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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In Tim with Daisygingerrockets aka Daggers by Aish Moitra, Tim is a timid 8-year-old boy whose parents seem to be too wrapped up in their own problems and lives to notice him. Tim finds comfort and friendship from his two imaginary friends, Danny and Anna, who are always there to offer support when his parents are too busy working or arguing with each other. When Tim has to face the first day back at school after the Easter holidays, he becomes really anxious because Danny and Anna are nowhere to be seen. Tim discovers that Danny and Anna were missing because they had to rescue a puppy in distress. They name the puppy Daisygingerrockets aka Daggers. Now they have another problem to solve. How can they manage to keep the puppy without Tim’s parents' knowledge? As Daggers settles nicely into his new home, Tim tries to ignore his parents' constant battles until one such argument leads to a shocking and upsetting situation that will throw Tim’s life into turmoil.
I found Tim with Daisygingerrockets aka Daggers very poignant and well-written. Aish Moitra has tacked child anxiety very intelligently with subtle signals around Tim’s behavior, for example, the loudness of the school bell, the itchiness of his skin, and the solace he finds in his imaginary world. The story also mentions some of Tim’s coping techniques, such as changing focus to something pleasant which I think would make a great discussion topic for adults and children to share. The story also highlights how sometimes parents can be so wrapped up in their own problems, they fail to notice warning signals from their children that all is not well. As the plot continues, we are also reminded that sometimes people's negative actions are not as they seem. This could also make a great discussion point around judging others, kindness, forgiveness, and understanding. The story moved forward continuously and I enjoyed the interesting plot twists regarding Tim’s parents' relationship. The characters were excellent and the dialogue was completely authentic for their ages and personalities. There were also some funny dialogue exchanges between the three friends and also great pearls of wisdom from Tim’s grandmother. I would definitely recommend this book is read by every child who is experiencing anxiety around changes in their lives or to help overcome a traumatic event.