Diary of a Wimpy Kid

This book, by Jeff Kinney — another one for my cousin — took an hour to read, and had me in stitches pretty much the whole time. It’s conceit is simple: it’s the “diary”, or journal, rather, of Greg Heffley during 7th grade. It’s done in cartoons (it’s subtitled “a novel in cartoons”) and prose… and is completely hilarious.

I wish I could scan the cartoons (but I won’t; copyright and all that) but here are some of my favorite bits:

I’m sure Dad would dismantle my game system if he could figure out how to do it. But luckily, the people who make these things make them parent-proof. (followed by a cartoon with Dad saying, “Dag nab these fancy gadgets!”)

Roderick’s band is REALLY awful, and I can’t stand being home when they’re having rehearsals. His band is called “Loaded Diaper,” only it’s spelled “Löded Diper” on Roderick’s van. You might think he spelled it that way to make it it look cooler, but I bet if you told Rodrick how “Loaded Diaper” is really spelled, it would be news to him.

This one’s my favorite, but I think it’s only because I’m a mom. A bit of set-up’s necessary, though. Rowley is Greg’s best friend, though Rowley’s a bit, um, dim. He also has over-protective parents, who are really into personal safety for Rowley. For Halloween, Rowley’s mom gets him a really cool knight costume.

Rowley showed up around 6:30 wearing his knight costume, but it didn’t look ANYTHING like it looked yesterday. Rowley’s mom made all these safety improvements to it, and you couldn’t even tell what he was supposed to be anymore. She cut out a big hole in the front of the helmet so he could see better, and covered him up in all this reflective tape. She made him wear his winter coat underneath everything, and she replaced his sword with a glow stick. (Trust me, the accompanying cartoon is hilarious.)

There are other fun moments in this book: the Wizard of Oz play (and subsequent play disaster), the Cheese Touch, wrestling in PE… My only initial complaint is that the book got a bit serious at the end and tried to have a plot. But, as I thought about it, I realized it made sense. Life is like that: mostly boring with occasional spurts of excitement and a little conflict along the way.

I even got M to read this book. It’s been sitting on my dresser for a while, but she had no interest. It wasn’t until I opened it up and started reading passages to her that she got interested. In fact, for a while last night, we were sitting on the couch together reading it. (Ah, one of those mother-daughter bonding moments. So what if it happens over a goofy book?) Hubby even had to see what we were laughing about.

This book is contagious. Kind of like laughter. Makes sense.