Saturday 28 June 2014

Violet Mackerel’s Helpful Suggestion

Violet Mackerel’s Helpful Suggestion by Anna Branford, illustrated by Sarah Davis (Walker Books)
HC RRP $ 19.95
ISBN 9781922244369
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

I’m always thrilled at the appearance of another Violet Mackerel book. She’s one of my favourite characters and I love the warm narrative voice that carries the story.

Rose has news. Her dad is going to Japan on a business trip and is taking the family with him. She has made a series of flash cards to help her learn Japanese words that will come in handy. For Violet, this means no more notes through the secret hole in the fence, and lonely days without her best friend.

Vincent has news too. He’s finally found a job - selling nuts and beans. It’s very hard trying to learn all the names and prices before his try-out period begins. As usual, Violet comes up with a wonderful and helpful suggestion that calms her mind about Rose’s pending absence, and helps Vincent with his dilemma.

The gorgeous black and white illustrations by Sarah Davis make everything so real. The reader is made to feel that they are an extension of Violet’s family. It is a warm, loving circle; a bit different at times, but always ready to adapt to their changing circumstances.  Violet’s optimism is infectious, and her problem-solving skills say to children, never let things get you down, as there is always a solution to every problem.

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