Book Review: “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway” by Jeff Kinney

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Greg is looking forward to Christmas, but his parents see an ad on TV for a tropical paradise called “Isla de Corales”. Greg’s parents had spent their honeymoon there and decided it would be a great idea to skip Christmas and all go to Isla de Corales instead. Greg thought this would be a TERRIBLE idea and as usual Greg is right. This is not the first time the Wimpy Kid Diaries have shown the Heffleys on a family vacation, there was also “The Long Haul”, but that was more of a road trip, now Greg has to go on a plane for the first time.Greg knows the score anytime you add the word family to something you know things are gonna be bad.

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The Getaway and The Long Haul

What can go wrong when venturing to paradise? Well for Greg and his kinsfolk just about everything. There are many hilarious scenes as Greg and his family go from one disaster to another. Greg’s mom is eternally optimistic, Rodrick wants to escape the family for some teen smooching, Manny is busy collecting some of the local marine fauna and Greg’s dad really shouldn’t have drunk unbottled water.

This is the 12th book of the Wimpy Kid series, a 14th book is due out around now, and the series shows no signs of stopping any time soon, if you have read the others you know more or less the formula. In some ways it is a retelling of the Long Haul and the Heffleys come across as borderline criminals. Greg is as usual self centred and finds things never go quite as he would like. Rowley’s absence is felt, the humour works better with Greg’s sidekick around.

I can totally relate to the spider in the shower block episode, , when I was in Tasmania, at a youth hostel, I saw a big huntsman spider on the ceiling…I have never got out of a shower so quickly in my life!

My rating: 3 out of 5 (the formula is getting a little tired)

Snoopy

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Peanuts Paraphenalia

I have loved Snoopy for as long as I can remember. Much to my embarrassment my father used to get the Daily Mail each day, I would look at the newspaper just for the football scores and the comic strips: Peanuts and Fred Basset.

I tried drawing my own comic strip once Betty Zapat and Yorrick, I drew 127 episodes in total but my drawing wasn’t great and it never went anywhere. Now, I have lost most of those drawings. Today, I just draw Snoopys for fun and sometimes in class to amuse my students.

Snoopy drawings
drawings of Snoopy and Woodstock

Schulz said of Snoopy’s character in a 1997 interview: “He has to retreat into his fanciful world in order to survive. Otherwise, he leads kind of a dull, miserable life. I don’t envy dogs the lives they have to live.”

Snoopy has a rich fantasy life with several personae: a World War 1 Flying Ace, Joe Cool, a psychiatrist etc… he is loyal to his owner Charlie Brown (even though he cannot even remember his name and always refers to him as “The Round-Headed Kid”).

I rarely attempt to draw the other characters in the strip (apart from Woodstock).