I read this to my 8 year old daughter and my 7 year old son. Having grown up watching the movie, it was delightful to read the book. There was greater depth, even more fascinating characters, and the situations and experiences the characters went through added a dimension beyond that of the movie to entice the imagination.
My daughter was much more enthralled than my son, largely due to the advanced vocabulary words and concepts that required much more in depth thinking.
My daughter, who loves the 1970 movie, said that the book was much better than the movie. She was delighted all the way through.