Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary - great fun for kids ages 8 - 12

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid is one of the most popular books at our school library, and it's no surprise that many kids are excited about the upcoming movie opening March 19th. The kids are lining up to borrow a new book: The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary.
The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary
by Jeff Kinney
NY: Amulet Books, 2010
ages 8 - 12
available on Amazon or at your local library
This movie-tie in goes beyond the simple repackaging, and is a fresh look at what it's like to make a movie. Starting with "A Wimp Is Born", Kinney tells the story of how this story and movie came to be. You'll see photographs, script pages, storyboard sketches, costume designs, and original art by Jeff Kinney. Instead of following Greg's life, like the other books do, this new book follows the movie making process. Kids will like dipping into different sections, or reading it straight through. The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary is the perfect companion for fans of this series.

I had a lot of fun reading sample script pages, seeing how movies are really written. As Kinney writes, "Cartooning is the art of boiling something down to its simplest parts, but in a movie, a director is working on a much bigger canvas and needs to 'fill out the frame' with lots of detail." (p. 98). It was fun to see how different scenes were developed, and others were added.

Kids who have been reviewing this for me (librarian smiles - kids lining up to read a new book!) - have been marking their favorite spots. Here are a few:
* Casting roles of Greg's friends. Kids really liked seeing sketches from the cartoons in the book, next to pictures of the actors who were cast for different roles.

* Comparing comics from the book to scenes from the movie: Kids liked seeing how simple sketches in the book are flushed out in photos from the movie.

* Special effects: Kids had fun seeing how visual effects were added to a silicone piece of cheese to make it look like the stinkiest piece of cheese possible.

* Fake newspaper report: Kids had fun seeing mock-ups of the Westmore Middle School newspaper showing Patty wrestling (and trouncing) Greg.
This book will be enjoyed by kids who like the Wimpy Kid series, and especially by kids who are interested in making movies. A definite hit!

Wimpy Kid Movie Diary is available on Amazon and bookstores near you. Please note that if you make a purchase on Amazon using these links, a small percentage will go toward Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support. The review copy of this book was sent by the publisher.


  1. I got an ARC of this and it's on my list to share. A really fun look of behind the scenes, isn't it? Thanks for sharing.

  2. The book sounds great! I'm not sure that the movie can live up to Jeff Kinney's comic genius, though! We'll see...

  3. I haven't had a chance to see the movie. I was so happy to see that the movie-tie in was an interesting, fresh book. Kids just love this series!