Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Though these seem to be magic words in the world of library programming, we had a lightly attended book release program for Hard Luck last week. It was a beautiful early-release day and the start of a long weekend, so I suppose we were contending with a lot. However, here's a rundown of what we did. Those who came had fun.

I saw this idea on Pinterest and re-created it. Rather than the "cheese touch" this is the cheese toss with a stand up Rowley and square pieces of mat board. It would have been easier to play with bean bags, but I opted not to sew. Rowley was drawn on a large, lined sheet of paper and taped to a leftover piece of foam core. A box cutter worked nicely to cut out his mouth. I notched a box top and set him up, though in retrospect some kind of triangular tri-pod stand would have worked better. Live and learn.

 We recently got an iPad for our department and I put it to use playing a youtube video of Jeff Kinney showing viewers how to draw Greg. Almost everyone went directly for this station and gave it a try, using the technology completely appropriately. I was worried kids might be tempted to mess around with it, but they 100% did not.

 We have an ancient industrial stapler that I set out with paper to create diaries and as per Bryce Don't Play's example, I encouraged kids to think of an alternate adjective appropriate for themselves.

We got a cardboard stand up Greg from the publisher and a ton of Wimpy Kid books from our district collection development department. I made a display of them with information about the new book, including the release date and encouragement to place holds TODAY. I scrounged up a Magic 8 Ball, which appears on the cover of Hard Luck, and enjoyed watching kids speak into it as they asked if they would eat candy or donuts tomorrow, or if they'd get a $100,000 when they're a grown up. Also on display was a brief bio of Jeff Kinney including a couple funny pictures and a screen shot of the web comic Wimpy Kid started out as. 
I set out index cards and re-purposed a coffee can as a time capsule, encouraging kids to write down what they'd include with contact information. I used entries as raffle tickets to give away copies of the book and window clings. The books were donated by a staff member (Thanks, Kendra!) and were older books in the series, but prizes are prizes!
Finally, I set up a toilet paper wrapping station and an old wall clock. Kids were encouraged to wrap each other up and record their time. Fastest wrappers win a prize! They really had fun with this one.
For sticklers like myself, who like to know where ideas originate, the toilet paper wrap is taken from The Last Straw when Greg skips swim practice and gets cold hiding in the locker room. He uses toilet paper to try and get warm. Greg and Rowley also work on a time capsule in The Last Straw and the idea for the station came from the latest event kit from the publisher.
Lots of folks also incorporate trivia games in their Wimpy Kid programs, but we have a drop-in format so that didn't work as well for us. For local readers, I borrowed ideas from the Three Creeks branch. They had a very well attended program some time ago.

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