Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid: A Novel in Cartoons is told from the point of view of Greg, a boy whose mom makes him keep a journal about his life. A childlike scrawl and scribbly line drawings illustrate the story. The writing is sharp, and the artwork, though deceptively simple, is both entertaining and expressive—it makes an efficient storytelling tool, adding comic punch to these funny-because-they're-true scenes from the life of a picked-on student who's just trying to make it through school in one piece. Copyright 2007 BookPage Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Fall
"First of all, let me get something straight: This is a JOURNAL, not a diary." Greg Heffley chronicles a year of middle school through hilarious journal entries and accompanying cartoon sketches. His experiences--having to perform in a school play, dealing with bullies and changing friendships--are made fresh by Greg's over-the-top narration. Kinney's writing and illustrations are filled with laugh-out-loud kid humor. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Spring
"First of all, let me get something straight: This is a JOURNAL, not a diary." Greg Heffley chronicles a year of middle school through hilarious journal entries and accompanying cartoon sketches. His experiences--having to perform in a school play, dealing with bullies and changing friendships--are made fresh by Greg's over-the-top narration. Kinney's writing and illustrations are filled with laugh-out-loud kid humor. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2007 March #1
First volume of a planned three, this edited version of an ongoing online serial records a middle-school everykid's triumphs and (more often) tribulations through the course of a school year. Largely through his own fault, mishaps seem to plague Greg at every turn, from the minor freak-outs of finding himself permanently seated in class between two pierced stoners and then being saddled with his mom for a substitute teacher, to being forced to wrestle in gym with a weird classmate who has invited him to view his "secret freckle." Presented in a mix of legible "hand-lettered" text and lots of simple cartoon illustrations with the punch lines often in dialogue balloons, Greg's escapades, unwavering self-interest and sardonic commentary are a hoot and a half--certain to elicit both gales of giggles and winces of sympathy (not to mention recognition) from young readers. (Fiction. 9-11) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2007 March #1
Kinney's popular Web comic, which began in 2004, makes its way to print as a laugh-out-loud "novel in cartoons," adapted from the series. Middle school student Greg Heffley takes readers through an academic year's worth of drama. Greg's mother forces him to keep a diary ("I know what it says on the cover, but when Mom went out to buy this thing I specifically told her to get one that didn't say 'diary' on it"), and in it he loosely recounts each day's events, interspersed with his comic illustrations. Kinney has a gift for believable preteen dialogue and narration (e.g., "Don't expect me to be all 'Dear Diary' this and 'Dear Diary' that"), and the illustrations serve as a hilarious counterpoint to Greg's often deadpan voice. The hero's utter obliviousness to his friends and family becomes a running joke. For instance, on Halloween, Greg and his best friend, Rowley, take refuge from some high school boys at Greg's grandmother's house; they taunt the bullies, who then T.P. her house. Greg's journal entry reads, "I do feel a little bad, because it looked like it was gonna take a long time to clean up. But on the bright side, Gramma is retired, so she probably didn't have anything planned for today anyway." Kinney ably skewers familiar aspects of junior high life, from dealing with the mysteries of what makes someone popular to the trauma of a "wrestling unit" in gym class. His print debut should keep readers in stitches, eagerly anticipating Greg's further adventures. Ages 8-13. (Apr.)[Page 61]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Gr 5-8-- Greg Heffley has actually been on the scene for more than two years. Created by an online game developer, he has starred in a Web book of the same name on www.funbrain.com since May 2004. This print version is just as engaging. Kinney does a masterful job of making the mundane life of boys on the brink of adolescence hilarious. Greg is a conflicted soul: he wants to do the right thing, but the constant quest for status and girls seems to undermine his every effort. His attempts to prove his worthiness in the popularity race (he estimates he's currently ranked 52nd or 53rd) are constantly foiled by well-meaning parents, a younger and older brother, and nerdy friends. While Greg is not the most principled protagonist, it is his very obliviousness to his faults that makes him such an appealing hero. Kinney's background as a cartoonist is apparent in this hybrid book that falls somewhere between traditional prose and graphic novel. It offers some of the same adventures as the Web book, but there are enough new subplots to entertain Funbrain followers. This version is more pared down, and the pace moves quickly. The first of three installments, it is an excellent choice for reluctant readers, but more experienced readers will also find much to enjoy and relate to in one seventh grader's view of the everyday trials and tribulations of middle school.--Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA[Page 140]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.