I love reading books aloud to my children. It’s something I value and one of the few areas of parenting where I feel almost zero guilt. Whenever I hear some affirmation of the benefits of reading to children, I get a swell of contentment. They don’t eat organic produce, they definitely don’t floss enough, and I raise my voice more than I should.
But reading? I’ve got that covered.
We’ve read a lot of books over the years, but our recent selections have had a common theme – they all have accompanying movies.
I don’t read through books as quickly as I used to – we’re busier, John’s not traveling much (pre-COVID, I would read to the kids at breakfast, supper and bedtime), but it’s been such a treat to read each of these books knowing we’re going to supplement the experience with a movie.
Books we’ve read in the last 18 months that have a movie/tv SHOW
- Heidi: loved, loved, loved the book; so far we’ve only watched the 1930’s Shirley Temple version, but we plan to watch some of the newer iterations as well.
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: A great book; the movie was so-so.
- The Fantastic Mr. Fox: LOVED the book, but I’m not a fan of the movie.
- Matilda: Solid book, but I didn’t love the movie (the kids did though).
- James and the Giant Peach: Meh about both.
- The BFG: Better than James and the Giant Peach, but not my favourite. This is a rare case where I think the movie was better than the book.
- Harry Potter: I grew up reading and loving these books, but I’m not a fan of the movies. Abby read all the books, but Levi only read the first two and has only seen some of the movies. I find they get really dark (literally and figureatively). The kids love the books and the movies. Abby listens to Harry Potter audiobooks daily.
- Pollyanna: Good book; I didn’t actually watch this movie with the kids!
- The Swiss Family Robinson: My all-time favourite book from childhood; we only watched the movie, but there are some well-reviewed serialized versions as well.
- Charlotte’s Web: It’s such a classic, but definitely not my favourite.
- Little House on the Prairie: Another classic series (and we read all of them). I love some of the books and find others a very hard slog. We’ve only watched a few of the made-for-TV specials, not any of the main show.
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: The kids actually listened to this via audio-book (a slight cheat on my part?) – they’ve watched, and really enjoyed, all the movies. I find Tilda Swinton terrifying in any movie setting, and she’s a great White Witch.
- The Wizard of Oz: Really fantastic book. Great movie.
There are a lot more book/movie combos we haven’t tackled; I’m not sure how much longer we’ll keep up this trend, but for now it’s really working.
After we finish up Anne of Green Gables (and assuming we don’t go on to Book #2), I’d like to read Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol as we near the Christmas season. I absolutely loved listening to Gretchen Rubin’s audio version of this last year and am itching to read it out loud to the kids. And I’ve never watched anything other than Mickey’s Christmas Carol, so I am overdue for an acclaimed movie adaptation of this Christmas classic!
- Little Women
- Beverly Cleary novels (various)
- All Creatures Great and Small (or others by James Herriot)
- Stuart Little
- Peter Pan
- The Secret Garden
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
- Because of Winn-Dixie
- The Lord of the Rings trilogy (I know someone who read this to her kids when they were about my kiddos current ages; I love these books, but feels a bit dense and dark for their age category…and I’m not ready for them to watch screen-adpated Orcs at this point. Can you say nightmares?!)
- A Wrinkle in Time
Any suggestions of other combos to try?