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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

question of the day: What children’s picture book would you most like to see made into a film?

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, based on the book by Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett [Amazon U.S.] [Amazon U.K.], opens next week. Spike Jonze’s take on Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are [Amazon U.S.] [Amazon U.K.] is coming soon. Movies based on children’s books are nothing new, but most of them are based on chapter books — movies based on what are essentially picture books are much rarer.

Maybe we need more of them: Goodnight Moon: The Movie, anyone? What children’s picture book would you most like to see made into a film?
I’d love to see a movie that looks like Chris Van Allsburg’s illustrations, like maybe the ones in The Widow’s Broom [Google Books preview] [Amazon U.S.] [Amazon U.K.]. David Wiesner’s Tuesday is one of my favorite picture books, too [Google Books preview] [Amazon U.S.] [Amazon U.K.] — it’d be cool to see flying frogs onscreen.


(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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  • Kathy A

    You beat me to Tuesday!! It’s my favorite picture book (I always give it at baby showers). I’d love to see those frogs on their lilypads zipping through the subdivision.

    Another good kids book is The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, as told by A. Wolf. “I was just trying to borrow a cup of sugar! Honest!!” That’d be a fun film to animate.

  • CoriAnn

    Hmm…Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day perhaps? That could be fun–maybe if we could get Pixar to do it?

  • I’d rather see a closer telling of Cloudy with the grandfather and the kids involved in narrating than some weird mad-scientist one-off iteration/interpretation/adaptation.

  • Hank Graham

    Daniel Pinkwater’s “Yobgorgle” or “The Worms of Kukumlima”

  • Mimi

    Hmmmm. My favorites I wouldn’t want to see corrupted, and my less favorites I wouldn’t want to see, period. I think “Peekaboo” by Janet and Allan Ahlberg would be fun… but maybe that’s just my Anglophilia talking. It’s a day in the life of a British baby/family during WWII. So while my daughter is delighting in the rhymes and wondering at the coal bin and clothesline and porridge, I’m noticing, hmm, that’s a smoking, bombed-out ruin of a building across the street there. Blitz stories for kiddies–awesome!

  • Kate

    From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. My favorite book as a child.

  • Shadowen

    Terry Pratchett’s The Amazing Maurice And His Educated Rodents.

  • Where’s Waldo

  • grj

    The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch.

  • yuriejb

    The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer

  • yuriejb

    Scratch that, it’s not a picture book.

  • Bluejay

    The Shrinking of Treehorn by Florence Parry Heide, illustrated by Edward Gorey. I loved the quaint yet ominous Gorey illustrations and would love to see them come to life on screen.

  • amanohyo

    Kate, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler was a childhood favorite of my wife and I as well (I still remember the picture of their bath in the coin fountain). For some reason, I was obsessed with The Great Steamboat Mystery by Richard Scarry and The Giving Tree. Either of those would make nice shorts, and I also wouldn’t mind seeing a movie version of some of Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter stories.

    And there was an oddly illustrated book containing two Korean folk tales, The Sun and the Moon, and The Magic Gourds, that could be the basis of two cool shorts. Oh, and there was this book with chinese brothers, and they all had a super power…found it, The Five Chinese Brothers (might need to be updated to the five chinese siblings). I’m having trouble thinking of a book that I wouldn’t love to see made into a movie. When it comes to interesting visuals, kids are demanding critics, so most successful picture books are pretty compelling.

  • Thumbelina. I’m not sure if that’s the correct spelling, but it’s way too hard to climb into the attic to find out.
    I love this book and I refuse to give my ancient, silverfish ravished copy to the recycle bin.
    Thumbelina is a tiny girl who floats on lilypads, rides on the back of butterlies and sleeps in a half walnut shell.
    Tucked away in the attic, along side the tattered book, is a handpainted gold half walnut shell lined with cotton wool, just in case she ever wants to sleep over at my place. I live in hope.
    Maureen Hume. http://www.thepizzagang.com

  • hdj

    i’m sort of with Kathy A.’s pick for the true story of the three little pigs, though I rather have the ” Stinky cheese man and other fairly stupid tails” to be made. Which was written by the same guy Jon Scieszka. I dunno I grew up with Ren and Stimpy so that book was a classic to me. Might be too gross for todays standards though ,since Sponge bob is liter on the gross factor then Ren and Stimpy was

  • Lynette Coetzee

    ‘I have just finished reading Goosala Goop which is a newly published book and even though I enjoyed this book thoroughly, I think it’s benefits would be felt dramatically if it could be a movie. It would be an outstanding film with unbelievable effects displayed on the screen! My kids and their friends would be the first ones at the ticket-office!’

  • Jurgan

    Maybe The Giving Tree, if I want my heart torn in half.

    Maureen: There already was a Thumbelina movie. One of Don Bluth’s lesser-known projects, and it doesn’t look like it came out very good.

  • Jurgan
  • Brian

    The first book I ever read was called The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge. The illustrations in that book are so evocative and haunting that they’ve stuck with me into adulthood. I fear that a cinematic interpretation by anyone but Pixar or an indie company would render the story unwatchably cutesy, or throw in pointless action sequences (Polar Express, anyone?) . . . but if done right it could be beautiful.

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