Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Review - Sir Tim Is a Little Jealous

Sir Tim Is a Little Jealous
by Judith Koppens
illustrated by Eline van Lindenhuizen
Date: 2019
Publisher: Clavis
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Sir Tim and Sara go to the park together. Sara spends time playing with her friend Max. How does that make Tim feel?

A sweet and recognizable story about being a little jealous. For friends and knights ages 4 years and up.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

The premise of this book is decent, but the way the topic is ultimately handled didn't impress me.

When Sir Tim goes to the park with his friend Sara, he ends up jealous and engages in attention-seeking behaviours that escalate to the point of peril. The moral of the story seems to be to put your life in danger to get your friends to pay attention to you (at least, I wouldn't be surprised if that's the takeaway for some readers).

Yes, Sir Tim is jealous. But that's his own fault. At the very beginning, when they arrive at the playground, Sara actually says: "There's Max. Let's go and play with him!" Now, to me, that sounds like an invitation. Sara's not leaving Sir Tim out of anything. She didn't say: "There's Max. I'm going to go play with him!" But you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise, the way Sir Tim interprets it. His stomach starts to feel funny and he begins to try to draw Sara's attention away from Max. She doesn't seem to notice his attempts (although she does wave at him at one point, so she's not intentionally snubbing him). Eventually, Sir Tim decides to climb a tree. When the branch breaks and he falls, Sara comes running over and asks if he's hurt. He confesses that he thinks she doesn't like him anymore, and she tells him that he's silly (he is) and that just because she plays with other kids sometimes doesn't mean they're not still best friends. Then she tells him that the next time they come to the playground, they can all play together (which seems unnecessary, because she basically invited him to play with her and Max at the beginning).

All of this seems to add up to a little kid who feels like he should be able to own his friends. The fact that Sir Tim is a boy and Sara is a girl makes it even worse. If Sir Tim doesn't get a handle on this little problem, it's going to turn into a great big one later on. I can just see him turning out to be one of those guys who throws a tantrum if his girlfriend so much as looks at another guy.

The knight bit is cute (Sir Tim always wears his helmet and his dog's name is Dragon), but that's not enough to save this one for me. Sir Tim didn't learn enough of a lesson about jealousy. And since that's what this book is all about, it kind of fails.

Thank you to NetGalley and Clavis for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.33 out of 5

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