Monday, March 26, 2012

Violet Mackerel's Natural Habitat

Violet Mackerel is a determined, honest, helpful little girl with a lovely view of life. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two installments in this series and so when I saw Violet Mackerel’s Natural Habitat at the local public library I grabbed it with both hands and when I arrived home I read it all in one quick gulp. I was not disappointed.

In this third book Violet is focused on the natural world although oddly enough this interest starts in the food court of a large shopping centre where she sees a little sparrow flying up near the ceiling. While Violet is thinking about birds and small creatures her sister Nicola is struggling with a school project where she has to make a natural science display.

Saturday is the day this family travel to the local market to sell Mum’s knitting but this week Nicola and Violet are left at home. The previous evening Violet has created a jar habitat for a small ladybird she has seen in the garden. Into her jar she places a flower, silver tinsel, a few tiny drops of water and a small, clear, rainbow pebble. She names the little beetle Small Gloria and falls asleep happy that she has a new friend in a jar beside her bed.

Violet needs to learn some things about habitats but out of her sadness comes the discovery that Nicola, with Violet’s help and good ideas, can make something absolutely unique for the science display.

Walker books have been very clever with this series. The cover designs are charming and the little hardcover editions very appealing. The US ones are nothing like our Australian ones. I now see from Violet’s own web site book four has been released too! These books are perfect for younger readers who are ready for short chapter books. The illustrations add a special vibrancy to the stories. I will now hunt for book four.

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