One Reason Why Film Adaptations of Books Can Be Good

Many people are quick to whine about the poor quality of film adaptations of books; oftentimes before they see even one frame of film. SF/F fans are a fickle and hard to please bunch and, true, many adaptations are not true to the original work for reasons Michael Cassutt explains quite nicely. But I’m coming to realize there’s at least one benefit of movie adaptations: promoting reading in children.

Over the last year or so, there have been several movie adaptations that my daughter has seen and liked enough to spark interest in the source material. (While her reading level isn’t quite up to the book, her old man is more than happy to spend the time and read it to her – yet another positive effect.) It started with The Iron Giant and continued with Kiki’s Delivery Service and Holes. Both the films and the books for these stories were fantastic. We enjoyed both versions very much.

It would be nice, of course, if the love of the book could come first. Last week was the first step in that direction. We read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Needless to say, she’s excited about the release of the movie in two weeks. We just finished watching the 10 minute trailer that Tivo caught for us. (We love you, Tivo!)

3 thoughts on “One Reason Why Film Adaptations of Books Can Be Good”

  1. :D I’ve got a little story to confirm this bit or so. When I was stll working at my old company I worked with a lady (Gloria) about my age (late 40s) and her daughter is now a senior in HS. She and her daughter a big readers and like fantasy and SF (daughter has read all HP from the beginning). Well, she told me that more than a few years ago while they were on their family vacation, there came point that the daughter had read all the books she had brought on the trip. So they got to a place that sold some books and Gloria told her daughter she could go pick out any book she wanted to read, and her daughter who would be 6-8 at the time picked out Jurassic Park (Gloria had already read it), Gloria told her ‘you know this is not a kid’s book’, but the little girl went ahead and plowed through it.

  2. I have to say that reading to your kids is a fantastic way to get them involved in reading. It emphasizes the “do as I do” mentality versus the “do as I say” one. I really think that my son has a desire to read since we read every night to him and still on occasion read to him. Combine that with a healthy dose of audiobooks for when we travel and he is an avid reader at age 8 – I will continue to read to him on occasion and stress the importance of reading as he gets older.

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