Tim The Tiny Horse At Large by Harry Hill is the sequel to Tim The Tiny Horse, and if you’ve read that book you can expect much of the same in this sequel. I can’t say that’s a bad thing. Despite their sometimes surreal and grown up humour, children absolutely love the Tim stories, and squabble over who gets to have the book next in the libraries I’ve worked in.
When I say grown up humour by the way, I am referring to things like Tim’s love for newsreader Jan Leeming rather than anything of a racy or indelicate nature. There were a few times when I had to explain certain cultural references to my son as we were reading, simply because they’re too old or too grown up for him to understand on his own. It didn’t seem to affect his enjoyment any.
So Tim is a ridiculously small horse, slightly larger than a Tic Tac. He is still best friends with Fly, but in this book Fly decides to get married and have a child. The stories of Fly take up much of the book, with Tim deciding to get a pet to cheer himself up and get a bit of companionship now that Fly is spoken for.
Oscar, my eight year old, read this in about two days flat. There are very few words, lots of illustrations and lots of white space on the page. The stories are relatively short and undemanding and apart from the humour there isn’t a lot of sub text or ideas to discuss. They’re just really good fun.
As an adult I found myself slightly disappointed in this volume. it seems that Tim The Tiny Horse really is a one trick pony, and had I had to pay full price for the book, instead of having the good fortune to find a copy in a charity shop for fifty pence, I would have felt pretty cheated at the thinness of the stories and the speed with which Oscar read it.
It makes a perfect transition/chapter book, apart from the fact that the font is done in a kind of wobbly hand writing style which can sometimes be difficult for children to read. Oscar had a little trouble because the letter ‘R’ quite often looks like the letter ‘V’ in this particular font. Once we’d established the quirks of the font style however he flew through the book.
A good read for boys and girls aged 7-10.