One of my favorite summer activities for a hot day is a movie. Fortunately, we have plenty of free movie options in central Ohio for these heat waves.
Locally, kids can enjoy Free Summer Kids Movies at the Strand Theatre every Tuesday (except July 5) at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. until Aug. 2. Donations are collected at each showing to benefit a local nonprofit. Favorites like “Sing 2,” “Paw Patrol the Movie,” “Trolls World Tour,” “The Croods: A New Age,” and “Clifford the Big Red Dog” will be shown on the big screen.
Of course, we love a book-to-film tie-in at the Delaware County District Library. If you’re up for making a little drive into Franklin County, our friends at the Gateway Film Center have brought back their From Book To Film series, featuring movies based on family favorite children’s books.
Because of a partnership with Central Ohio libraries like DCDL and Columbus Metropolitan Library, admission is free for attendees when they show their library card! Gateway Film Center has been partnering with Columbus libraries since 2010 on this summer series to help promote a love of both literacy and film from a young age.
The series runs at 1:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday with a new film showing every week through July. If you don’t have a library card, you can apply for one online at www.delawarelibrary.org/librarycard or stop by any location in Delaware, Powell, Orange Township or Ostrander to get yours. Find a list of the movies below, and then a description of their book counterparts in my reading recommendations for the week.
• June 25 & 26: “The Witches” (1990) — Saving the world from witches is a tall order for a boy they’ve turned into a mouse.
• July 2 & 3: “The Wizard of Oz” (1939) — Young Dorothy finds herself in a magical world trying to find the way home.
• July 9 & 10: “The NeverEnding Story” (1984) — A boy finds a world that needs a hero in a land beyond imagination.
• July 16 & 17: “Where the Wild Things Are” (2009) — A classic story about childhood and the places we go to figure out the world we live in.
• July 23 & 24: “A Little Princess” (1995) — A born-storyteller, Sara must survive boarding school after her father leaves for WWII.
• July 30 & 31: “Paddington 2” (2018) — Paddington’s gift for his Aunt Lucy is stolen, and it’s up to him and his family to find the thief.
“The Witches” by Roald Dahl. A young boy is placed in the custody of his eccentric witch-expert grandmother before being transformed into a mouse by an evil coven that is plotting against local kids. You can also look for a new adaptation of the story in graphic novel format, illustrated by Pénélope Bagieu.
“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum. Dorothy and her little dog Toto are swept away from their home in Kansas by a powerful tornado and dropped into an enchanting new land called Oz. She follows the yellow brick road to the Emerald City to ask the mysterious Wizard of Oz for help. Along the way, she meets the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion.
“The Neverending Story” by Michael Ende. When Bastian happens upon an old book called The Neverending Story, he’s swept into the magical world of Fantastica – so much that he finds he has actually become a character in the story! And when he realizes that this mysteriously enchanted world is in great danger, he also discovers that he is the one chosen to save it.
“Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak. When Max dresses in his wolf suit and causes havoc in the house, his mother sends him to bed. From there, Max sets sail to an island inhabited by the Wild Things, who name him king and share a wild rumpus with him.
“A Little Princess” by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Discover Burnett’s classic Cinderella story of a young girl who maintains kindness above all as she goes from riches to rags and back again. As she becomes a scullery maid at the school and is scorned by the people who once doted on her, Sara’s fierce determination to stay a princess despite her circumstances by maintaining her dignity and kindness has intrigued and delighted readers for over a hundred years.
“A Bear Called Paddington” by Michael Bond. A very small bear found by Mr. and Mrs. Brown at Paddington Station becomes one of the family. This is the first novel by Michael Bond chronicling the adventures of this lovable bear, which began in 1958.