After my post yesterday, I started wondering why I believe it is so important to read the book before I see the movie. As I considered it, I realized it is because I love details and a beautifully crafted phrase. As I mentioned, my son didn't read the Hunger Games, and still hasn't, but he kept coming to me, so that I could fill in the gaps left by the film. After we covered the more complex themes, I finally told him, "If you want details, you need to read the books yourself."
The well written lines of a novel give me an opportunity to participate with the author in crafting the story. I get to create the images in my mind and step into the world the author has created. I bring my own experiences to bear and the story comes to life in a unique way. When I see a movie, most of the decisions are made, down to the swelling music that hopes to dictate my mood.
I mentioned a few movie adaptations that I loved yesterday. Off the top of my head, I can quickly think of three books for children whose adapted movies don't do the novels justice:
The Waterhorse by Dick King-Smith
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Do an experiment as a family. Read the Books. Watch the Movies. Then, let me know if I was right or wrong. Happy reading and watching!