Review Blog

Jun 09 2017

Timmy Failure series by Stephan Pastis

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Walker Books, 2017. 
The Book you're not supposed to have. Book 5. ISBN 9781406373653
The Cat stole my pants. Book 6. ISBN 9811406377163
(Age: 7-10) Recommended. Themes: Detective stories, Humorous stories, School stories, Mysteries. The popular Timmy Failure series follows the exploits of this self-assured young detective, with his smart and witty straight talking; he is a very popular character. Stephan Pastis understands exactly what his fans want, a multi-layered story with a large cast of quirky characters and another set of crazy situations that show Tommy's unique way of coping with them.
The Book you're not supposed to have warns the reader to put the book down immediately. Do not continue! Why, because his mother has banned Timmy from detective work for six months, so is there any point reading the rest of the story? His life is in turmoil, his mother is about to marry Doorman Dave, his cousins Merry and Larry arrive for an extended visit and there is a teacher's strike at school. Ms Hardie-Heron torments Timmy with piano lessons, he is involved in a great bike tragedy and his best friend Rollo is kidnapped. Timmy's determination leads him to set up a covert operation at Home Depot in a garden shed.
Pastis' comic illustrations are entertaining: there is his dancing polar bear, his bicycle with a flag advertising Bras for Sale and his cousins' takeover of his bedroom. This illustrated diary style is accessible for junior readers who enjoy a balance of text, graphic cartoons, speech bubbles filled with prickly comments and strong central character who rolls with everything that comes along.
In the sixth episode, The Cat stole my pants the action moves to Key West, Florida. Timmy, his mother and her new husband Doorman Dave fly there for their honeymoon. In addition, Dave brings along his nephew Emilio who becomes Timmy's unpaid intern when his former partner Total the Polar Bear swims off to Cuba. Timmy's exploits in this tropical paradise involve attacking chickens, a bout of seasickness, his writing a book and stealing and selling hotel items to make money so for admission to the Lighthouse.
Stephan Pastis continues to surprise and delight his fans, with Timmy Failure's inimitable approach to life.
Rhyllis Bignell

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