The NYT yesterday looked into the phenomenon of the Wimpy Kid series (the laydown date for the next in the series, The Last Straw is January 13th. First printing is one million copies).
Reports of so-called reluctant readers inhaling the Wimpy Kid series, which chronicles the rude, crude and hapless travails of Greg Heffley, its middle-school narrator, echo around the country and across the Internet.
Ah, but (and there is always a “but” — it’s how journalists show “balance”),
…some adults deplore the book’s slapstick violence, sarcastic tone and heavy reliance on illustration.
Defending the book is our own EarlyWord Kid, Lisa Von Drasek, who tells the NYT, that the cartoon sytle doesn’t
…[dumb] down the text. The illustrations give more information. The kids who don’t need illustration aren’t losing anything by reading this, but kids who are visual learners have an added depth to the story they wouldn’t have otherwise.
The author is also profiled in a sidebar to the story. Curiously, both appear in the “Fashion and Style” section of the NYT.
The story reveals that the next in the series, due in the Fall, will be about the Wimpy Kid‘s mother trying to start a reading club, with predictably disastrous results.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw
- Reading level: Ages 9-12
- Hardcover: $12.95: 224 pages
- Publisher: Amulet/Abrams; (January 13, 2009)
- ISBN-10: 0810970686
- ISBN-13: 978-0810970687