20 Movies and TV Series Based on Children's Books For Your Next Movie Night
Watching a movie or TV show is even more enjoyable when you've read the book first, even though the book is usually better. Reading and watching the same story is an especially good idea for kids, too, because it can increase comprehension and invite discussion about similarities and differences. Additionally, if your child doesn't naturally love reading, the promise of watching the movie after can encourage them.
If you'd like to watch a movie or show based on a book with your kids, all the main streaming platforms are full of options, from The Baby-Sitters Club to Where the Wild Things Are. The nostalgia that comes from even thinking about those great books is so real! For the trailers, streaming site links, and summaries of 20 options that can work for children of various ages, keep reading. All you need to do after is grab some popcorn and M&Ms, and you're good to go!
Ramona and Beezus
Queen of Katwe
Queen of Katwe shares the experiences of a Ugandan girl who learns she's an amazing chess player. It's also based on a true story!
Where the Wild Things Are
Based on a picture book, Where the Wild Things Are is about a young boy who enters a world filled with creatures who look nothing like him. He becomes the king of the magical land, which feels great at first since his peers in his real life exclude him, but he quickly realizes he's not as happy as he'd expected.
The Cheetah Girls
The first in a trilogy, The Cheetah Girls is about four best friends who sing and dance together. When a record company challenges them, they have to figure out what they each truly want and how to still be themselves — while remaining friends despite their differences.
Clifford the Big Red Dog
In Clifford the Big Red Dog, Clifford and his owner Emily Elizabeth spend time with their fellow dogs and dog-owner friends. They navigate life together, going on adventures and learning life lessons from their mistakes.
An American Girl Story — Melody 1963: Love Has to Win
An American Girl Story — Melody 1963: Love Has to Win is a short, inspirational movie about Melody, a 10-year-old girl who stays positive through creative outlets. This movie is set in Michigan during the civil rights movement.
Fancy Nancy is a TV show about a young girl named Nancy who makes life more "fancy" and exciting by using her imagination. It's based on picture books of the same name.
Eddie Murphy stars as the main character in Dr. Dolittle. He finds out he can speak to the animals he treats, which changes his life and career.
While Ferdinand is a peaceful bull, he's often mistaken as rambunctious and is sent away from his family. In the movie Ferdinand, the sweet animal gathers with other misfits and looks for his family.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
If your child loves learning about Greek mythology, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is a great movie option. It's an adventurous story about the demigod children of the Greek gods and goddesses, and it's based on the first book in a five-part series.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Quasimodo has spent most of his time hiding since people make fun of his hunched back, but he eventually ventures out and meets Esmeralda, a woman with a secret. When the secret gets out, Quasimodo works to save his city and gains respect from people who used to make fun of him. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a heartwarming movie that teaches the importance of looking at the inside rather than teasing people for how they look on the outside.
The Snowy Day
The Snowy Day is about a young boy who goes on an adventure to get Christmas dinner. It's only 38 minutes long, so it's great for younger kids who have shorter attention spans.
The Magic School Bus
Educational and entertaining, The Magic School Bus is about a teacher named Ms. Frizzle who takes her kids on field trips to all kinds of places to educate them. They go to outer space, under the sea, inside a human body, and more — all in a school bus!
Dear America is a historical TV series about teenage women. It covers stories of pilgrims, slaves, and more. Based on the Scholastic novels, this show shares each girl's troubles and triumphs.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
In The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, four siblings walk into a wardrobe and find the beautiful world of Narnia. With the help of a lion named Aslan, they work to protect Narnia from the evil witch's plans. This movie is about sacrifice, bravery, and love.
To All the Boys I've Loved Before
The first in a trilogy, To All the Boys I've Loved Before is a movie about a teen girl named Lara Jean who writes love letters to guys she has a crush on. When the guys somehow find the letters, she navigates the embarrassment — and even has some luck in love. As of February 12, all three movies are on Netflix!
The Baby-Sitters Club
The Emperor's New Groove
In The Emperor's New Groove, Emperor Kuzco lives a life full of success and riches — until his advisor turns him into a llama. Forming an unexpected alliance with a townsperson, he works to regain his position of power.
Charlotte's Web is a 1973 musical about a pig named Wilbur and his spider friend Charlotte. After hearing Wilbur could be killed soon, Charlotte spins messages into her web to save him.