Newest Review: ... or any kind of creative writing. Despite this, my son really enjoyed completing the relevant sections of the book and actually stayed u... more
A Future Family Heirloom!
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Do-It-Yourself Book - Jeff Kinney
Member Name: jo1976
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Do-It-Yourself Book - Jeff Kinney
Date: 15/12/12, updated on 12/11/13 (35 review reads)
Advantages: Entertaining way of encouraging lads to write and draw, amusing keepsake for the future
Disadvantages: Can only be enjoyed by one child, not going to be read and re-read
I bought my oldest son the entire Diary of a Wimpy Kid series of books last Christmas, after spotting a cheap box set at the Book People website. Fortunately, my then nine year old son loved the books as much as I hoped he would and has read some of the books two or three times since receiving them. He loves reading about Greg and his struggles at middle school and his various family crises and conflicts.
This 'Do-It-Yourself Book' is different to the other books in the series as this is not a continuation of Greg's journal. Instead, this book offers the reader the opportunity to begin their own journal - definitely a journal and not a diary- in a fun and creative fashion.
This book is completely different to anything that my son has owned or read before and, once I realised that he was supposed to fill this book in, I wasn't entirely sure whether this one would appeal to him. I generally struggle to get my son to do his homework and he's pretty resistant to the idea of writing down his own thoughts or any kind of creative writing. Despite this, my son really enjoyed completing the relevant sections of the book and actually stayed up long past his bedtime, writing, drawing and completing the various tasks contained within this book.
Tasks include listing specific likes and dislikes, creating predictions for the future and the opportunity to design your own comic strips and stories. This makes for interesting reading at times and can be pretty amusing, depending on how creative or how silly your child may be! Through reading this, I discovered that the worst thing my son had done and 'never got busted for' was opening the shed without permission. I was also thoroughly entertained by my son's attempt at a short story. I've never known my son willingly write so much outside of school but, then again, I don't think a story about a farting duck would go down very well with his school teachers!
Some of the tasks are inclined to bring out slightly naughty elements. My son took the opportunity to create his own greetings cards to thank imaginary relatives for their unwanted presents. I thought his answers showed quite a lot of creativity and wit. One card said 'Thank you for these. I stuck it to the front because I loved it but they were too good to wear.' His alternative was a little cheekier: 'Sorry I couldn't wear the pants. So I put it back on the card so you see it and buy a football instead!'
I think the book offers a good balance between including little comic strip stories featuring the book's main characters and various snippets of Diary of a Wimpy Kid related silliness and the amount of activities that the reader needs to think about and complete themselves. Even if the concept of filling things in and writing and drawing doesn't immediately appeal to the youngster themselves, there is enough other material here to make this a worthwhile purchase for a Wimpy Kid fan anyway.
The only obvious drawback to this book is that it can't really be passed on to other children once the child has outgrown the series and isn't going to be read and re-read in the same way as the other books in the series can be. Once completed, however, the book could make a unusual and very amusing little keepsake to refer back to and threaten to show to any future girlfriends! Looking back at my son's completed copy, it is fascinating to see just how much his spelling and vocabulary has developed just since the beginning of this year as well as reading his own funny little anecdotes and confessions. (Turns out the funniest thing that he has ever witnessed was when one of his friends split their trousers during Drama!) I'm also pleasantly surprised by the quality of my son's comic book style pictures, clearly showing a talent for drawing and creativity that I lack.
I'd certainly recommend this as a gift for boys from eight to eleven, particularly if they are already fans of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. The most economical way of purchasing this book is as part of a set from the Book People or Redhouse. If purchased alone, the latest version with bonus content can be picked up for £4.50 from Amazon which is still a good price for the amount of entertainment value it offers as well as the opportunity for boys to discover their creative side.
Summary: A fun way to encourage boys to enjoy creative writing and drawing
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