Anticipation is wildthingshigh among publishing folks for Spike Jonze’s adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book Where the Wild Things Are. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Jonze and have enjoyed his work dating back to his music video days. What’s getting me even more excited for the film are the early reports of it being incredibly dark and strange.

There will  be contrasting opinions about the film adaptation of WTWTA, and I simply can’t wait. Some will say, “It’s too scary for kids!” Others, “Where’s all the good stuff I remember?” Folks like me, “Holy crap that was crazy awesome!”

The film got me thinking about adaptations in general. With the recent success of the Harry Potter, Twilight, and Coraline films, we’re seeing more film studios that want to capitalize on children’s books as films because they see them as events the whole family will attend together. In one way, that’s good: Percy Jackson, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Alice in Wonderland will all be gracing on the big screen before too long. In another, it’s bad: I’d hate to see the film version of I Love You Forever or The Giving Tree.

So it’s time to play movie critic! What are the best and worst film adaptations of children’s books? Please leave your picks (one of each, please!) in the comments like so: “Best: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Worst: Harry Potter and the Secrets of the Chamber.”

On Friday, we’ll switch things over to adult titles who got the film treatment and then on Monday I’ll post the results both from the blog replies and replies on Twitter.