Book Review: Diary of a Wimpy Kid
It says it right there on the front: BAM! "The #1 New York Times Bestseller." Well! That's quite the endorsement. I'm like a lemming when it comes to following the purchasing habits of the masses, so I was literally unable to resist buying Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid (which is on The NYTimes Children's Series bestseller list). Before long, I’ll own every #1 New York Times bestseller ever . . .
Diary of a Wimpy Kid is impressive right off the bat. I really like the concept: a journal in both words and cartoons, kept by 7th-grader Greg Heffley. It covers a full school year, hitting a bunch of mini-stories along the way: Halloween, the school play, Christmas, a wrestling unit in P.E., writing the comic for the school newspaper, etc. There isn’t too much of a plot, but it doesn’t really matter because the writing and pictures are HILARIOUS.
I don’t know where to start; Fregley’s face, which cracks me up literally every time I see it, or the form letter Greg made for his Christmas cards (“I love the way the PANTS looks on my LEGS ! All my friends will be so jealous that I have my very own PANTS .”), or the song in the school play where Greg just stops singing and everyone else does too . . .
But there’s a saying by one of my idols, author E. B. White, that goes like this: “Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.” With that in mind, I’m going to solemnly resolve NOT to tell you any more about why Diary of a Wimpy Kid is so funny. I’m just going to tell you to go out and get a copy — and don’t drink milk while you read it. (For a preview, check out this online version of the book — which is how the series first started.)
If you need more encouragement, here’s a cool video of actress Sammi Hanratty talking about the book. See how much she likes it? That could be you!
I was really pleased to hear that a movie is being made, and that Jeff Kinney’s appearance at the NY Comic Con drew a huge crowd — this series deserves a lot of recognition, and I definitely plan to pick up the next two books in the series, Rodrick Rules and The Last Straw. I also hear there’s another entry in the series coming out in fall of 2009, so it looks like I’ll be giggling uncontrollably at Greg’s antics for a while yet. Sweet!
P.S. If you like this series, you’ll love the classic comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. Bug your parents until they buy a C&H book for you.
'Til next time, Splotters!
— Jack, STACKS Staffer