Review: The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book
By Tina Vasquez, for The Children’s Book Review
Published: May 24, 2011
By Jeff Kinney
Reading level: Ages 8-12
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Amulet Books (May 2011)
Children’s author Jeff Kinney continues to pump out his Wimpy Kid—related books—and for good reason. To date, there are five books in the series with a sixth in the works and each installment is as charming, fun, and engaging as the last.
Kinney’s latest effort, The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book, isn’t really a continuation of the series. Rather, it’s an interesting take on a children’s journal with page after page of fun fill-in questions, comics, and drawing opportunities. Sure to tide enthusiastic Kinney fans over until the November release of Diary of a Wimpy Kid 6, The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book will also prove to be valuable keepsake for parents. This is because the series of prompts featured in the journal encourages kids to record information about who they are now, often cheekily referencing the fact that children will want to remember these things when they’re “old,” which is 30-years-old in Greg Heffley’s world.
The book opens up with a prompt about desert island picks, featuring spaces for children to write in their favorite video games, songs, books, and movies, but this is just the beginning. Though many of the journal’s 224 pages are left blank with the intention of being used for actual journaling, there are dozens of fun writing opportunities that will enable parents to get to know their kids better (if they’re allowed to read the journal), while also enabling kids to get to know themselves better. It’s rare that children are encouraged to write outside of school and chances are that they wouldn’t have the opportunity to illustrate what’s in their brain, record their finest moments, write five things nobody knows about them, or make their own comics if it weren’t for Kinney’s journal.
Though some prompts are framed in a way that seems sort of trivial, like having kids design their dream house, practice their autograph, or create a sandwich to be named after them—all for when they become “rich and famous” (which is referenced several times throughout the journal), it’s all in good fun and, if actually followed through with, children and parents alike will be happy to have this keepsake when the little ones aren’t so little anymore.
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