Review Blog

May 07 2019

Violet and nothing by Fiona Burrows

cover image

Fremantle Press, 2019. ISBN: 9781925591552.
(Age: 6+) Recommended. Themes: Philosophy, Questions. Violet has big ideas and is always thinking about them. But when she starts thinking about nothing, it creates an impossible range of more questions to ponder and try to answer. She asks a range of people for their idea about nothing, and tries out their responses for herself, but still cannot come to any conclusion. She asks, what is nothing? and where is nothing? She ponders about whether it is real and if nothing is real, then is anything real?
A quizzical book for those who like to find an answer to the big questions of life, or at least ponder the big questions of life, this book encourages creativity and imagination as readers will share Violet's questioning with their cohort, eager to find some answers. Readers will follow Violet's pursuit of the answers to her big questions, hoping that she does reach a conclusion, but equally satisfied that one question leads to another. Children will use their imaginations along with Violet in seeking out answers to the big questions.
The imaginative illustrations showcase the ordinariness of Violet's home life, contrasted with the jumble of colours and lines representing her mind as she thinks about things. I love Mum putting on her shoes or Gran painting, while Violet's mind is a kaleidoscope of colour. Readers will love picking out all the things within that mess of colour, showing what is going on in Violet's mind as she thinks about all sorts of things at the same time. The wonderful endpapers had me hooked for some little while trying to pursue some of Violet's thinkings.
Fran Knight

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