Review Blog

Jun 20 2014

Violet Mackerel's helpful suggestion by Anna Branford

cover image

Ill. by Sarah Davis. Walker Books Australia, 2014. ISBN 9781922244369.
Recommended. The list of Violet Mackerel books continues to grow but the warmth, charm and freshness of these stories centred on family and friends never ceases to delight. The recent shortlisting of Violet Mackerel's Possible friend in the CBCA Book of the Year awards is sure to rekindle interest in this series.
Rose, Violet's best friend from next door, is excited about her coming trip to Japan for six weeks, but Violet is sort of excited for her and also worried that Rose may forget her.
The other news is that Vincent, Violet's stepfather, has a trial for a job at Nuts and Beans, a self serve bulk store. While the family are excited for him he is worried and needs to learn the prices for all the various beans, lentils, dried fruit and rice he will sell before starting work.
While at the family's usual Saturday market stall, Rose and Violet enjoy their remaining time together learning Japanese words from a flashcard set Rose has been given. This gives Violet an idea, a helpful suggestion, to assist Vincent remember the names of the goods and their prices. The whole family join in making flash cards to help Vincent.
Just before Rose leaves Violet comes up with a new theory to help the friends feel closer, the 'Theory of Sending Small Things' which helps them feel closer whilst they are apart.
As with the other books in this series there are step by step instructions at the end of the book to assist the reader in making whatever idea Violet has come up with. In this case there are how to make and use a set of flash cards for something you wish to remember. The suggestion that times tables and spelling cards could be an idea will surely curry favour with teachers and parents.
Sue Keane

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