Sunday, January 3, 2010

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Read-a-likes

Lately, it seems like everyone in the world has Diary of a Wimpy Kid fever. Every book in this hilariously funny series by Jeff Kinney are always checked out at my library. Rather than sending kids away empty-handed, I've been recommending these books instead. They all feature plenty of illustrations and quite a bit of humor.

Mercy Watson (series)
by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen

Lots of full color pictures in this series about an irrepressible pig. The author of the award-winning Tale of Despereaux shares tales of this “porcine wonder” and Mercy’s endless quest for the better things in life, especially toast.

My Weird School (series)
by Dan Gutman, illustrated by Jim Paillot
Harper Collins

A.J.’s school is very weird, no doubt about it. Each of his teachers at Ella Mentry School is more wacka-doodle than the next! Can he survive at his crazy school? There is a spin-off series, My Weird School Daze.

Prince of Underwhere
by Bruce Hale, illustrated by Shane Hillman
Harper Collins

In this new fast-paced, silly and fun new series, Zeke manages to cope with school, annoying siblings, zombies and people who wear underwear on their heads.

Horrible Harry (series)
by Suzy Kline, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz

Don't forget this classic series. Good-kid Doug is constantly amazed and surprised by the unbelievable pranks his best friend “Horrible” Harry always seems to be getting away with in Miss Mackle’s second grade class.

Regarding the Fountain (series)
by Kate Klise, illustrated by M. Sarah Klise
Avon Books

What starts out as a simple project to replace a broken fountain, quickly gets out of hand in this epistolary novel composed of faxes, letters and drawings. There are more in the series, although none quite so enjoyable as the first.

Toothpaste Millionaire
by Jean Merrill
Bank Street

Not a series, but this is still a terrific, stand-alone book. Rufus Mayflower’s head for business has landed him a million dollars. Learn the secrets of his financial success and find out how he decides to spend his money.

Amelia’s Notebooks (series)
by Marissa Moss
Tricycle Press

Get a sneak peek into Amelia’s life by reading her handwritten diaries. Whether it’s about her friends, her school or her family, Amelia doesn’t hold back. Her notebook drawings and doodles leave plenty for readers to pore over.

Clementine (series)
by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Marla Frazee

Creative and funny Clementine doesn’t mean to be a troublemaker! Expressive ink drawings by Marla Frazee keep the action humming right along. Similar to the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary and also appropriate for Junie B. Jones graduates.

Captain Underpants (series)
by Dav Pilkey
Blue Sky Press

The one. The only. The original. Read the book that helped inspire Diary of a Wimpy Kid! Action, adventure, humor, cartoons, laughs; this series has it all. Fans of Captain Underpants will probably also enjoy all of Pilkey's books, including the Super Diaper Baby books and Ricky Ricotta's Giant Robot series.

Fred & Anthony (series)
by Elise Primavera

Read about the hijinks of two best friends, interspersed with plenty of cartoons and humor. Scary and funny, these stories will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Time Warp Trio (series)
by Jon Scieszka & Lane Smith

Joe, Sam and Fred use their magic book to travel through time, having wacky madcap adventures all the way. The author of The Stinky Cheese Man does not disappoint with this wonderful chapter book series. The books have also been released as graphic novels.

Ellie McDoodle (series)
by Ruth McNally Barshaw
Bloomsbury Children's Books

Similar to the Amelia's Notebooks series, but geared for perhaps, just a bit of an older audience, this series features snarky, funny pre-teen Ellie, who in her first adventure is forced to go camping with her relatives in Michigan.

Dragonbreath (series)
by Ursula Vernon
Dial Books

Danny is an underachieving dragon who can't breath fire. He and his best friend Wendell (an iguana) attempt to avoid bullies and get their research for an acceptable school paper on sea life done. With green and black illustrations, this series seems visually similar to Babymouse by Jennifer and Matthew Holm.


  1. My younger sister has been looking for books just like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. I'll check these out. Thanks for the share!

  2. No problem! You could also try:
    Max Quigley by James Roy
    or The Dork Diaries by Rachel Russell

  3. Great list. Have you considered adding the Alvin Ho series by Lenore Look and LeUyen Pham. It's fantastic- loved by both my 7 year old daughter and 10 year old son. Very funny with lots of illustrations.

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