'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 19 September 2010

Review: Shrieking Violet

Title: Shrieking Violet

Author/Illustrator: Emma Quay

Publisher: Scholastic, $26.99 RRP

Publication date: August 2010

Format: Hardcover

ISBN: 9781741695687

For ages: 2 - 5

Type: Picture Book

About: Oh, those pesky little baby sisters. And brothers, for that matter. But in this instance, we're talking about a sister. And her name is Violet.

The heroine of this book announces, on the title page, that this book is all about her. And it is. Kind of. Until little sister Voilet steals the limelight. She doesn't mean to do it. Make a mess. Make a noise. Make a fuss. She's only little.

But our heroine can almost tie her own laces. Violet can't. She can jump higher than Violet, too. And help mummy in the garden while Violet just slaps her hands in a puddle. She can also finger paint a little better than her baby sister, who prefers to use, er... other bodily parts to do so!

The main character is a tolerant young poppet, showing other young readers how important it is to be patient with younger sibs, but of course, even she loses the plot sometimes, finally shouting "Violet ruins everything!" before little tot presents her bigger sister with a bunch of tissue paper flowers and makes everything better again.

Little sibs are sometimes not so bad after all.

Quay's beautiful illustrations are typically charming, gorgeously coloured and full of really effective and smile-worthy emotion. I adore her polka dot backgrounds. She uses really down-to-earth, sweet kid language to write the book and the whole story comes together into a heart-warming tale that's absolutely perfect for kids who may have suffered the recent arrival of a newborn rival...

My only cricism, and it's tiny, would be the title. I honestly expected a lot of hilarity, yelling and screaming from 'Shrieking Violet' inside this book, but that just didn't happen and it was kind of a let-down. In fact, Violet was pretty much well-behaved, if not just mildly annoying. I'm wondering why the author played it a little 'safe' in the end.

Nonetheless, this is a heart-warming book that teaches everyone the importance of tolerance, that little kids don't 'mean it', and that big kids are important, too.

This book is available online