Friday, February 11, 2011

Guest blogger Sonelina - Diary of a Wimpy Kid Review

 Please welcome Sonelina to our blog. She will be reviewing books and offering opinions in the months to come -
Sonelina with daughter Picorelli and son Preethom
Sonelina is a mother, avid reader, and a player with /lover of words.  She spends her time helping people improve their health, reading Georgette Heyer and Deepak Chopra voraciously  (vicariously?!) and convincing her son that his life will not end if he does some extra homework.  When she’s not holding down the fort in her sweltering tower aka apartment, she can be found dancing Indian style, guzzling down warm water and laughing with her friends. She loves people, really. And reads more authors as well. Long rambling walks clear her mind and helps her buckle down and get on with it.

The logo of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid – The Down To Earth Truth

“has taken the word “reluctant” out of “reluctant readers”. US Post.
The series “Diary of a Wimpy kid has taken the world by storm. Almost. Not a phenomenon by the Twilight series standards, or by  the Harry Potter series standards, nevertheless, it has revolutionised the world of reluctant primary school readers who have found that reading a book is not so uncool after all.  A whole generation of teachers and parents have heaved a profound sigh of relief that here are books that they may happily allow children to read, and that children like. 
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
The cover of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw.
It is a look at life seen through the eyes of a tween - Greg Heffley. A run-of-the-mill boy. A boy whose distinction lies in his average-ness. And his wimpy-ness as he calls it. His tendency to tumble into trouble regularly, his impractical ideas which he tries to bring into fruition, his social problems and blossoming adolescence, all are readily identifiable, and instantly grips the reader. Greg is often selfish, kind of careless and very self centred. Hovering between juvenile delinquency and angelic perfect-ness, his escapades and philosophies are all the more believable as everyone has some memory of similar chaos in their lives. 

There is a ghost of a story sticking each journal (Not a Diary) into a book, and deals with topics like : summer holidays – “Dog Days”, or growing up - “The Ugly Truth” Discipline  - “The Last Straw”, Each book is 224 pages of a diary, with very expressive cartoon pictures drawn in by Greg, giving the books a distinction uniquely its own. 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (film)

Originally envisaged as a comic strip for adults, then as a book for adults, as a nostalgic and humorous look at their childhood days, the books have a skeletal comic strip appearance to them, and to their contents. The author, Jeff Kinney’s original dream of being a syndicated comic strip author got modified into what rapidly became a popular book series and is now a movie by 20th Century Fox.

Jeff Kinney works as a virtual world designer. He is the design director of a Boston Based Internet Publishing company, where he created Visit either or to see many fun things for children to do, as well as the Diary of a Wimpy Kid online series. Then he comes home to spend “five hours under a doona” to construct  a single gag line for the books. 
The success and greatness of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series lies in the fact that children and especially boys, who I am told take to reading less easily than girls in general, can read them easily, and have a laugh. Not designed to be a role model, he gets into hilarious situations, often of his own making, often as a hapless victim, and does not always come out squeaky clean and victorious. But he learns little life lessons, and thus moves toward teenage and adulthood armed as well as the next average child.
Any reading is good reading in order to encourage the habit, and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid works really well. Reluctant readers find hilarity in the books, strong readers would like to race through them, budding artists and authors would have no problems sitting down with a “journal” of their own to get started on
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth
their own masterpiece complete with drawings and humour. The simplicity of the books make them a masterpiece.

I would not go so far as to say “Move over Harry Potter” along with Andrea Yeats, but the best seller lists definitely have Greg Heffley up there on a par with the boy wizard. I thoroughly recommend the books to children between 9 and 12.

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