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TERRIBLE TIM by Katie Haworth


by Katie Haworth ; illustrated by Laura Hughes

Pub Date: July 5th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4998-0137-8
Publisher: Little Bee Books

No need to set off in search of Wild Things when little Tim’s in the vicinity.

For all that the grinning urchin leaves a trail of havoc in his wake, the damage is more the result of boundless high spirits than malice. To go with all the mess, Haworth’s patterned rhyme adds plenty of percussive energy: “Terrible Tim likes to CHOMP! / Terrible Tim likes to STOMP!” This leads to “CHOMP / STOMP / MAKE / BREAK // Terrible, terrible Tim!” Hughes takes the premise as license to strew her household scenes with spatters and scribbles, depict a startled bird pooping into a basket of laundry, and generally leave every room looking like a tornado had visited. Tim does indeed appear to be something of a terror. But unlike David’s, Tim’s evidently single mother takes no proactive role to head off his depredations, existing just to provide reaction shots of theatrical dismay or annoyance, and then to tuck the (briefly) repentant boy into bed after a cuddle. Parent and child are both white, with the same scribbly thatch of reddish hair.

The mess is good fun, but the story is a bit bland next to the more emotionally intense likes of No, David! and Dinosaur vs. Bedtime. (Picture book. 3-6)