From the Publisher
Pastis has a knack for comic timing, and the interplay between cartoon, text, and the absurdities of the story should continue to attract readers who wish they could shake their fists at the world with such inept panache.
If Inspector Clouseau were in grade school, he’d be Timmy Failure. ... [H]is many fans will speed through the pages, and they’ll love Pastis’ illustrations, which feature an adorable polar bear shaped like a bowling pin. They may even adopt Timmy’s motto: "When you lose hope, find it." A loonily intellectual alternative to that wimpy kid.
Timmy is a wonderfully frustrating narrator. ... [A]s Timmy’s grip on reality begins to weaken and his actions begin to alienate those around him, readers will nevertheless sympathize with his unraveling. Fans of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series or the "Big Nate" books will enjoy the sharp, ironic humor as well as the black-and-white comic illustrations. ... [P]lenty of the puns, plays-on-words, and clever comedic timing will result in laugh-out-loud moments.
—School Library Journal
Great-aunt Colander is the gem of the series thus far. She truly "gets" and seeks out Timmy, and she's the resourceful and clear-eyed antidote to the discombobulated detective. ... This heartwarming companion will make Timmy's fans even more eager for the third adventure, planned for this coming November.
Children's Literature - Bonita Herold
In Timmy Failure’s mind he is nothing if not successful. After all, he was born, founded a crime-solving empire, and exhibited greatness. Never mind that the overly confident crime-solver continually makes mistakes. Those are easily explained away; they are someone else’s fault. With Totalhis 250 pound, lazy, polar bear partnerby his side, and the unlikely help of Great-Aunt Colander, Timmy Failure hopes to discover the missing globe and win $500. If only people would stop their shenanigans so that he can enter the school’s competition and win the massive amount of money that will set him up for life! The second in the “Timmy Failure” series, this book is another shining example of how Pastis appeals to children and adults alike. Constant word play, puns, and just plain wittiness make this plot move along coherently and rapidly. Without a doubt, the award-winning author of Pearls Before Swine strikes just the right note of hilarity. Reviewer: Bonita Herold; Ages 8 to 12.
School Library Journal
Gr 3–8—The too-smart-for-his-own-good kid detective is back for a second zany installment, along with his 1500-pound polar/bear business partner, Total. Timmy has big dreams for his crime-solving empire, fueled by his complete self-confidence, delusions of grandeur, and his assured win in a competition to find a stolen globe worth $500. But first, shenanigans are afoot and must be thwarted. Timmy is a wonderfully frustrating narrator. He is egotistical, oblivious to his own ineptitude, and blames any missteps on the shortcomings of others. Yet, as Timmy's grip on reality begins to weaken and his actions begin to alienate those around him, readers will nevertheless sympathize with his unraveling. Fans of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series (Abrams) or the "Big Nate" books (Andrew McMeel) will enjoy the sharp, ironic humor as well as the black-and-white comic illustrations. While some advanced vocabulary and a few adult-directed jokes and references may escape middle-grade readers, plenty of the puns, plays-on-words, and clever comedic timing will result in laugh-out-loud moments.—Elly Schook, Jamieson Elementary School, Chicago
If Inspector Clouseau were in grade school, he'd be Timmy Failure. Timmy has a secret admirer. He knows this, as he's received a note, covered in little hearts, that says, "You have a secret admirer!" His friends and relatives assume it's from Molly Moskins, since she follows him around saying, "Doesn't my Timmykins look handsomeful?"--and since another love note is signed, "LOVE MM (These are my initials)." Timmy assumes, with his typical logic, that the hearts are a coded death threat. "Think," he says to his great-aunt. "The heart is what keeps you alive." He has reason to be suspicious. He has very few admirers, partly because he keeps accusing his friends of crimes--especially Molly Moskins. In spite of that, they remain remarkably faithful and even help him solve the central mystery of the book, which loosely involves a detective contest at his school. Readers who found Timmy hard to take in his first book won't like him--or the terrible puns--any better here. (One chapter is titled "The Lying, the Watch, and the Poor Globe.") But his many fans will speed through the pages, and they'll love Pastis' illustrations, which feature an adorable polar bear shaped like a bowling pin. They may even adopt Timmy's motto: "When you lose hope, find it." A loonily intellectual alternative to that wimpy kid. (Comic mystery. 8-12)