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Timmy Failure: The Cat Stole My Pants by Stephan Pastis

Reading age 8-12

This is the first Timmy Failure I have read and, even though it’s the 6th in the series, it read well as a stand-alone. Timmy has gone to Florida with his mum and her new husband, Doorman Dave, along with Dave’s nephew Emilio Empanada (what a great name). While there, Timmy is embroiled in a mystery involving treasure and believes someone is trying to kill him, so takes on Emilio as his unpaid intern.

This is a character driven series; the plot is not very complicated. Timmy is an over the top and unreliable protagonist. Even sidekick Emilio is a quirky, with a penchant for romance novels and daytime soap operas. It’s basically a funny romp with a bunch of entertaining characters. Open almost any part of the book and you’ll find something funny:

[Quote] If you ever want to know what it's like to go fishing on a boat for $200 a person, just do the following:

1) Grab the sides of a toilet and throw up and

2) Set fire to $200

[Quote] We are going to sue the pants off Lighthouse Larry. ‘I don’t wear pants,’ says Larry, citing a legal technicality. ‘I wear shorts.’ Recognising the strength of his argument, I offer to compromise

[Quote] ‘And work on your attitude,’ I tell my unpaid intern. ‘It’s very negative. Remember: if you are determined to succeed in life, nothing can stop you. Except maybe a truck. Because if a truck runs over you, you’d pretty much be stopped.’ And immediately, I visualise it as an inspirational poster. ‘Get ten thousand of those made,’ I tell him. ‘I want to see that poster in every bookstore in the country.’

While some of the language and jokes will go above a young reader’s head, it has plenty that will send them in stitches. Having read Diary of a Wimpy Kid, I can see the parallels and that readers of that would like this, but I think Timmy offers more.


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