Any four- or five-year-old will benefit from this book’s themes of perseverance and stamina.
Kids who can’t sit still will enjoy Lisa Shirley’s kinetic picture book Timmy Tumbles.
Timmy is clearly obsessed with tumbling. He forward rolls instead of walking up and down hills to school. He walks on his hands to line up for class, and he tumbles so much on the playground that he makes himself dizzy. Once he tumbles home, he’s off to gymnastics where he almost gives up when he discovers he is not so good at backflips. With the encouragement of his coach, he vows to keep practicing.
While the accompanying full-color illustrations are well executed, there are some roadblocks in the text. Some punctuation is missing, and the book feels lopsided at the end, as the last two pages contain multiple paragraphs of somewhat rhyming text whereas most of the book contains a simple phrase or two per page. There is also a perplexing interlude of a close-up of pasta noodles in groups of three, two, and one. It could be Timmy’s countdown to recess, but it needs to be clearer.
Thematically, kids will enjoy Timmy, who is zany and energetic enough to tumble all day long. Readers will no doubt look up to his tumbling skills, so when he eventually fails at backflips, the book imparts the message that it’s okay not to excel at everything. Timmy Tumbles also underscores the importance of practice, hinting that just as Timmy must practice to get better at backflips, he must have practiced a lot to get so good at tumbling.
Timmy Tumbles will appeal to gymnastics-loving kids in particular, but any four- or five-year-old will benefit from its themes of perseverance and stamina.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.