12 Children’s Books Made Into Movies, K-2nd


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Books With Movies K-2

If you have a kid who prefers NOT to read, then you know my struggle. I love to read and it pains me so to see books discarded after a half-hearted attempt. I’ve been intrigued by this idea of pairing a Book and a Movie for some time now, (thanks, Ticia!,) and after seeing a few more posts about this sort of thing I’ve finally decided to put it into action this summer.

The idea is to read the book FIRST, and once the book has been read, have a family movie night to watch the movie. <– That’s the plan at its simplest.

The books can be read-alouds with the whole family, or solo read. My friend Ticia (above) even decks out the snack table with movie-themed snacks. We have also decided to include a few books for movies that we have already seen. However it works best for your family, make it your own.

After sharing this idea on Facebook, a local friend asked me if this would work for younger grades, too.

Yes!  Even for those who can’t read or read well. You can read the book to them for storytime and then watch the movie. It’s a great way to foster a love of books (and I’m all in favor of building a love for books!)

So for my friend who is looking for young reader books that have been made into movies, and anyone who may need them, here you go. Enjoy!!

Kindergarten Books Made Into Moves

**All of these Kindergarten books are stories that will interest children at this age and will need to be read to the kids for storytime. They are not Kindergarten reading level books, but Kindergarten INTEREST level. That means they will interest children as young as five, but they may also interest first and second graders as well. 

Depending on your child’s skill level at this age, however, you might be able to have your child help you read some of the words, and reading the book together is a great way to help your child learn how to read better! They will love reading the story with you, and in turn, will likely grow to love reading books on their own. 

Books at Kindergarten Interest Level:

Madeline, by Ludwig Bemelmans
Find the First Book in This Series | Find the Movie (PG)

While you are probably most familiar with the cartoon series made from these books, there is also a live action movie that was released in 1998, rated PG, with a 4.5 star review (according to Amazon customers.) My girls loved the cartoon series when they were little, and we rented a few of the books from the library, too.

The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg
Find the Book | Find the Movie (G)

My kids love this movie, but sadly, we’ve never read the book! Perhaps when Christmas rolls around again, we’ll read the book first and have a very special Book and Movie night. =)

The Gruffalo, by Julia Donaldson
Find the Book | Find the Movie (G)

I have to confess that I never read the book, nor seen the movie! I know this is a childhood classic and favorite for many, and I have no idea why I’ve never read it. =) And in turn, I never read it to my kids, either. Their childhood is probably detrimentally deficient because of this oversight. 😉

Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak
Find the Book | Find the Movie (PG)

I thought this was a cute little book when I was younger, and as a mother of a son, I think it clearly shows the vast reaches of the a boy’s imagination. More than once I’ve found my son immersed in a completely different world while he was playing in his bedroom floor. Personally, I didn’t love the movie, but it was okay, and you should decide for yourself after you watch the book. Yes? =)

First Grade Books Made Into Movies

By the time kids get to first grade, your kids will be able to read a few books on their own. But it’s still hard to find many at this level because most of what your child can read is not necessarily movie material. I tried to find movies based off of books that are first grade READING level and it’s quite tricky. If you know of any, please let me know!

These first grade interest level books have slightly more complex storylines or themes but may also appeal to some Kindergarteners. Second graders will probably also enjoy these books.

Books at First Grade Interest Level:

Horton Hears a Who, by Dr. Seuss
Find the Book | Find the Movie (G)

This is actually a third grade reading level so you’ll find this one again on the 3rd-4th grade list. =) Younger kids will be interested in the story, and the movie appeals to young and old. I’ve linked to the newer movie, but if you prefer, you can use the 1970 version.

The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss
Find the Book | Find the Movie (PG)

This one is also a third grade reading level, but again first graders will like the story, and they should be able to help sound out some of the words. The movie was really well done also. Your kids will enjoy comparing the two.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, by Judi Barrett
Find the Book | Find the Movie (PG)

This is an “end of second grade” reading level, so you could either read it aloud for your first grader or let your second grader read it on their own. However, since it’s a little easier to find 2nd grade books, I chose to include it here as a read-aloud for first graders. The story is quite simple, so of course they had to add quite a bit to the movie–but the movie is so fun.

Night at the Museum, by Milan Trenc
Find the Book | Find the Movie

It was incredibly difficult to find a reading level for this book! (Maybe 2nd?) However, this will make a good-read aloud, judging by what I’m finding on the internet. I haven’t read the book, and I’m not sure I’ve even seen the movie. My son says the movie is pretty good.

Second Grade Books Made Into Movies

Finally! We’ve hit second grade. Storylines continue to increase in complexity and length a little. Now we can start finding some book-made-movie titles that a child can read on their own. It’s still a little bit tricky, but here are four that you can start with. Once your child reaches a third grade reading level, I promise it will be a lot easier to find books with movies!

Books at Second Grade Reading Level

Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer, by Megan McDonald
Find the Book | Find the Movie (PG)

I’ve never read the book but I watched the movie with my girls a few summers ago and it was really cute! It would be interesting to know how well they stuck to the book, and if people who read the book first liked it. 😉

Stellaluna, by Janell Cannon
Find the Book | Find the Movie (G)

I’m not familiar with this one, but it is rated at the end of 2nd grade reading level. It looks super cute, though. Have you read it, or watched the movie?

The Ant Bully, by John Nickle
Find the Book | Find the Movie (PG)

This is another “late 2nd grade” level book. Trust me, once you hit the third grade reading level, it’s a lot easier to find books with movies! I’ve never read this book, by my kids really liked the movie.

Fantastic Mr. Fox, by Roalf Dahl
Find the Book | Find the Movie (PG-13)

This appears to be a late second grade or early third grade level book. I’ve never read it, nor have we seen the movie. The movie is rated PG-13 (apparently for violence as the farmers are trying to kill the fox,) but Common Sense Media scores the movie as appropriate for kids 7+. (You can read the thorough review on CSM and see what you think.)

Make Your Own Movie Night

So now that you know how it works, and now that you have a list of books to get you started, do you think you’ll be giving this a try?

Or, if you’ve done this before, what did you do to make it unique for your family?

Don’t worry, if you need books for older reading levels, I have more lists coming soon!

**Note: If you want to read complete reviews of movies before letting your kids watch them, we use Common Sense Media to get a thorough run down of various content matter and themes. It’s free to use. They often have reviews for the books, too!**

Image Credit: Unsplash, Jeremy Yap

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