
    52

    First Published1941

    SubjectsMonkey, Curiosity

    Genres (Book)Children's literature

    Movie Adaptation: Curious George (2006)
    Curious George is a children's book written and illustrated by Margret Rey and H. A. Rey, and published by Houghton Mifflin in 1941. It is the first book in the Curious George series and tells the  ...more
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  • 25
    199
    66

    First Published1963

    SubjectsEducation, Games, Classics, Adventure, Children's film

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

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Movie Adaptation: Where the Wild Things Are (2009)
    Where the Wild Things Are is a 1963 children's picture book by American writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak, originally published by Harper & Row. The book has been adapted into other media several  ...more
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    #7 of 97 The Greatest Books to Read to Kids#11 of 57 The Best Books for Toddlers#6 of 33 The Books That 90s Kids Loved To Read While Growing Up