Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephen Pastis
|Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephen Pastis|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: Funny, brilliantly illustrated, and surprisingly poignant at times, this is a great read. (Even for those of us significantly older than the target audience!)|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 304||Date: February 2013|
|External links: Author's website|
Timmy Failure is the CEO of Total Failure, the best detective agency in town. This book is nothing short of a historical record of his life as an investigator, helped (or perhaps hindered) by his polar bear partner Total and grade-obsessed friend Rollo, and always wary of his rival Corrina Corrina. Can Timmy come out ahead of his evil nemesis?
There is something incredibly enchanting about a protagonist with complete confidence in themselves. It's one reason why I love Faith, narrator of Have a Little Faith by Candy Harper and Keep the Faith, so much. There is also something really wonderful about polar bear sidekicks. So put the pair together and you were always likely to get good results. In this case, Timmy Failure, the rather optimistic/completely deluded - delete according to how generous you are - boy detective and his sidekick Total the bear provide huge laughs as they try to solve the case. In addition to the comedy, though, the central Timmy/Total relationship, and Timmy's loneliness as he lacks any friends his own age apart from Rollo, who he's not particularly nice to, make it surprisingly poignant at times.
It's a great set of characters overall. I enjoyed watching Molly Moskins's attempts to get Timmy to notice her as a girl rather than as a suspect. There's a refreshingly strong portrayal of many of the adults involved - I love Timmy's mother, who's tolerant but only up to a certain point, and thought the way his new teacher handled him was brilliant. As well, the illustrations are stunning - I want a print of the one of Total wearing Timmy's mum's dress and carrying her handbag!
I also love the references which are clearly there for older readers than the target audience - I'm assuming those of the chapter titles which are based on Bob Dylan song titles will go over most children's heads but they definitely entertained me.
I've read all three books published so far in this series over the past week (and will aim to review the others soon) and while I think it gets even better as the series progresses, this first one is still excellent.
The obvious comparison, I think, is to the Wimpy Kid series. I haven't read them, but fellow reviewer John is a big fan of some of them - particularly Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney. Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell is another one that readers aged 9-12 will surely enjoy.
You can read more book reviews or buy Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephen Pastis at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephen Pastis at Amazon.com.
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