Meet Timmy Failure. He’s the founder, president, and CEO of the detective agency he had named after himself: Total Failure Inc., ‘the best detective agency in town, probably the state. Perhaps the nation.’ His business partner (and idiot best friend) is a 1500 pound polar bear, named Total, who is often not very helpful, and gets paid in chicken nuggets. There is no case too big or two small for Total Failure Inc., whether it’s solving the mystery of the missing Halloween candy or discovering who stole his mother’s Segway. Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made is the first book in the hilarious new series by Stephan Pastis.
Take eleven-year-old Timmy Failure – the clueless, comically self-confident CEO of the best detective agency in town, perhaps even the nation. Add his impressively lazy business partner, a very large polar bear named Total. Throw in the Failuremobile – Timmy s mom s Segway – and what you have is Total Failure, Inc., a global enterprise destined to make Timmy so rich his mother won t have to stress out about the bills anymore. Of course, Timmy’s plan does not include the four-foot-tall female whose name shall not be uttered. And it doesn t include Rollo Tookus, who is so obsessed with getting into “Stanfurd” that he can t carry out a no-brain spy mission.
Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made is the funniest book for kids that I’ve read in a long time. The text by itself is funny, but add in Stephan’s cartoons and you get a book that has you laughing out loud. The funniest parts of the book are when Timmy is explaining something and then he draws a picture to show you what happened. There is a part when Timmy visits Molly Moskins’ house and he meets Molly’s cat, Senor Burrito, that made me laugh so hard (you’ll have to read the book to find out why). Stephan’s illustrations of Total made me laugh every time too, because you wondered what he was going to get up to next or what Timmy would make him do. Reading this book is like watching a comedian with the best comedic timing. It’s the combination of the text and the cartoons that will appeal to children, especially fans of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. I think Timmy Failure would even be great for those younger children (7-9 year olds) who might not be quite ready for Wimpy Kid yet.
One thing I loved about this book was the weird and wacky cast of characters. First of all you’ve got Timmy, who is the one who is supposed to be looking for clues, but he’s completely clueless himself. Readers will pick up the clues and solve the mystery way almost straight away, whereas Timmy has a completely different theory and tries to nab someone else for the crime. He speaks like a detective and is always trying to convince his mother that his detective agency needs to upgrade their offices or get an administrative assistant to handle the paperwork. Jimmy’s best friend, Total, doesn’t talk (because he’s a polar bear), but he provides some of the funniest moments of the story through his antics. Molly Moskins is the weird girl that has a crush on Timmy who has mismatched pupils and a tendancy to use words that do not exist (like ‘wondermarvelously splendiferous’). Then there is the ‘Evil One,’ Timmy’s nemesis and fellow detective, Corrina Corrina.
Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made is only the first book in Stephan Pastis’ new series and I hope there will be many more to come. I guarantee that your children will laugh out loud at least once while reading this book (I certainly did and got some weird looks for doing so). I recommend it for anyone 7+ who likes a good laugh and quirky characters.
5 out of 5 stars