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The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies

Updated November 21, 2019 55.5k votes 2.2k voters 256.1k 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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  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory1

    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#46 of 1,235 The Best Novels Ever Written

  • Mary Poppins2
    508
    138

    Mary Poppins

    P. L. Travers

    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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  • Alice in Wonderland3
    422
    105

    Alice in Wonderland

    Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

    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#3 of 52 The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels

  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas!4

    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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  • Charlotte's Web5
    424
    121

    Charlotte's Web

    E. B. White

    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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    #10 of 117 The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written#4 of 16 The Saddest Deaths In Children's Books We're Still Not Over

  • Winnie-the-Pooh6
    360
    101

    Winnie-the-Pooh

    A. A. Milne

    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...  more
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  • The Jungle Book7
    362
    103

    The Jungle Book

    Rudyard Kipling

    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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  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz8
    368
    108

    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...  more
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    #16 of 20 The Best Books That Have Been Banned#37 of 102 The Best Books About Wizards

  • Treasure Island9
    326
    89

    Treasure Island

    Robert Louis Stevenson

    First Published1883

    SubjectsMonarch, Literary, Piracy, 18th century, Places

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

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Movie Adaptation: Treasure Island (1950)
    Treasure Island is an adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a...  more
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    #18 of 26 The Best Audiobooks On Librivox#82 of 99 The Best Books With Island in the Title

  • The Hundred and One Dalmatians10

    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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  • The Night at the Museum11
    292
    81

    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...  more
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  • The Polar Express12
    313
    98

    The Polar Express

    Chris Van Allsburg

    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...  more
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  • The Lorax13
    285
    87

    The Lorax

    Dr. Seuss

    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...  more
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    #5 of 52 The Best Dr. Seuss Books#7 of 24 Good Books for 6 Year Olds

  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix14

    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,...  more
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  • Jumanji15
    345
    119

    Jumanji

    Chris Van Allsburg, George Spelvin

    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...  more
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  • The Chronicles of Narnia16
    Movie Adaptation: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
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  • Matilda17
    308
    106

    Matilda

    Roald Dahl

    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...  more
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  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone18

    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....  more
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  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe19

    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,...  more
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    #1 of 70 Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving#10 of 125 The Best Overall Books for Kids

  • Dumbo, the Flying Elephant20
    253
    87
    Movie Adaptation: Dumbo (1941)
    Dumbo, the Flying Elephant is a book written by Helen Aberson....  more
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  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets21

    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,...  more
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  • Madeline22
    226
    76

    Madeline

    Ludwig Bemelmans

    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...  more
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  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire23

    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...  more
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  • Where the Wild Things Are24
    218
    72

    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...  more
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    #8 of 16 Children's Books You Didn't Realize Kids Are Still Reading#26 of 97 The Greatest Books to Read to Kids

  • Stuart Little25
    234
    81

    Stuart Little

    E. B. White

    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...  more
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