Summary: February

When it snows, Greg and Rowley want to set the world’s record for the tallest snowman, so they roll a huge snowball, pulling up the sod that Greg’s dad recently laid down in the yard. It stops snowing before they make much progress, and Greg gets in trouble when he kicks over Manny’s little snowman. The Whirley Street kids ambush Greg and Rowley by sledding by and knocking them down. At school, the school paper needs a new cartoonist, and Greg decides he wants the job. He and Rowley create cartoons that all end with “Zoo-Wee Mama!” but Greg tires of them. Instead, he creates his own cartoon character called Creighton the Cretin, submits several samples, and wins the position. However, Mr. Ira revises Greg’s masterpiece into a comic that promotes math, and once again, Greg does not achieve the fame he craves.

Analysis: February

In this section, readers continue to see examples of people being both bullies and victims, but they also see Greg come to a realization. When Greg ruins Manny’s snowman, Greg’s dad reacts with more bullying behavior when he destroys Greg and Rowley’s giant snowball. Dad is upset because he thinks Manny is too small to defend himself. This mirrors Greg’s feelings at school, where he cannot compete with the larger kids who have gone through puberty, yet no one comes to his defense. In another plan to gain popularity, Greg tries out as a cartoonist for the school newspaper. However, he still fails to act from a genuine place. Greg’s goal of becoming a “celebrity” motivates him to hide comic submissions from other students. Greg learns a crucial lesson about himself from the experience. He not only likes drawing, but his cartoons also highlight his creativity and give him a positive outlet, much like his diary. Greg begins to come to the realization that, rather than pursue an activity for its social benefits, he should channel his energy into cultivating his own interests and hobbies. Finding his own interests is what will ultimately help Greg find his place in school.