There is a funny scene early in the new Adam Sandler movie, "Bedtime Stories." Adam Sandler is babysitting his niece and nephew, and the kids want him to read them a story before bed. He grabs a few books from the shelf, books we can assume his liberal, earthy crunchy sister purchased. The first two are titled Rainbow Alligator Saves the Wetlands and Organic Squirrel Gets a Bike Helmet. Sandler's character declares that he can't read these communist books and tells the kids his own bedtime story.
Jeff Kinney's latest installment in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, The Last Straw is no communist book. It doesn't have a lesson, touchy feely moments, or a whole lot of political correctness. It does have a lot of laughs and massive appeal for kids, especially boys between the ages of eight and thirteen. Wimpy, manipulative, self-centered Greg Heffley is back in this third Wimpy Kid book released yesterday.
There has been a high level of anticipation for this book in my house, and across the country if last week's NY Times, numerous websites, and my local Borders bookstore are to be believed. I purchased a copy for my two older kids who love the series. When my nine year old son arrived home from school yesterday and spied it on the table, it was almost painful to watch, he was so torn between beginning The Last Straw and finishing the twenty or so pages he has left in the second 39 Clues book. I think that's what they call an embarrassment of riches. My eight year old daughter solved his dilemma by picking up The Last Straw and guaranteeing she'll have it finished by the time he shuts the cover on 39 Clues. I'm sure she will too by the way she is furiously chuckling her way through it. Her latest giggle at the bus stop this morning came from page 110, when Greg writes, "I've heard that when you do good deeds, you're supposed to be all private about it, but that doesn't really make a whole lot of sense to ME. If I start hiding my good deeds, I'm sure I'll just regret it later on." I'm going to have to get on line behind my son to read it too.