More Books Like Diary of a Wimpy Kid
What happens when you cross a crazy popular early chapter book series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, with an Asian kid? You get Alvin Ho, who is hilarious and allergic to just about everything in the world, or so he thinks, including:
- natural disasters
- birthday parties
- science projects
- man-made catastrophes
- other scary things
You get the picture. Lenore Look has created an interesting set of characters that live in Alvin Ho’s world. His classmate, Flea, is blind in one eye and has one leg longer than the other causing her to drag it on the ground. There is also a gang of unruly boys that are led by a big kid named Pinky. Alvin also has a very nice mother and understanding father — and not weirdly F.O.B. (Fresh Off the Boat) either which I appreciate — an older brother, Calvin, who seems pretty cool, and a resourceful little sister, Anibelly. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that Alvin Ho’s family is … normal. The dad is not geeky, and no one speaks like they do in really bad kung fu movies. It could be that Asian American Children’s Literature has carved out a niche for itself that can transcend the stereotypes that so plagued those of us who are middle-aged when we were children. Amen to that!
In this book, Alvin Ho’s dad wants to spend some quality time with his son to help him overcome his irrational fear of the outdoors and proposes a father-son bonding trip. Anibelly manages to tag along too. Calvin has assisted by upgrading the supplies replacing a flashlight with the world’s best flashlight, the batteries with a generator, a whistle with a siren, a mirror with a search beam, sunscreen with SPF 70, insect repellent with jungle-grade netting, anti-itch lotion with toilet paper, the first aid kit with a trauma dressing kit and the compass with a GPS. Despite the plethora of high-tech supplies, it’s Uncle Dennis’s Batman Ring that helps Alvin get through the trip.
This appealing series is a fun and funny read with great illustrations by LeUyen Pham that really makes the book come alive. Think Asian Calvin and Hobbes appealing but as a beginning chapter book series for boys with lots of cartoon illustrations! And the illustrations are on every page spread which is great for breaking up the text for reluctant readers.
Look and Pham has a winning combination. Fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid can have another beginning chapter book series to dig into! Hooray for that!
p.s. I haven’t read the Ruby Lu series but I suspect to find an Asian Junie B. Jones and I’m excited to read it!
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.