Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Like-a-Reads

A year or two ago, someone gave us the first three Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, and at that time, Primo was still struggling through Frog and Toad and a 200-page volumes, liberally sprinkled with the word "moron" seemed as appropriate for Primo as True Blood or Merchant of Venice. What a difference a year makes. A few months ago, Primo unearthed the Wimpy Kid books and devoured them, spending hours on end at bedtime reading them. So passionate was he for the fine literature that we were getting into arguments at 10pm when I realized he was still awake and tried to wrest the books from his anxious fingers.

"I just want to finish the book!" he'd protest, "I only have sixty more pages!"

In this way, he finished all six books in about two months.

It was sad to see it end because the Wimpy Kid books were the first that really hooked Primo on reading, and I got a little nervous that without anything comparable to dig into, he'd lose interest in the act of reading. So I posted on my handy, local list serve, Park Slope Parents, for recommendations of books like the Wimpy Kid series, which would galvanize the hearts and minds of seven year-old boys -- just in time for Christmas. Here's the list I culled:

Geronimo Stilton

Ellie McDoodle

Dork Diaries

Secrets of Droon

The Zack Diaries

My Weird School

Magic Tree House

Boxcar Children

We checked out a bunch of these last week and Primo was vaguely interested in them all but nothing life-changing. Then we happened upon Dear Dumb Diary, by Jim Benton, who Primo has been smitten with after devouring all the Franny K. Stein books he penned. A perfect choice! Acerbic, edgy, gross, with lots of drawings to make the pages fly. I guess for some parents the protagonist might come across little mean-spirited, and I might not let very impressionable Seconda read it but for Primo, who wouldn't use the word "idiot" without flagellating himself about it, I'm not too concerned. It got him hooked all right. And there's a bunch of installations too - enough to bring us to the next craze.

Happy reading!