Check It Out: See the movie — read the book

Making movies out of popular books is nothing new.

Filmmakers have been doing it for as long as film has been around. There is something magical about seeing a book, literally, brought to life.

The actors and actresses can bring new life and insights into the author's creation. Elaborate settings and scenery can depict the worldly beauty described on the pages of a book.

But then, there is the other side of the coin.

Words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs can describe places that don't exist in real life (except for in the author's mind). A talented writer can describe something in such detail that the reader doesn't need an actual picture to "see" exactly what the writer intended.

Emotions, feelings, and people are sometimes only accurately portrayed through the written word.

There are those who argue that books are better than movies, and vice versa, but don't let me decide that for you. You be the judge. Try both and see what you like best! The following movies will be coming soon to a theater near you:

The film "Dr. Seuss's The Lorax" based on the perennial classic children's book by Dr. Seuss will be in theaters starting on Friday. This animated movie is sure to be a hit with children and parents who remember the lessons of the Lorax and the world of trees he tried to save. The lesson of the dangers of pollution is of continuing importance for our world today.

"Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" based on the novel by Paul Torday comes out March 9. A middle-aged man from London takes on the ill-fated task of introducing the sport of salmon fishing into the Yemen river at the behest of a mysterious sheikh. It remains to be seen if the satire found in the book, poking fun at many aspects of British society, will be conveyed in the movie.

On March 23, "The Hunger Games," a young adult novel by Suzanne Collins, will come to the big screen. This highly anticipated film is hoping to draw in crowds and follow in the footsteps of the successful "Harry Potter" and "Twilight" movies.

This fast-paced book delves into a post-apocalyptic world run by a controlling government. The Capitol hosts a yearly televised fight to the death (The Hunger Games) for 24 young candidates to keep the districts tightly under their rule. Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her sister's place and is catapulted into the madness of the games.

Many parents will appreciate the humorous situations presented in "What to Expect When You're Expecting," opening May 18. This tome has helped new parents through the confusion surrounding pregnancy and birth by debunking dozens of myths that mislead parents, in addition to offering explanations of medical terms, and covering a variety of issues.

Though only a few upcoming titles are listed here, there are a plethora of book/movie combinations available for your enjoyment. The Newport Beach Public Library carries many movies and books just waiting for you to decide which is better — the movie or the book?

CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public Library. All titles may be reserved from home or office computers by accessing the catalog at For more information on the Central Library or any of the branches, please contact the Newport Beach Public Library at (949) 717-3800, option 2.

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