When 8-year-old Kate meets a boy who seems somehow different, she feels funny inside. After talking with her mom, though, Kate begins to understand that Timmy is just like her in many ways. Timmy has special needs; he takes longer to learn than Kate, and can't walk or run as well. But he also "loves his family, he wants friends, he goes to school, and he dreams about what he wants to be when he grows up." Kate and Timmy meet, and the seeds of a friendship are planted.
For all those children who ask their parents why someone looks or acts "different," author and journalist Maria Shriver's What's Wrong with Timmy? provides a base for discussion. Kate's mother models appropriate behavior, speaking to her daughter calmly and directly, and providing examples from her own life to help Kate understand about Timmy. Illustrator Sandra Speidel's soft, intentionally hazy pastels are lovely; bold, enlarged phrases on the opposite pages of text act as captions. Shriver and Speidel collaborated previously on the tremendously popular What's Heaven?, also starring Kate and her mother. (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter
Gr 3-5-This brief book tells of the meeting in the park between an eight-year-old girl and the "mentally retarded" son of her mother's friend. The writer describes Timmy as someone who "looked different" and has a face that seems "flatter" than other children's. Kate asks her mother about the boy and learns that he is her age and was born with disabilities. The children discover that they like the same things at school, recess and sports, and don't like math. After a game of basketball with her friends, Timmy and Kate make a play date. The warm pastel illustrations support the theme of acceptance of all people no matter their differences. However, the little girl's questions and actions are quite mature for her age. The lack of paragraphs might be a bit confusing to young readers, and the intermittent use of bold-faced, larger-sized type is a bit disruptive, although its purpose seems to be to highlight the theme. The book reads well, though, and would be a good introduction for youngsters welcoming a disabled child into their school or neighborhood.
Margaret C. Howell, West Springfield Elementary School, VA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.See all Editorial Reviews
Service was prompt and easy. I have a brother who has Down's. Will pass this book on to my granddaughters after reading.Published 21 months ago by grandmar9
As a mother of a four year old little girl with Down Syndrome, I find it offensive and ignorant on the part of the author to use the word 'retarded' in this day and age. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Mika V.
A very sensitively written book for children. Children have a great capacity for liking other children, looking for their companionship, for their trust. Read morePublished on August 2, 2012 by Phil S.
What's Wrong with Timmy? This is a wonderful learning Christian book that in a delight story explains how God created every person and every person is special in their own way. Read morePublished on November 18, 2008 by Holly B. Benedick
What's Wrong with Timmy? is a children's book about a boy with a developmental disability. In this book there is a girl named Kate and a boy named Timmy. Read morePublished on July 5, 2008 by Charlilu
I am a Lutheran Church librarian in Florida who bought this book for our church library. It stresses that though we may have different traits and characteristics we are all worthy... Read morePublished on December 27, 2004 by a reader
Just as with What's Heaven, this story has Kate as well. I think every parent that has a child with special needs would hope that friendship and acceptance would come as quickly... Read morePublished on October 20, 2004 by Bonnie Sayers