Monday, April 5, 2010

Conquering the Wimpy Green-Eyed Monster

In April of 2009 I reviewed "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" for EzineArticles. Last week I reviewed the movie. You can read it at the end of this post.

When I read the book, I had one of those jealous writer moments. It happens when I read something so good, I say to myself Damn, I wish I wrote that. While watching the movie the green-eyed monster reared its ugly head once again. It's not that the money and fame. Well, maybe a little. But Kinney did a great thing. He gets kids to read, lots of kids, even those who rarely pick up a book. And isn't that what we all want as writers? To inspire, inform or entertain.

I have to remind myself that behind every success story is years of hard work. That we each have our own unique talents to offer. I turn that negative energy to a positive by writing a great review and wishing the author well. Then I focus on my own manuscript, plant myself in front of the computer and get to work.

Movie Review:
Jeff Kinney is a hero in our house. My granddaughter goes through his books like a house afire and anyone who can get kids to read is A-OK in my eyes. I reviewed his first book in April of 2009 so I'm familiar with the series. They're written in the style of a child's journal and interspersed with hilarious hand drawn pictures. Curious to see how this would be adapted to the big screen, I made plans to take my granddaughters. We set off with high expectations, a nine year old, an almost five year old and me, an over twenty-one year old. Diary of a Wimpy Kid lived up to its promise and then some.

We go through a year of middle school with middle child, Greg Heffley, whose clueless parents never seem to catch his older brother terrorizing him. Greg wants to be popular but best friend, Rowley, embarrasses him at every turn. It's ironic that Greg's own actions help Rowley become more popular than him. Greg tries to ride his coattails but ends up testing their friendship.

The live action film is perfectly cast with Zachary Gordon playing Greg. Some of the cartoon stick figures from the books are interspersed throughout. The movie is fast-paced and funny with typical pre-teen humor, including booger jokes that grossed out the girls - they loved it. In fact, we all loved the movie and afterwards we made a trip to Barnes & Noble and bought a copy of "The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary." The hardcover book is written in the same style as the others and it's the perfect companion to the movie. It takes you behind the scenes, including photos, and shows you how the movie was made. The girls were fascinated, especially the younger one, who couldn't believe they didn't use real cheese in the "cheese-touch" sequence. You gotta see it.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is 94 minutes long and rated PG for some rude humor and language.

Article Source:



Riley Quinn said...

I haven't read the book or seen the movie (no kids) but I agree that anyone that can entice a kid to read is awesome. I'll check them out.

Rachel Lynne said...

My daughter and I read part of one on-line one time but we didn't get it. It was an excerpt and I guess you gotta know the story. Most books for kids are now being aimed at the school crowd and their trials and tribulations, same with TV sitcoms. Since she doesn't go to school and never has she doesn't always comprehend :) Maybe I'll write a children's series for the home schooled bunch :)

Baba au Rhum said...

This book is the only book one of my students willingly read this year. I know I'll see the movie with my nieces at some point. Thanks for the reviews. Keep up the good work!

Julia Barrett said...

Don't ya hate that green-eyed monster moment? Can't help being human though. So write the next one!

GPS said...

Good idea Rachel! These books are all about the trials and tribulations of trying to fit in, peer pressure, etc. There's a definite need for a story about home schooled children. The jealousy thing (for writers)is really a bummer. But you gotta move on.