With the film adaptation of the popular children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, I got to thinking: what other children’s books would make great movies? Here’s a selection of titles that I think would be cinematic successes.
1. The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka & Lane Smith
This book takes the classic story of "The Three Little Pigs" and turns it around on the little pigs, giving the wolf a chance to tell his side of the story. Speaking from his jail cell, Mr. A. Wolf explains what really happened, while pleading his case for innocence. Scieszka and Smith merge disrespectful storytelling with layered, collage-like drawings/pictures, giving this book a full of life look that could be cleverly translated into stop-movement animation for the silver screen.
2. The Night Eater by Ana Juan
This colorful book explores an alternate reality in which a big, pajama-covered figure circles the world eating the darkness, making way for the new day to begin. Juan's pictures are incredibly appealing, and the movie would have to be made as an animated flick (of course!) for this to work. "The Night Eater's" solid story line would lend itself well to CG or stop movement animation, and its large amount of crazy characters could be given new life with any number of unique voice-over artists.
3. Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Set in the era of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, "Esperanza Rising" possesses an amazing background for this equally extraordinary story. The book explores the appropriately-timed themes of racism and immigration through the eyes of Esperanza, a girl forced to run from her comfortable life on a ranch in Mexico for a migrant camp in California. This versatile character has the possible ability to bring out an emotional response from every person in the theater.
4. Blubber by Judy Bloom
A familiar book for elementary kids, tweens and teens, "Blubber" explores the nature of friendships, family relationships and how to properly egg a house on Halloween. Mostly a story with an anti-bullying message, the book is told from the point of view of neither the bully nor the girl getting bullied, but from someone who is caught in the middle. Through this character's eyes, we see how failing to stand up for others can be just as harmful as the actual bullying--and how deeply caring and understanding feelings are the key to finding one's sense of right and wrong. "Blubber" would translate best as a live action film, catering to families who want a movie that is both funny and emotional.
5. Corduroy by Don Freeman
A childhood favorite since its first publication date in 1968, "Corduroy" could be a cute and attractive film that would gather the rare G-rating so many parents search for for their younger children. Here's to hoping we see the fuzzy bear wearing his signature green overalls on the silver screen in the near future.
So there you have it folks: 5 great children's books that would be amazing movies. Please, as always, let me know what you all thought in the poll and comments below. I always appreciate your input! Thanks for reading!