Stephan Pastis, The Cat Stole My Pants (Timmy Failure #6), Walker Books Australia, 27 April 2017, 288pp., $17.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781406377163
Timmy Failure is at it again in book six of the best-selling Timmy Failure series by famed comic strip creator, Stephan Pastis. Timmy’s supposed to be relaxing on vacation, but getting away from it all doesn’t apply to his investigation business, Total Failure, Inc. Mystery, danger and a six-toed cat linger around every corner of Key West, Florida. Together with his unpaid intern, Timmy must solve the case (and finish a book report) all while trying to figure out why his mother thinks she’s on a honeymoon with Doorman Dave.
From page one of The Cat Stole My Pants the laugh-out-loud humour begins. And it doesn’t let up. After deciding the only way to survive a tour of Hemingway’s house is to remove his pants, Timmy discovers strange warnings addressed to none other than himself. But who’s sending them and why? With his trusted business partner Total, a six hundred pound polar bear, having fled to Cuba, Timmy has to rely on his not-so-reliable new assistant (and his mother’s new husband’s nephew), Emilio. Just when things are at their worst, Timmy finds out that his mother has enrolled him in summer school and his arch nemesis, Corrina Corrina, has assigned him a very long book to read. It’s one drama after another as this hilarious detective creates more problems than he solves right up until a surprising — and surprisingly warm-hearted — conclusion.
Timmy is a lovable, imaginative and over-confident child who can’t help but cause chaos. It’s his absolutely assured, but completely unfounded, viewpoint that makes his character irresistible. He believes in himself so strongly, as so many children do, that he can’t figure out why no one else understands his point of view. His banter with adults is cringe worthy but very, very funny. From the chapter titles to dozens of sketches throughout, this book is packed with hilarious moments and the crazy antics of a boy detective with plans for total world domination.
The Cat Stole My Pants would appeal to middle graders who love a good laugh. Supplementary tools including vocabulary flash cards and a classroom activity kit are available in the Teachers & Parents section of www.timmyfailure.com.
Reviewed by Stephanie Ward