Timmerman is mysterious. Moreover, he is bitterly resented by the young girl who lives in the same boardinghouse. After all, he occupies her beloved granddad’s now-vacant room. How dare he think he can take that space?
But try as she might, the girl cannot dislike him forever. Timmerman is kind, gentle, and soft-spoken to everyone, even the dog, who lets him untangle her matted coat. Despite herself, the girl becomes fond of him.
When rumors begin to fly, she tries not to listen. But it’s hard, especially when Timmerman is often seen late at night, wandering the streets with a shovel and sack over his shoulder. Is he stashing stolen goods? Burying dead cats? The girl takes a black eye for defending him at school. Even so, curiosity compels her to ask the question she knows she shouldn’t ask. Though Timmerman promises an explanation in time, he avoids a direct answer and disappears shortly after, leaving the girl to worry and wonder.
Not until spring is the answer to Timmerman’s nighttime walks beautifully presented, leaving the entire street with a living memory of Timmerman’s presence.
Timmerman Was Here is a charming tale of mystery, perception, and the gift of friendship.
Colleen Sydor was born in Winnipeg and currently makes the city her home. A graduate of the University of Manitoba she is not only a writer, she also works as a florist. In the last ten years she has won the McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award three times.
Nicolas Debon was born and educated in France. He published his first picture book in 1999. Since then, he has illustrated several books for European and North American publishers and has twice been nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award. His graphic novel The Strongest Man in the World won the 2007 Boston Globe Horn Book Award for children’s nonfiction.
Praise for Thing-Thing:
“Thing-Thing is about a homely toy that just wants to be loved . . . told and illustrated in [a] contemporary style that brings new vitality to a genre best typified by The Velveteen Rabbit. . . . [Fagan’s] . . . witty, expressive style is well served by the inventive illustrations of Debon . . . to give a wonderfully funny account of Thing-Thing’s adventure.”
— Starred Review, Quill & Quire