Review: Timmy Failure

Cover © Candlewick

Cover © Candlewick

Three reviews per month. Three reviews per month. Three reviews per month.

I’m waiting until the last second here, yes? Maybe I’ll write a few ahead of time during Spring Break.

I’ve had my eye on Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, by Stephan Pastis, for a while. Mr. Pastis writes and draws one of my favorite comic strips, Pearls Before Swine. It is pretty funny, but, disclaimer, not always kid appropriate. When you get older, though! Anyway, I was looking forward to a kids book from Mr. Pastis.

The book came out, and I hadn’t read it. I figured I would get it from the library or something. But then, a student in my class had it! I saw it ans sort of gave a little shriek! And he was so nice, you know, he lent it to me. What a good guy.

Timmy Failure is another book in the “graphic novel hybrid” format. It’s not all cartoons, but not all words. You know, like Wimpy KidDork DiariesPopularity Papers. That sort of book. My favorite book in this format is Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze, by Alan Silberberg. You should check it out.

Timmy Failure is the story of Timmy, whose last name actually is “Failure.” He’s got a detective agency, which he thinks is poised for instant fame and success. He also has a pet polar bear named Total. That’s right. Pet polar bear. He just wandered down from the Arctic. Timmy makes Total a partner in his detective agency, which he then named “Total Failure.” Bahahahaha.

Timmy Failure is pretty funny. Timmy is a bumbling idiot, sort of like Greg in Wimpy Kid, but he’s a lot more likable than Greg. I’ve always felt that Greg is lazy, rude, and only cares about himself. Timmy is sort of lazy, definitely cares mostly about himself, but isn’t nearly as rude. That’s a plus for me.

Here’s something interesting about this book. It’s told in the first person point of view, by Timmy. It’s kind of in diary style. Maybe more like a case file. Either way, Timmy is telling the story. And there were times when I was reading it that I was like, “Wait. I know that’s not how it really happened, Timmy.” As the narrator, Timmy is giving his version of the story. As a reader, we have to figure out if he’s telling us what really happened, or just his own crazy version.

This is how point of view can really affect a story. When a story is written in first person, it doesn’t just mean that the character is in the story. It means we’re getting that character’s version of the story. We all know that different people can tell different sides of the same event. It is the same for characters. Timmy’s version of the events in the story might be a lot different from his mom’s, or his friends’.

Pick up Timmy Failure if you like funny stories or the graphic novel hybrid format. It’s no failure!

Book trailer!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB4yuWZqsXs&rel=0]

Keep reading!

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made

By Stephan Pastis

304 pages

Genre: Realistic fiction (except for the polar bear); funny

Source: A student lent it to me!

On shelves now!

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