On January 15, 2014, kids and teachers around the world can watch a live Scholastic "Story Smashup" webcast of beloved authors Jeff Kinney (the Wimpy Kid series) and Dav Pilkey (the Captain Underpants series) as they create an original story, with art and pictures, based on suggestions from an audience of children.
Kids will learn how to write a story as Kinney and Pilkey explore character, setting, plot and more. The authors will also attempt to draw each other's characters, Greg Heffley and Captain Underpants, and then draw their own characters while blindfolded. Sounds like it'll be a mix of hilarious and educational, just as you'd expect from these superstar authors.
Kinney and Pilkey will create the first six panels of a story, which will be available for download starting January 15 as well. Teachers can register here for the webcast, download a contest entry form and ask their students to create their own three-panel ending to Kinney and Pilkey’s story. One Grand Prize Winner will have his or her entry framed alongside Kinney and Pilkey’s first six panels, autographed by each author.
We love any reason to get kids writing, and we can't wait to see what these two children's book legends have in store!
We love the Wimpy Kid series at BookPage—so much that we interviewed Jeff Kinney (at his house!) for Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth; we asked him to do an illustrated Q&A for Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw; and we even interviewed a bunch of kids about how much they love the series (see below).
So, we are always excited to tell our readers when a new Wimpy Kid book has been announced. We found out this week that Wimpy Kid #7 (title TBA) will be published in the U.S. on Tuesday, November 13. The next day it will publish in the U.K., Australia, Greece, Japan, Korea and Norway.
At the Bologna Children's Book Fair, Kinney told a crowd that the new book centers around a school dance.
Are you excited to see how Greg or Rowley will deal with a love interest?
Jeff Kinney will publish the sixth Diary of a Wimpy Kid book in November of 2011. Given this winter's crazy weather, the topic is something that many families will surely relate to! Here's more from a press release:
“I’m very excited to be writing the sixth Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, which features the Heffley family being snowed in,” said Jeff Kinney. “Having just experienced an epic winter in New England, I've had plenty of inspiration to draw from.”
I know these kids will be excited! (I filmed this video at a hilarious and fun stop on Kinney's Wimpy Kid bus tour.)
Here at BookPage we have been fans of the Wimpy Kid series for a long time. In the fall, we even sent contributor Alice Cary to Kinney's house for an interview! You can see her behind-the-scenes photos on the blog and read the complete interview on BookPage.com.
Why do you love the Wimpy Kid? Are you—or any kids in your life—going to be counting down the days until book six?
The movie version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules comes out on March 25, and the trailer just became available. Will all the potty humor and middle school escapades, how could it not become a hit?!
In November, I saw the actors who play Fregley, Rowley and Greg (not to mention author/illustrator Jeff Kinney) live at Belmont University on the Wimpy Kid bus tour. Kinney showed the audience some behind-the-scenes clips from filming the movie, but this is the first time I've seen the full trailer.
Will you (or your kids) go see the movie?
Don't miss BookPage's interview with Kinney in the November issue or Alice Cary's additional photos from her meeting on the blog! Also, this short video of why kids love the Wimpy Kid is pretty darn cute (if I do say so myself).
The scene inside of Belmont University's Curb Event Center (in Nashville) was a little out of the ordinary on Friday, November 12.
For one thing, this bus was parked outside:
Inside, hundreds of kids and parents eagerly waited in the arena to hear the guest of honor talk about the week's hot topic. Yep, Jeff Kinney was in the building to talk about Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth.
While some kids scrambled for seats next to friends or ran back and forth from the popcorn stand, many of them looked just like this girl sitting in front of me:
Or these guys (please excuse my shaky camera hand):
When Jeff took the stage, he talked about the many, many rejection letters he got prior to signing a deal to publish Diary of a Wimpy Kid. He also mentioned that he originally thought Wimpy Kid would be published for adults, but he's so glad it got marketed as a kids book. He loves being embraced by "reluctant readers" (a term that was new to him when he started publishing).
Audience members also got to see a photo of the Greg Heffley float that will be appearing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and watch a funny video of Jeff with cast members from the Wimpy Kid movie.
And then, there was a major surprise . . .
The actors who play Greg Heffley, Rowley Jefferson and Fregley in Diary of a Wimpy Kid made a surprise appearance! Jeff interviewed the boys about how their lives have changed since starring in the hit movie.
While everyone waited in line to get their books signed after the talk, I snagged a few fans to chat about why they love the Wimpy Kid series:
Moral of the story: Always go to events with your favorite author—you never know what surprises there will be!
Why do you love the Wimpy Kid?
Jeff Kinney's eagerly-anticipated Diary of a Wimpy Kid #5, The Ugly Truth, is on sale today. (Woo-hoo!)
BookPage contributor Alice Cary traveled to Kinney's house in Massachusetts to conduct an interview for our November issue. I posted her behind-the-scenes photos on The Book Case about a month ago, and now you can read the complete interview:
Also in BookPage: Read a hand-written (and illustrated) interview with Kinney.
Today we got word from Abrams Books that a Diary of a Wimpy Kid balloon will debut in this year's Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. More than 50 million people will watch the parade on TV, in addition to 3.5 million in person—and one lucky reader will win the opportunity to be part of that crowd. A sweepstakes launched today by Abrams will give one winner and three guests a Thanksgiving trip to New York City and VIP grandstand tickets to view the parade.
There are 37 million copies of the Wimpy Kid books in print in the United States alone, and I know many readers are getting very excited for the Nov. 9 release of Jeff Kinney's fifth book in the series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth.
BookPage will mark the occasion with an interview in our November print edition. Contributor Alice Cary recently talked to Kinney at his home in Massachusetts, and though you can't read her full report just yet, she gave us a preview of her visit and shared a few BookPage-exclusive photos.
I headed to southern Massachusetts a few days ago to visit Diary of a Wimpy Kid author/illustrator Jeff Kinney. Five million copies of his new book, The Ugly Truth, will hit stores in November, prompting much excitement among fans—and great secrecy from Kinney’s publisher, Abrams, about the contents of the book.
Despite all of this fame and buildup, Jeff Kinney seems to be the nicest, most relaxed guy you'll ever meet. CNN was expected later in the day to film him, but Jeff appeared to have all the time in the world to visit with me. He admits that, at times, all the hoopla around his books doesn't feel real, and he certainly had some interesting stories to share.
All photos (c) copyright 2010 Alice Cary.
Jeff Kinney draws on the tablet in his hands, and Greg H. appears on his computer screen.
Kinney at his office desk, where he works. The walls are purposely bare so he won't be distracted.
Kinney in his office. The closet contains a lot of drawing pads!
(That's what those stacks are near his hand.)
Kinney signing books in his office. This is the spot where he sits for hours to think up ideas for the books.
Also in BookPage: Check out our illustrated Q&A with Jeff Kinney.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid #5 (coming out on November 9) will be titled . . . The Ugly Truth:
Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams, announced the book's title and released its cover today. The book's first printing will be an enormous 5 million copies (book #4, Dog Days, had a first printing of 4 million). Author Jeff Kinney has said this book is the "linchpin of the series." We'll have to wait a few more months to find out why.
In the meantime, read a hand-written (and illustrated) interview with Kinney or watch a trailer of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie. Also, did you know that Rodrick Rules, a movie based on book #2 in the Wimpy Kid series, is coming out on March 25, 2011?
Who's excited about this announcement?
According to an AP article published yesterday afternoon, boys trail girls in reading achievement as much as 10 percentage points in some states. The best way to get them reading is to give them "sports and historical nonfiction, potty humor, bloodthirsty vampires and action-packed graphic novels, fantasy and sleuthing." Or, as reporter Leannie Italie writes, "fart jokes."
(I bet you thought the day we wrote about Norman PhartEphant would be the last post on this topic. No such luck!)
No surprise here, but the reluctant readers I know all go crazy for Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants books. The sequel to Raymond Bean's popular Sweet Farts comes out on August 3 (titled Sweet Farts: Rippin' It Old School) and Pilkey has a new book out on August 10 (The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future). An alternative for kids waiting for Diary of a Wimpy Kid #5 (out November 9) is Lincoln Peirce's Big Nate: In a Class by Himself.
If you are a parent, teacher, librarian or babysitter to boys, please share: What books are the boys you know most excited about?
If you're interested in books for boys, make sure you're signed up for BookPage Reading Corner, our kids e-newsletter; we're planning an entire boy-themed issue for the fall.