Kids wimp out at Niles library
Denise Daichendt and her son, Dietrich, 8, work on a mask at a "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" party held at the Niles Library. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 25, 2013 1:17AM
NILES — You don’t need to be a wimpy kid to identify with the challenges faced by the protagonist of the popular children’s book series by Jeff Kinney.
Fans of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” came together at the Niles Public Library on Jan. 4 to share their common interest of character Greg Heffley and the problems he faces as a “wimpy” middle school student.
“It’s a very popular series,” said Shelly Sutherland, youth services supervisor at the Niles Public Library.
The event gave fans the opportunity to play games related to the series and is one of various children’s book parties held at the library throughout the year.
“They’re a way to have fun and let loose, but are book-related,” said Cate Levinson of the Youth Services Department.
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid” is the first book in a series, which was also made into a film. The seventh book called “The Third Wheel” was just released a couple months ago.
“It’s basically about kids trying to fit in,” said Sutherland, explaining that the main character deals with common middle school issues like friends and meeting girls.
At the party held at the Niles Library, kids played various games, including a Bingo game that involved answering trivia questions about the book and its characters.
“I think it’s the most popular series right now,” Levinson said.
“They relate to it,” added Barbara Ciechelski, of Niles, who brought her fifth-grade kids Mark and Paul to the event.
“There are characters at school that are like some of the kids in the book,” said Ciechelski, who said her kids have read all of the books in the series.
Ciechelski said that she thinks the book parties are a great way for the library to promote more reading among kids.
Sutherland said they try to have book parties about books that are new releases or celebrating an anniversary.
“The series appeals both to boys and girls,” said Sutherland, about the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.”
Many of the kids agree that the main character Greg Heffley is their favorite character in the book because he’s funny.
Renee Mitchell, of Des Plaines, brought her grandson, Brandon, who is in fifth grade, to the party.
“It keeps his interest,” said Mitchell, about the books. “He really does love them.”
Mitchell said that Brandon received the seventh book in the series for Christmas and was very excited about it.
“I like that it’s funny and cartoonish,” he explained.
The kids played a variety of games, including a hot potato game using a “Cheese Touch” instead of a bean bag. A “Cheese Touch” was an old piece of cheese some kids found in the gym in the book.
The participants and were able to choose from a bunch of fun prizes at the end of the party. They also watched a video that gave them a quick drawing lesson of a character in the book.
Part of what makes the book so charming are the cartoon illustrations done by the author, who is also a cartoonist.
Adam Treguboff, of Niles, who is in third grade, said he loves “everything” about the book and he enjoyed “everything” about the party.
The library will also hold an “Amelia Bedelia “ 50thanniversary party on Ap. 30, May 22 will be a drop-in “Frog and Toad” day where stories will be read throughout the day and May 27 will be an event for the book “Bad Kitty.”