November 07, 2016

Timo's Party

by Victoria Allenby
Illustrated by Dean Griffiths
Pajama Press
978-1-77278-008-6
48 pp.
Ages 5-8
October, 2016

Bunny rabbit Timo Vega learned in last year’s Timo’s Garden (Pajama Press, 2015) that he needed to spend a little bit more time tending to his friendships rather than obsessing about his garden and he’s learned that lesson well.  With food critic Madame LaPointe coming to Toadstool Corners as part of her search for the best small towns to visit, Timo agrees to host an apple festival in his orchard so that his friend Hedgewick Stump, the hedgehog, can show off his culinary skills.  But as soon as he’s made the offer, the crowd-averse rabbit is regretting his decision.
From Timo's Party 
by Victoria Allenby
illus. by Dean Griffiths

Organizing his tasks into a list of three things–invitations, decorations and games–Timo begins to feel that the Toadstsool Corners Apple Festival might be manageable after all. Though Hedgewick sees the attributes that will make Timo a great host–he is organized, generous and thoughtful–Timo’s other friends, knowing how much he hates big parties, advise him how to be confident and comfortable around lots of people.

With the help of his many friends, Timo is able to pull off a great party, and Hedgewick, with only a small cooking mishap, caters an impressive apple festival.  Like the very different apples and bananas in the recipe at the conclusion of Timo’s Party, Timo and Hedgewick come together spectacularly. Each brings their own strengths to their endeavour and are successful in supporting the other when needed.
From Timo's Party
by Victoria Allenby
illus. by Dean Griffiths
Timo’s Party is an exceptional early reader for imparting an engaging life lesson. But author Victoria Allenby never preaches or instructs the reader how to live life well, or be a good friend or be brave.  Instead, she swathes that message in Timo’s daily experiences, taking advantage of a true story-telling opportunity.  It’s easy to see beyond the anthropomorphized animals–with their clothes, speech, and human endeavours–as just a bunch of friends whose lives the reader is pleased to share.  Though not a fully-illustrated book, Dean Griffiths's artwork helps take the reader into the friendly world of Toadstool Corners.  From the plaid jacketed Timo with his subtle smile and relaxed ears, to the rose-toqued badger Rae and the bustling Hedgewick, Dean Griffiths gives life to the animals in Timo’s Party, taking them from characters to neighbours.  And, let me say, we are all pleased to have been invited to this party, and look forward to more good times in Timo’s neighbourhood.
From Timo's Party 
by Victoria Allenby
illus. by Dean Griffiths

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