Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary

Just when you thought the Wimpy Kid series couldn’t get any better, author Jeff Kinney has outdone himself.

He’s created The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary—a non-fiction version of the Wimpy Kid books. How great is that?

We know how much kids love the Wimpy Kid books. And then there was the movie, which was a real extension of the books. This “making of” book goes one step further, and may encourage kids to not only read the other books and see the movie, but to take a look at a career in filmmaking.

The Movie Diary is written and illustrated just like the Wimpy Kid books. And it has colour stills (like the movie). It uses that same hand-writing font featured in the books and the movie.

The Movie Diary takes the reader through the making of the Wimpy Kid movie—from the time the book idea and the lead actor are born, until the movie is made.

Along the way it explains how a movie gets made including:
*choosing the actors;
*writing the screenplay;
*blocking the shots;
and tons of other stuff that will be fascinating to any kid who loves movies.

The book tells some wonderful secrets, like the fact that Mr. Winsky’s (the Safety Patrol officer) office has newspaper clippings of him as a young safety patrol member—and that the set designer used actual pictures of the actor when he was younger.

It also shows you all of the “Zoo-Wee Mama” comic strips, which go by too fast in the movie to allow you to enjoy them.

And the fact that the school in the movie is actually three schools in Vancouver, spliced together.

The Movie Diary also explains some things in the books, like the fact that all of the girls in the Wimpy Kid books are drawn to look exactly alike, except for hair colour. That’s because, explains the author, they’re meant to be from Greg’s perspective, and to him all girls look alike.

This book is full of gems, and tells the story about the making of the movie in a way that lets the reader understand the process without overwhelming him with technical details.
Intelligent and not condescending—just like the Wimpy Kid books.
It contains everything boys, in particular, like in books: facts, brief snippits of text and lots of pictures. I can’t imagine there’s a Wimpy Kid fan out there who wouldn’t love this book.

And for pete’s sake, if your kid’s read the Wimpy Kid books and you haven’t taken him to the movie yet? Well, what the heck are you waiting for!?

I'd like to thank Veronica Wasserman, who rushed a review copy of this book to me so that I had it in, like, two days. Some people just do their job really well, and she's one of those. So thanks.

I filed this article under "gift ideas" because--grandparents, aunts, parents of friends who need a birthday gift suggestion--this book would make an awesome gift.

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