Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 4 to 8
- Grade: k to 5
An impulsive little boy experiences the power of unconditional love
Timothy Shmoe isn’t a bad kid, but sometimes he makes honest (and not-so-honest) mistakes. Time after time, Timothy finds himself in disasters of his own creation, leaving a trail of broken heirlooms, torn tutus, and innocent bystanders (including his cat, Fluffy).
Told in a series of letters, readers follow Timothy through his hilarious antics and missteps. When his pocketful of marbles wreaks havoc at his sister’s ballet recital, Timothy realizes he’s gone too far. In one final, remorseful letter, Timothy apologizes for the ballet blunder and says his father probably wishes Timothy had never been born. What follows is a touching lesson about the redeeming power of acceptance.
Bright, comic-like illustrations and hand-lettered text bring Timothy and his shenanigans to life. Hilarious and heartwarming, The Sorry Life of Timothy Shmoe is a call to empathy for children who struggle with impulse control, and a tribute to unconditional love.
About the authors
Stephanie Simpson McLellan
is the author of the stunning The Christmas Wind, published by Red Deer in 2018, as well as a number of other picture books, including the award—winning The Chicken Cat. She lives in Newmarket, Ontario.
ZOE SI is a cartoonist, illustrator, and lawyer who has been drawing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She has illustrated children’s books, and her cartoons appear online and in print magazines including Geist and The New Yorker. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
- Short-listed, Florida Literacy Association Children’s Book Awards
- Commended, Blue Spruce Award Honor Book
- Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens
- Winner, Ontario Library Association Top Ten Best Bets List
"Line and watercolor–styled cartoon art and giggle-inducing hand-lettered apology notes capture the damages done vis à vis the contrition on offer."
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Laugh-out-loud funny. Adults are likely to find as much humour, enjoyment and possibly even relatability in this story as do the young children for whom it was intended."
Canadian Review of Materials
"Fun comic-style illustrations lovingly illustrate the ups and downs of life with an impulsive kiddo and the power of unconditional love. A funny and heartwarming story to read together."
This West Coast Mommy
"This humorous story is one that both children and adults will enjoy together."
Youth Services Book Review
"There are laughs in The Sorry Life of Timothy Shmoe but also lessons about intention, consequences and forgiveness. Timothy Shmoe is anybody who makes mistakes and then has to face the consequences for those mistakes. That's all of us."
CanLit for Little Canadians
"Everyone has been Timothy Shmoe at one time or another... Kids and adults alike will identify."
"As raucous as it is kindhearted and comforting ... Terrifically funny and thoughtful."
Fab Book Reviews