As the year comes to a close and my goal to read 200 books this year comes to an end, I’ve had thoughts to expand the use of this blog to cover more than book reviews. When going to the movies yesterday, I saw door clings advertising Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. I thought to myself what other movies are coming out based on children’s books. Apparently, quite a few!

February 2010
I was unable to find a children’s book for January, but February makes up for it with a bang. Percy Jackson and Olympians: The Lightning Thief is being released on Feb. 12, 2010. When I reviewed the first book in the series back in June, I hadn’t heard about the movie. Obviously, it had already been filmed by that point, little did I know. Logan Lerman plays Percy Jackson, who I’m unfamiliar with. Ray Winstone, who played Mac in the latest Indiana Jones movie, plays Ares, which I’m a little skeptical about. However, Uma Thurman as Medusa and Pierce Brosnan as Chiron I’m excited to see.

March 2010
There’s two movies in March that I’ve found based off of children’s books. Alice in Wonderland I’ve known about for a while know, and is set to release on March 6, 2010. This movie is getting a LOT of hype, especially because of the all star cast involved. Directed by Tim Burton, it’s hardly any surprise that Johnny Depp plays the part of the Mad Hatter, complete with a carrot-top curly wig. Helena Bonham Carter is cast as the Red Queen, Alan Rickman plays the Caterpillar, and Anne Hathway is the White Queen. Who’s playing Alice you might ask… Mia Wasikowska. I’m ashamed to admit that Alice in Wonderland is one of those classics that I have not read yet, so I don’t know how accurate it will be to the book. Reading the short synopsis, it sounds more like a sequel rather than a remake of the original novel. In any case, I’m keeping this one on my radar, if just for the pictures and make-up work involved.

**Apparently there is a lot of interest in the book, as the Syfi channel is airing an updated/modern Alice airing several times throughout the next week. Here’s the schedule, but check local listings for channel and times.

Also in March is How To Train Your Dragon. Being released on March 26, 2010 and based on the book by Cressida Cowell, I’m again excited about this book and I hope they don’t butcher it. It’s a wonderfully humerous story about the underdog getting the best out of the worst circumstances. Hiccup the viking king’s son needs to train a dragon to prove his bravery. Instead, he gets Toothless, whose impossible to train. When they compete against his Viking peers, he has disasterous results. But he and Toothless might be the only ones who can save his village.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid… wait, WHAT!?! That’s right, Jeff Kinney’s popular novel is being turned into a live-action movie. Zachary Gordon plays the title role, and looking at pictures of him, I think he looks a little young for the part. Is this a sign that sequels are to come, or has he grown since the pictures were taken? Who knows. His last big role was a vocal part in another kid movie favorite, Santa Buddies. Based on the credits, you can tell that they’ll be mentioning the shirts and skins games in the gym (“Shirts Kid” and “Skins Kid”).

June 30, 2010, Eclipse comes to theatres. The third in the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, I’m absolutely over all the hype of this series. It’s not my favorite series, but I can understand the appeal. If you’re familiar with the series, you know who’s starring in it. Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner and everyone else. Bella must choose between vampire Edward and werewolf Jacob.

Here’s another movie that I’m actually excited to see. Ramona and Beezus is being released August 13, 2010, obviously based on the book by Beverly Cleary. This is another movie with an all star cast. Selena Gomez stars as Beezus (of Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place fame) and Joey King stars as Ramona, after doing voices for Horton Hears a Who and Ice Age 3. There’s also Josh Duhamel, Sandra Oh, Bridget Moynahan and John Corbett. All I have to say is, they better not mess this up.

I feel horrible about this month, not because of the books themselves, but because I haven’t read either of them! I’ve got to add these to my list pronto.
A movie I heard about earlier this summer (due to filming taking place in Ann Arbor, Michigan) is Flipped based on the novel by Wendelin Van Draanen. Due to be released on September 17th, it tells the story of two neighbors. The girl, Juli, has been crazy about Bryce her whole life, but Bryce thinks she’s a little weird. But in eighth grade, just as Bryce starts seeing Juli as kind of cool, Juli gets tired of waiting. I’m intrigued just by the fact that it was filmed in my home state.

Coming out on September 24, 2010 is Guardians of Ga’Hoole, a series that I haven’t read yet. The movie is based on the first three books in the series, written by Kathryn Lasky. We have quite a few of them in our library, it’s about a group of owls that are trained to be soldiers. Soren, a barn owl, escapes and joins forces with other owls to stop the army’s formation. I’m planning on reading this before the movie arrives, but that’s all I got so far. No movie poster is available at this point. The only names I really recognize on the list of voice credits (and granted I’m bad with names in general) are Helen Mirren, Geoffrey Rush and Emilie de Ravin (most recently on Lost).

Harry Potter is BACK! This one is kind of a no-brainer, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last… ten years or so. Part one of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is scheduled for a November 19th release. I don’t know yet where they’re cutting the book off for the first of two movies based on the last book. Just like Eclipse, the whole gang is back, and I think just about everyone has already decided if they’re going to see this one or not, regardless of what I say. You’ll have to wait another seven months to see the actual final finale of the series, when part II is released.

Another big seven book children’s series (what is it with the number seven), The Chronicles of Narnia saga is back again. Voyage of the Dawn Treader is slated for a December 10th release, just in time for the holidays. Georgie Henley is back as Lucy, and I remember being pretty impressed that this relatively unknown young actress did such a great job with the first one (Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe) although I didn’t see the second one. Skander Keynes also returns as Edmund and Liam Neeson is Aslan’s voice. We’ll have to see what happens with this one, since Disney was so disappointed with the second one they stopped making them and 20th Century Fox took over.

WHEW! So mark your calendars now, and be prepared. Next year is looking to be a wonderful year for movies. Did I forget any movies from children’s books that you know about? Let me know. Can you fill in the other months that I don’t have anything for yet?