'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 10 August 2010

Review: Diary of a Wimpy Kid - the Book and the Movie

Title: The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary

Author: Jeff Kinney

Illustrator: Jeff Kinney

Publisher: Penguin, $16.95 RRP

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780143305491

For ages: 7+

Type: Junior Fiction

About: This book can be summed up in one word: fun fun fun! Ok, that's three. But it's so just much fun I had to say it thrice! Even if you'd never set your nose into a Wimpy Kid book before, you'd still have fun with this book - a catalogue of how a young wimp named Greg Heffley, made it to the big time - I mean, this is a diary-to-Hollywood tale extraordinaire!

With super-sophisticated glossy pages and colour photos, we follow Greg's rise to wimp stardom, with this tell-all look at a phenomenal journey - from stick figure to real life boy.

When Greg was created in a small apartment in Massachusetts in 1998, he probably never dreamed that 11 years later a young lad named Zachary Gordon - all the way across the country in California, would be hired to play his story - on the big screen.

But first we are taken back to where it all began - a sketch pad, a black texta and a set of roughs that looked, frankly, a little rough... but what a treat to take a peek at the very first sketchings of young Greg and friends.

It actually took four years for author Jeff Kinney to fill his sketchbook with this prehistoric meanderings, and another few years to put together a single 1,300-page book that was first published online - only to be snaffled up by a New York editor, and published in a real life book - Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

The rest is a New York Times Bestseller List historical event. Five (almost - No. 5 out 10 November!) Wimpy Books later, plus a Do-It-Yourself book and a - ahem... movie - Wimpy Kid has become a phenomenon with kids and adults everywhere, and you can read about it all here - in the movie diary.

Using that consumate humour and seamless blending of sticks and dots into pink limbs and glossy eyes, the entire movie-creation process is outlined in this fabbo book, with heaps of details on the movie-making process, including pre- and post-production, the search for Greg (aka Zachary) and all his mates (and horrid brother Rodrick, played by Devon Bostick), the search for a shooting site, the movie's shooting schedule (featuring heaps of movie stills) and even a detailed (and quite experimental) pictorial on that infamous basketball court cheese.

Dotted with more sensational peeks at a variety of original artwork, photos and drool-worthy new cartoons, Jeff Kinney establishes himself even more firmly as a very clever, very funny man. Oh how he must be rolling around in literary glee over this little movie thing. Here's one author that does NOT have the Cheese Touch.

Author website

This book is available online