Today Caramel reviews the first book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, published first in 2007. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.
Sprinkles: Caramel, let us start with you telling us a bit about this book.
Caramel: This book is about Greg Heffley, who is just starting middle school. AS he writes, he is “stuck in middle school with a bunch of morons”.
S: Hmm, so Greg does not like his school friends much.
C: He does not like most of the other kids in school, that’s right. All except for his one friend, Rowley. Greg is not very happy at school.
S: Hmm, so this Greg does not sound like a very good role model for a little bunny.
C: Greg is definitely not a good role model.
S: But I think a lot of kids sometimes feel out of place and maybe they have some unpleasant feelings about other people. So maybe Greg is in some ways representing the unsatisfied and unhappy part of being a kid.
C: I guess so. He is kind of a jerk actually.
S: Hmm, how so?
C: He is mean to Rowley, and he does write a lot of mean things about people. Like would you ever say your school friends are all morons?
S: Well, moron is a pretty bad word.
C: Then again there are two bullies in the school and they are really really mean to Greg and Rowley.
S: So I can then understand Greg being upset and angry towards those kids, but no, we would not say all kids in our school are morons. Greg is pretty unfiltered that way.
C: Well, it is his diary after all. He uses some bad words in there too.
S: That is true, we can assume he is not planning to say any of the bad words in real life but uses this diary as an outlet for all his negative feelings.
C: Yes, but he calls it a journal, not a diary.
S: What is the difference?
C: I don’t know. I think he thinks diaries are for girls.
S: Hmm, not sure if I like that! You recently reviewed a book about a writer’s notebook, and there, too, we tried to make a distinction between a writer’s notebook and a journal. So maybe Greg thinks calling it a journal rather than a diary makes it sound more serious.
C: Yes, I think he wants to sound all grownup and mature.
S: But he is in middle school!
C: That is pretty old for me!
S: That is true. Then since you are so far away from middle school, did this book feel alien to you?
C: Well not quite. School is school, and Greg is trying to act big and mature, and he seems to think he is better than everyone else, and that can happen everywhere.
S: Do you really think he thinks he is better than everyone else? I have a sneaking suspicion that he is actually not that confident about himself.
C: I guess he is not happy with who he is, but he is really behaving like a jerk sometimes.
S: But through the course of the year, he does learn some things about being a good friend and finding a place for himself in the school, right?
C: I guess so.
S: Did you know that this is the first of a series and there are many more books about Greg and his friends?
C: Yes, but I might want to wait a bit before reaidng those. Middle school is a long way away.
S: I know. But maybe we will watch the animated version of this book?
C: Yes! I think I’d like that. Can we insert the trailer here?
S: Sure. Here you go:
S: The pictures are straight out of the book itself.
C: Yes they really look like the book.
S: What did you think of the illustrations?
C: They are funny, I think the author wanted to make it look like Greg is drawing things in his diary. The book is like a notebook too, there are lines on each page, each page looks like a lined notebook page, and the writing is almost like handwriting.
S: Very neat handwriting though, because I can read it.
C: Yes. I can read my handwriting too but not everyone else can.
S: It is getting much better through the years though. Practice practice practice.
S: So what three words would you use to describe this book?
C: Funny, multiple plots, funny drawings.
S: Hmm, you used “funny” twice but let’s let it pass. I agree with you, the word works in both places. So what do you want to tell our readers as we wrap up this review?
C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!