Review Blog

Dec 15 2015

Penelope Perfect: Lucky jars and broken promises by Chrissie Perry

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Hardie Grant Egmont, 2015. ISBN 9781760120269
Aiming for excellence is an admirable trait but perfection is a little harder to achieve. Whilst Penelope wants everything to be perfect she learns that people are most often not perfect and that life can get in the way of the best laid plans and intentions.
Penelope Kingston is passionate about maintaining her family ties which have been stretched by her father and are only held together by weekly skype sessions. Penelope's father, a politician, lives interstate with his new family, so when he plans to spend a weekend with her and her brother Harry on the same weekend as the school fete and Harry's Grand Final, Penelope is keen to have everything go perfectly. Maybe so well that he would regret leaving them!
Organising the Lucky Jar stall, with best friend Oscar, becomes the focus of her bid for impressing Dad, and the school Principal, whilst the other members of her class are more interested on who has a crush on whom, rather than making Lucky Jars.
When Penelope comes down with the flu she recuperates at Grandpa's place where she is given a piece of advice: 'Sometimes the truth needs to be spoken even when it is unpleasant.' Keeping that in mind Penelope returns to school just in time to check on the stall and to prepare for her father's visit.
Of course all does not go to plan when her father has work commitments to attend to. Penelope is determined to be calm and not have an 'outburst' but some 'unpleasant truths' need to be aired and some of Penelope's own recollections straightened out.
The issue of split families is relevant to many children today who will emphasise with Penelope.
Sue Keane

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