This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will have a new star in its lineup. A giant balloon bringing the title character of Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series to 3-D life will be among the 15 helium spectacles in the legendary parade. Amulet Books, which releases the series’ fifth installment, , on November 9 with a five million copy first printing, is holding a sweepstakes to win a trip to New York City to see the new balloon in person. Details can be found on the Abrams Web site.
Among the 3.5 million spectators expected to line the Manhattan streets on Thanksgiving Day will be Kinney, who says that having a Macy’s parade balloon based on Wimpy Kid “is very exciting and an honor I could never have imagined. Sometimes I feel as though I’m on The Truman Show! I’d always wanted to be a newspaper cartoonist and when I couldn’t break into that business, I decided the only real shot I had was to try to get my cartoons into book form. It is so cool to think that my character has become iconic enough to warrant inclusion in this historic parade.”
With more than 37 million copies of Diary of a Wimpy Kid books in print in the U.S. and the series available in 30 countries, Kinney’s middle-school protagonist has been flying high from the start. Kinney, who is taking a brief break from writing after finishing The Ugly Truth, isn’t sure what the future will hold for the series. “Since I had a lifelong dream of becoming a cartoonist, to think it would be all over in three and a half years just doesn’t feel right,” he says. “I’m doing a lot of soul-searching right now to figure out if I can continue the series. I would definitely like to.”
The near future holds a Kinney family trip to New York City, where the author will see Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade live for the first time. Though he says his sons, ages seven and five, are excited about the Wimpy Kid balloon, he adds, “I don’t think they understand the scope or the scale of it all. But I can’t wait to see the look on their faces when they see Greg floating down the grand avenue.”