Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney

The Girl loves Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, has all the books, and even waited in line for about 2 hours at the National Book Festival to meet him and have her books signed.  So when the fourth book in the series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid:  Dog Days, was released in October, she bought a copy right away.  In fact, she saved a gift card she received for her birthday back in July solely for this purpose.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid:  Dog Days was my introduction to the series, and I probably wouldn't have read it had The Girl not fallen ill and wanted me to read to her.  But I was sucked in from the first page, and in less than an hour, we'd blown through 90 pages of the 217-page book.  It helps that it's written like a diary with cartoon drawings, but it's also very funny.

Here's the gist:  Nothing seems to go Greg Heffley's way.  The summer arrives, and he plans to spend it in his room playing video games with the curtains drawn.  But his mother (thankfully) has other plans.

The Girl asked me if we could do this review a little differently, sort of like an interview.  So here goes:

The Girl:  What was your favorite part of the story?

Me:  When Greg has to pay his friend Rowley's father back, and he decides to start a lawn care business.  The advertisements in which he superimposes his and Rowley's faces on the bodies of burly construction workers were hilarious.

The Girl:  Who was your favorite character?

Me:  I thought Greg was pretty funny, but he doesn't always make the right choices, as we discussed.  Since the story is written from Greg's point of view, and he tends to focus mainly on himself, you don't get to know the other characters really well.

The Girl:  What do you think this book teaches kids?

Me:  Well, I hope they'd see that the choices Greg makes typically are bad ones.  While the events that occur are supposed to be funny, and they are, you really wouldn't want kids trying to act like Greg Heffley.  But it's fiction.  I mean, how many kids Greg's age really think their parents would try to sell them and then call the police on them?  It's purely entertainment.

What was your favorite part of the book?

The Girl:  When Greg and Rowley were under the boardwalk and sticking a dollar bill through the wooden planks and pulling it back before people could grab it.

Me:  Is this your favorite book in the series?

The Girl:  Yes.  I thought it was the funniest.

Me:  Do you think Greg is a good role model?

The Girl: No.  He disobeys his parents and causes trouble.  He called the police on his father for no reason.

Me:  Why do you think the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books are so popular?

The Girl:  The stories and the cartoon illustrations are funny.  Jeff Kinney has a way of telling a story that grabs your attention and is easy to understand.

Me:  Last question.  Do you identify in any with Greg Heffley?

The Girl:  No.  I never disobey my parents.

Me:  HA!  HA!  HA!  You certainly have a sense of humor.

Well, there you have it.  In a nutshell, Diary of a Wimpy Kid:  Dog Days is a fun book for middle grade readers, and even grownups will get a laugh out of it.  In fact, I've borrowed the other three books from The Girl, and I hope to read them when I'm in the mood for some light reading.

Have any of you shared these books with your children?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Disclosure:  We purchased our copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid:  Dog Days.


© 2009, Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not copy or reproduce content without permission.


Serena said...

Hilarious. I think you should do more of these interview-reviews!

Shona said...

Love the interview format. I liked the first book .I think I will buy the series as a gift for my little niece on her birthday.

I think this one is much better.

Julie P. said...

Too cute! Booking Daughter has read all of them except this one. I was a little surprised when she didn't ask for it!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I'm with Serena. Do more of these!

My kids are also into Wimpy Kid. I kept meaning to read them, but then a mom told me that she won't let her kids read them because they're mean. So then I HAD to see what the fuss was about.

I'm in your camp. These are fun. And by exposing our kids to issues of right and wrong and letting them see the consequences, hopefully they'll learn to make better choices than Greg does.

Enough preaching. They're fun.

Tricia said...

My daughter loves these too. I haven't read this one yet, but I have read the other three.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I'm loving this approach to reviewing a book! We pre-sold this book at our book fair, and was HUGE. Kids love this book, including my son. I was amazed that it is marketed to middle schoolers, but really seems to appeal to the 2nd through 4th graders.

christina said...

Awww Anna this is such a cute review! Tell The Girl I agree: this was the funniest of the series.

Wanda said...

Not my favourite books but my 9-y.o daughter loves them, as does her father. She may get her love of reading from me but she definitely gets her sense of humour from him. ;)

bermudaonion said...

What a great review! The Girl sounds like so much fun! I wish I had someone to share this series with.

Staci said...

Loved your Q &A with the girl!! I'm reading the first one right now!

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said...

Sounds like a fun book! I really enjoyed this interview review, so you should do more of them :)

Literate Housewife said...

How awesome! I remember The Girl proudly carrying those books around at the festival. While I'm sorry she got sick, I'm glad that you got to have this experience with her. I can't wait until my girls are old enough for more in depth conversations about what we read together. I do enjoy reading the Junie B. Jones books with them.

wisteria said...

My students go mad for these books. I teach in the elementary school. I agree with Sandy in my library it is the 2-5 graders who want these books. :)

Veens said...

That was so GOOD! I loved The Girl's questions! And ur answers definitely give an idea about the book.
I am sorry she is sick..hope u get better soon, The Girl!!

Suko said...

What a fun post!

I've heard so much about this series, which sounds funny and entertaining.

Alyce said...

This was a fun way to do the post! My son loves the Wimpy Kid books too, but I haven't convinced him to do any reviews with me. :)

He loves reading, so I wasn't entirely surprised at his passion for these books, but it still was amazing the rate at which he ripped through these books. When we had them checked out from the library he had his nose in the books all day regardless of what we were doing (in the car, in the living room while his other brother was watching cartoons, trying to sneak in some reading time in the dark after bed). I'm a fan of anything that encourages a love of reading like this.

Anonymous said...

I loved this interview/review. My daughter hasn't shown any interest in the Wimpy Kid books, but they do sound fun.

Ladytink_534 said...

Next time I get a chance I plan on reading this. Everyone seems to enjoy them so much! The movie is supposed to come out in 2010 though so I need to make sure I do it before then.

Anna said...

Thanks everyone! The Girl really enjoyed the interview format, and I'm glad you all did, too. We definitely will use it again in the future. Hopefully I'll get a chance to read the other three books in the series soon, and you can bet The Girl is psyched about the upcoming movie!