Read a book before you watch it

March 18, 2011|Lesley Mason | Kids Ink

How many times have you caught yourself saying, "I think I'll wait for the movie"?

That type of mentality is easily passed along to the younger readers in your life. Why not challenge them to read the story before they go to the theater?

 Do you have a reluctant young reader? Maybe their favorite movie was a book first. They might be more willing to read a title that they are already familiar with. It might surprise you to find out how many popular movies started out on a bookshelf.

"A Day with Wilbur Robinson," by William Joyce (Ages 4 to 8)

Every family has its quirks, but, in this house, an octopus opens the door, it's snowing in the east wing and someone left the time machine on so dinosaurs are lounging poolside. You might know this title better as the film version, "Meet the Robinsons."

"Mars Needs Moms!,"by Berkeley Breathed (Ages 4 to 8)

Milo doesn't appreciate his mom, until she is abducted by Martians who are in desperate need of mothers. He quickly learns why moms are so important. Need another title that helps children understand how to realize the importance of the undervalued? Try "Flawed Dogs: The Year-End Leftovers at the Piddleton ‘Last Chance' Dog Pound."

"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," by Judi Barrett (Ages 4 to 8)

The tiny town of Chewandswallow has wacky weather, which comes three times a day, at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Life for the townspeople is delicious until the weather takes a turn for the worse. Look for the sequel, "Pickles to Pittsburgh."

"How to Train Your Dragon," by Cressida Cowell (Ages 9 to 12)

Young Hiccup may be the son of Stoick the Vast, chief of the Hairy Hooligans, but he isn't exactly heroic Viking material. A wildly popular movie, this book is the first in a series that is great for reluctant readers. There is also a follow up title, "How to Train Your Viking."

"Coraline," by Neil Gaiman (Ages 9 to 12)

Coraline lives with her preoccupied parents in part of a huge old house, a house so huge that other people live in it, too. On a rainy day Coraline discovers a locked door that takes her to another world, one that is determined to keep her there. Have a reader that likes this movie? Try "The Graveyard Book," also by Neil Gaiman.

"I Am Number Four," by Pittacus Lore (Ages 12 and older)

An extraordinary young man, John Smith is a fugitive on the run from ruthless enemies sent to destroy him. As only one of nine children sent from Lorien to Earth, John struggles to develop his powers in time to save the rest of his kind.

"Beastly," by Alex Flinn (Ages 12 and older)

Kyle Kingson has it all — looks, intelligence, wealth and opportunity — and a wicked cruel streak. This modern spin on the classic tale "Beauty and the Beast" is in theaters now.

"The Princess Diaries," by Meg Cabot (Ages 12 and older)

Mia is a teenager living in New York City who discovers that she is now the heir apparent to the throne in Genovia, a small European country. The film adaptation stars Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway.

Lesley Mason is the children and teen librarian at Washington County Free Library.

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