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11 Great Kids' Books that Made Great Movies

Some books are so great, so beloved by children, that it's in a young fan's interest to say, "If it ain't broke, don't film it." But what about those books that practically leap from the page, with worlds so wondrous it would be criminal to not make them into a movie? The Harry Potter series comes to mind as one that screams for screen time and -- five films in – Harry fans so far say that the movies are excellent companion pieces for J.K. Rowling's magical world.

This spring, both "The Spiderwick Chronicles" and Dr. Suess' "Horton Hears a Who!" will come to life in theaters. For parents, film adaptations of popular kids' and young adult reads can be an excellent way to get kids reading – especially if they didn't realize the characters they like so much on screen have another life on the page.

Use our list of popular family films that have their basis in books. Some of them might surprise you. Then log in to tell us your family's favorite book and movie pairings.

Movie: "Shrek" based on "Shrek!" by William Steig

The worldwide sensation in the form of green ogre Shrek didn't begin on the Dreamworks' lot. William Steig's picture book, "Shrek!", first introduced kids to Shrek's swamp, his adventures roaming the countryside, and the ogre's something-to-be-desired personal hygiene routine. Kids will take an interest in comparing Shrek's picture-book look (in Steig's charming cartoon style) to his film self, and getting to see Shrek's mom and dad, who "kicked him goodbye" when it was time for their son to see the world.
Read the movie review on Family.com.
Get more information on the book on Amazon.com.

"Mary Poppins," based on the book series by P.L. Travers

Everyone's favorite nanny has origins in P.L. Travers' book, which carries an added bonus: Illustrations by Mary Shepard, famed for her "Winnie the Pooh" art. Kids schooled on Julie Andrews' "spoonful-of-sugar" style might flip to find out that Travers' Poppins is more stern than her movie counterpart — but that's half the fun.
Read the movie review on Family.com.
Get more information on the book on Amazon.com.

"The Wizard of Oz," based on "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," by L. Frank Baum

Though L. Frank Baum's book has none of the movie's memorable songs, Oz-obsessed tykes will delight in having this tale — complete with whimsical illustrations by W.W. Denslow — read to them. (The popularity of the original "Oz" novel prompted Baum to write 13 sequels, so kids' exploration can continue if they're really hooked.) Because Baum set out to create Brothers Grimm-esque fairy tales without the horrors, kids still frightened of the movie's flying monkeys and Wicked Witch might fare better with the tale on the page (though it still features the monkeys and witch.)
Read the movie review on Family.com.
Get more information on the book on Amazon.com.

"Holes," based on the book by Louis Sachar

A smart, funny author like Louis Sachar deserves a smart, funny movie based on one of his best books. Happily, the 2003 Disney film nails Sachar's odd characters, over-the-top storylines, and sense of humor. Kids who love the film will enjoy Sachar's matter-of-fact writing and the chance to spend more time with ever-down-on-his-luck Stanley Yelnats.
Read the movie review on Family.com.
Read the book review on Family.com.

"Alice in Wonderland," based on "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass," by Lewis Carroll

Nonsense reigns in Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." Kids familiar only with Disney's animated version — which combines Wonderland and its Looking-Glass sequel — will enjoy perusing John Tenniel's original illustrations (pay attention to the edition you choose, as many illustrators have tried their hand at drawing Carroll's eccentric characters), which inspired the character Disney brought to the screen. Though it can be hard to follow, kids love Carroll's wordplay and learning that Alice was based on a real girl.
Read the movie review on Family.com.
Read the book review on Family.com.

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CeReality: 5 Families, 5 Stories, 1 Critical Meal

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