Hollywood turns to children's books

What kind of movie is it that draws men and women alike, children and adults of all ages, and allows absolutely everyone to leave the theater with a smile? The answer is: the film version of the right children's book. But finding that right book is not always easy.

Hollywood executives have every reason to be thinking about children's books these days, points out the Los Angeles Times. In the first place, a good movie made from a children's book is an almost recession-proof form of entertainment. As other prices soar, the cost of taking a family to the movies remains relatively reasonable.

But there's another reason for fresh scrutiny of the field of children's books by movie studios. That's the "gaping hole" that will open in the family movie market after the launch of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II," the eighth and final Harry Potter movie  in 2011.

Beloved children's books abound but not all hit what the LA Times refers to as "a sweet spot that is deceptively difficult to find." That means not too old and not too young – with a plot that will appeal to adults without confusing or alarming children.

Film versions are currently underway of books such as J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit," R.L. Stine's "Goosebumps," and Rick Riordan's "Percy Jackson and the Olympians."

But, with good reason, the field is being considered with caution. Recent disappointments in the realm of movie version of children's books include "The Spiderwick Chronicles," "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," and "The Golden Compass."

The entire Los Angeles Times article on turning children's books into Hollywood blockbusters can be read here.

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