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For Christmas this year I bought my son a set of the diary of a wimpy kid books as well as the DVD's because I felt they would link well together and that they would be something he would really enjoy. In the set of books there was a book entitled diary of a wimpy kid do it yourself book and this is the book that I shall review today. The books are written by Jeff Kinney and published by Puffin books. It has a recommended retail price of £6.99 but you can pick it up for just a couple of pounds on amazon in paper back.
The diary of a wimpy kid books focus on a boy named Greg who gets something clear from the start. This is NOT a diary! He didn't want a diary to record his feelings and so he asked for a journal but his mum got him a book with diary written on the front! This do it yourself book is basically a book in which your child can complete and which is basically going to become their very own diary or journal depending on how strongly they feel about the semantics!
The book feels really well put together despite only being a paper back which is a really big positive for me because it has already taken some serious handling from my son! As this is a book in which he is going to record things it is almost as though it is going to become a family heirloom to treasure and look back on and so I want it to be well made and not likely to fall apart just because it is being used regularly.
On the front cover there is space for you to stick a photograph of yourself which I think is a really great way of personalising the book for a child and then there is also a section inside which the child can use to write who the book belongs to, where to return it to and that there is no reward for safe return!
As you flick through this book it basically looks much like an activity book really but it is done in such a clever way. There are plenty of black and white cartoon characters drawn in there to make the pages look fun and interesting and the titles of the pages make it seem a fun activity for a child to complete. There are lots of different things to complete in this book including lists about your favourite things, check lists about things you need to do before you are old or things you have ever done as well as spaces to complete your own comic strips or add to those half completed in the book.
As well as fun things like the above this book has some pages which are going to bring such sentimentality for a parent when they look back at this book in the future. There are pages where a child can write about what they want to be when they grow up, predict the future or draw their future dream house and I just think it makes for such lovely memories.
As well as the sections that the child has some guidance or perhaps a little instruction in completing there is also the second half of the book which has just pages of blank lined paper where the child can start writing about things that happen in their lives thus ultimately creating the diary or journal which again is going to be such a precious thing to look back on in years to come.
My son is seven and totally loves this book. He first read the diary of a wimpy kid book straight after Christmas and I think having this book to read first gave him plenty of inspiration and guidance on how he might like this book to look. I would recommend that the child you give this to has some knowledge of the wimpy kid series or perhaps many of the cartoons and comments will not make sense to them. My son loves all the funny little comments in this book such as those where you have to design a greetings card and on the front you are thanking your aunt for socks but inside shouting "let's stick to money next time!" He also loves the little practical jokes section as well!
When my son comes home from school I know that this is one of the things he will look at before he goes to bed. When he wakes in a morning before me and is very quiet I will often stick my head around his bedroom door to see what he is up to and will find him with his head in this book either reading or writing. It is such an interactive book with so much to look at, fill in and write about even before you get to the actual journal writing section and so it really grabs hold of a child's imagination and makes them want to get stuck in to this book.
I am so pleased that this book came with the set of books I bought for my son because I don't think I would have thought to buy him this one off my own back. He loves that this book is his to do with as he pleases and even seems surprised sometimes when he will ask me "is it ok to....." about something in this book when I reply that it is his and he can put absolutely anything he likes in there. I actually took this book in to my room last night when he was asleep with the intention of writing this review and then sat reading through the things that he had already completed in there and it really does make me so proud of my son. I am sure that in five or ten years time looking back at it again will make me smile even more!
I have no niggles really with this book but if I had to point out one negative I may say that I would have liked there to have been a date section within the diary at the end but I have encouraged my son to include this anyway if nothing else but for memories sake.
Very much recommended as a fun and interactive book which will become something to treasure in future years if it is looked after properly!
Thank you for reading my review!
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.
Once again my son and I will be sharing this review, with my review first followed by his.
My oldest is 7 years old and absolutely loves the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. This book is designed to encourage children to write their own diaries - but we are admonished never to call them a diary. Diaries are for girls - so this is a journal, not a diary. My son has never been very fond of writing, so I thought this might be a fun way to get some of his writing out of the way - as he is home educated and like it or not has to do a certain amount of writing. But i also felt it might encourage him to be more creative, and finally, that this would be a fun keepsake to look back on when he is older.
First off I would like to point out that there are two versions of this book the older version which is pictured above and has 160 pages, and the newer version which has 224. As the newer version is only£4.50 new, as opposed to £4.79 for the old version i would certainly advise you to choose the new version. I would also point out that while I usually prefer used books - you do not want this book used because the odds are some or all of the pages will have been completed by someone else. I did in fact risk a used book in very good condition from Amazon, but it was all filled in so I had to ship it back.
This book has three sections. The first section has all sorts of fill in the blank pages, over a wide range of subjects. Some of these were unfinished comics, with where you fill in the text - or finish the missing panel. There are plenty of sections for you to make your own comics as well. There are also sections where you fill in details about yourself, predictions for the future. There are sections to design your own dream home, haunted house or even trainers. There is an all purpose excuse maker, a family tree, a section to draw your own family as cartoons, write your own song and much more. This is by far the largest portion of the book, and a wonderful way to get children to open and start writing creatively.
The next section is a fun full colour series of comics supposedly drawn by Gregg Heffley and Rowly as inspiration for the budding artist or journalist. The final section is very good sized portion of blank lined pages to start keeping your own journal in.
My son has always hated writing and has never been very big on drawing either. Because the wimpy kid cartoons are so simple, this has helped him have the confidence to jump in with his own, equally simple drawings. He has started to realise not every picture has to look like it belongs in a graphic novel. The best part though is that he actually sat down and filled in pages when he didn't have to. This is the first time he has ever written anything in his own free time. I believe this book is highly educational, but it is also encouraging my child to be more creative, and to have fun writing. I couldn't possibly be happier with this book and I am certain we will enjoy reading this in years to come as well. I would very highly recommend this book as something fun to do over the holidays, but even more as a lovely keepsake for years to come.
My son's review:
I really like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Books because they are really funny and I like the design of the pictures in the books. I liked this book because it has a lot of fun things to do. I liked reading the comics in this, and I had fun making my own comics. My favourite comic I made was a Zoo Wee Mama comic where a dog peed on someone's sandwiches. I liked filling in the different pages too. One thing they got wrong though was the Personality Test . The page said the way I think of my favourite book is the same way I think about school. I said my favourite book was funny, easy, illustrated and colourful. I think school is boring except when we read fun books or do science or fun stuff. I hate spelling and writing. They also said the adjectives I used to describe my favourite movie are what I want to be like when I grow up. I do not want to be "3D, fast violent and undead". I wouldn't mind being fast - but I do not want to be undead at all.
I think this is a really good book and if you have children they will have a lot of fun with this. This would make a really good Christmas present especially if your kid likes the Diary of A Wimpy Kid Books.