Book-to-Big-Screen Winners

February 28th, 2012 by

Monday mornings are always rough, but it was especially hard for me to get out of bed yesterday because I stayed up watching the Oscars on Sunday night. Did you?

My favorite part of the Oscars is always checking out what the celebrities are wearing, but this year I was also paying close attention to all the categories where War Horse and Hugo were nominated, since they’re both based on children’s books. Though neither one picked up the Best Picture award, I was delighted when The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore won for Best Animated Short Film. What what! Book love at the Oscars! Raise the roof! Holla!


Since I have book-to-movie adaptations on the brain, I thought maybe you guys would too. So here’s a round-up of our favorite films based on children’s books, to help you get ready for your next DVD night. Out of ALL our movie reviews on Kidsmomo, these are the ones that got two smileys from us!

How to Train Your Dragon, based on the book by Cressida Cowell:

(And apparently there’s a sequel in the works. Yahoo!)


Ramona and Beezus, based on the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary:


Flipped, based on the novel by Wendelin Van Draanen:


Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, based on the book by Judi and Ron Barrett:

Flying Books at the Oscars

February 9th, 2012 by

oscar-statuetteYou probably already know that two movies based on children’s books have been nominated for Best Picture Oscars this year (Hugo and War Horse). You may even know that last year, an animated short film based on a children’s book won an Oscar (The Lost Thing). But did you know that this year, a film not based on a book but ABOUT books is up for an Oscar?

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is nominated in the Animated Short category. And as you can guess by the title, the story is about a man who lives among flying books. He fixes up old ones, matches just the right tales with folks who want to read ’em, and even does some dancing with them!

You can watch the whole film below — and I really suggest you do because it’s completely lovely. But just a warning: you may not want to watch it in public because it’s quite moving at the end. I snuck in a viewing at work, and I had to fight back tears at the office! Then again, I tend to weep at books, TV shows, and movies pretty easily…

Why don’t you just watch The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore for yourself and leave me a comment with YOUR thoughts!

— Karen

Karen really wouldn’t mind a life like this; she highly prefers the company of books over people anyway.

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An Oscar-Winning Book?

January 30th, 2011 by

Recently, I said that the Newbery Awards are like the Oscars for books. But this time, I’m talking about a book that might actually win an Oscar! How’s that possible? Well, it’s actually a movie that’s based on a book — but it’s closer to the original than the average film adaptation because it’s an animated movie based on a book that’s mainly made up of illustrations, and because the book’s author played a huge part in creating the movie.

The movie is The Lost Thing, and it’s nominated for an Oscar in the animated short film category. The book is also called The Lost Thing, and it’s a picture book by Australian author/illustrator Shaun Tan. In both the book and the film, a boy discovers a strange creature one day while he’s at the beach and tries to find out where it belongs. Sounds simple enough, right? Not exactly Oscar material? Well, it’s not quite as straightforward as that: The creature is gigantic and red, with green tentacles — and yet no one except the boy really pays any attention. And the setting for the story isn’t your ordinary town, but a sort of future world with green skies and crazy amounts of machinery and plumbing. NOW I’ve got your attention, right?

Check out this beautiful illustration from the original book (taken from Shaun Tan’s official website, where you can see even more!):

Illustration from "The Lost Thing" (from

Now see how The Lost Thing comes to life on film in the official movie trailer:

(You can also see some incredible behind-the-scenes sketches and movie stills on Shaun Tan’s site.)

Unfortunately, you probably won’t get a chance to read the book before the Academy Awards next month because up until now, the book has never been published in the United States. But don’t worry — in April, The Lost Thing will be published in America as part of a collection of short stories by Shaun Tan, called Lost and Found.

And if you can’t wait until then, definitely check out Shaun Tan’s other amazing books, which also have gorgeous and bizarre illustrations: The Arrival and Tales from Outer Suburbia.

— Karen

Every year, Karen tries to watch all the Oscar nominees for animated short film. It’s usually the only category where she sees all the movies. Just further proof she forgot to grow up somewhere along the way!

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PS – Full disclosure: I work for the company that publishes Shaun Tan’s books in America, but I don’t work on them at all. Man oh man, how I wish I did!!!!!