In this irresistibly charming chapter book, the charismatic Violet Mackerel knows how to stay upbeat—even when her throat feels as if there’s a cactus in it!
Seven-year-old Violet Mackerel has a new theory: If someone has a problem and you give them something small, like a feather, or a pebble, or a purple lozenge, that small thing might have a strange and special way of helping them.
Violet gets the chance to put “The Theory of Giving Small Things” to the test when a bad case of tonsillitis requires the removal of her tonsils, and she suspects that the purple lozenge from Doctor Singh may help her in quite an extraordinary way. And indeed, with a freezer stocked with breakfast ice cream, a wonderful new friend in the waiting room, and the certainty that surgery will transform her voice into that of an opera singer on the radio, Violet’s recovery proves more than extraordinary—it is, unquestionably, remarkable.
Anna Branford was born on the Isle of Man and spent parts of her childhood in Africa and in Papua New Guinea. Now she lives in Melbourne, Australia, with a large black cat called Florence. She writes, drinks cups of tea in her garden, and makes dolls and other small things, which she sells at early morning markets.Anna is the author of the Violet Mackerel series. Visit her at AnnaBranford.com.
Elanna Allen lives in New York with her husband and sons, where she writes and illustrates children’s books and designs characters for television. She wrote and illustrated Itsy Mitsy Runs Away and has created characters for Disney, Nickelodeon, and PBS. Stop by and say hi at ElannaAllen.com.
"Another volume in a successful Australian series. Allen’s grayscale drawings...both support and add appeal. This agreeable account should attract new Violet Mackerel followers."
– Kirkus Reviews, January 2013
"Violet is worried about getting her tonsils removed, even with promises of ice cream.... Young readers will identify with her nerves and laugh at her description of feeling rhinoceroses in her belly rather than butterflies.... Violet’s kind, patient mother shines in the story, as Branford once again creates a warm world for Violet, one in which the protagonist’s optimism spreads to others without any hint of the saccharine. Many new readers will identify with the story, enjoy the accessible vocabulary, and appreciate the expressive illustrations...that grace almost every spread."
– The Horn Book, January/February 2013
“Violet is a truly charming kid to whom many young readers will relate. Her habit of creative thinking and theory formation, evident in the previous book as well, makes her a useful model as a problem-solver…. The gentle humor, numerous illustrations, short length, and large type will make this very accessible to novice chapter book readers; the skillful writing and concise but detailed characterizations make it worth their time.”
– The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“This early chapter book, featuring pencil illustrations, will be a hit with fans of Amber Brown and Clementine.”
– School Library Journal, February 2013
"This follow-up to Violet Mackerel's Brilliant Plot (2012) retains all the charm and tenderness that made the first book such a treat and a welcome addition to books for early chapter-book readers. The illustrations, which sometimes work in place of the text, emphasize the story’s whimsical nature. Children facing their own trip to the hospital will find comfort in Violet’s experience, which is approached realistically yet gently."
– Booklist Online, March 2013
"The Violet Mackerel books are truly a gift to readers. The stories are unique and entertaining, and Violet is a wonderfully special person who is full of surprises. Just like the first Violet Mackerel book, this title will make readers feel happy inside, and it will remind them to appreciate and celebrate the Giving Small Things moments in their lives."