Reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid gave me flash backs to my Middle School days *shivers.* This book came out when I was transitioning from 5th grade to 6th grade and it quickly became a hit at my school. While I had no desire to read the book, I was a sucker for peer pressure so I read it in a night then carried it around a little at school to help my image. Today I am fortunate enough to have this book cross into my life for a second time, but now I get to poke and prod at it then write about what makes me laugh. I specifically remember my love for the cartoons from the first go-round, so I decided to focus on them this time.
Last week we spent a great deal of time discussing Kalman’s use of images and hand written text. We concluded that her images and her comments force the reader to slow down and meditate on each moment. I found that the images in Diary of Wimpy Kid function in a similar manner. These images resemble cartoons, but unlike cartoons they are set up by text. This text-image relationship not only captures the attention of a young reader, it forces the young reader to stop, walk through the image, then make sense of it. When the reader does this they temporary live in the image and experience what Greg is experiencing. For instance, when Greg flashes back to the prank that Rodrick played on him during the middle of the night, there is an image of the dad screaming at Greg for “eating cheerios at 3:00 in the morning” then there is an image of the dad looking at Rodrick who is fast asleep. When we study these images, we can picture the startling confusion that Gregory felt and we can feel the awkwardness of the situation when the dad sees Rodrick asleep. It is very hard for text alone to reach this outcome because text essentially tells the reader what to think or imagine. Images, however, have holes that the reader can fill with their own experiences or knowledge. These images brought back memories of all the pranks that my older brother played on me when we were younger. Since I have experienced the confusion and frustration that comes with being the prankee, I was able to insert these feelings into Greg’s situation and make it my own. When I did this, I lingered over Greg's situation for an extra moment and even though that moment was only a second, I was able to fully process how funny the situation was.