Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Violet Mackerel's Remarkable Recovery

Violet Mackerel's Remarkable Recovery

Anna Branford
Illustrator:  Elanna Allen 
Fiction  Series
For ages 6 to 10
Simon and Schuster, 2013   ISBN: 978-1442435889

Violet Mackerel has a sore throat. In fact her throat is so sore that she feels as if she has swallowed a cactus. After missing school for a week, Violet is going to see Dr. Singh. Violet likes Dr. Singh, who is both kind and very accommodating to a little girl who is curious. After he examines Violet’s throat, he announces that she has tonsillitis. Again. Violet has had tonsillitis so many times that Dr. Singh thinks it would be a good idea to take her tonsils out.

At first Violet does not like the idea of having her tonsils removed, but after the doctor explains what happens during and after recovery, she starts to think that the process might be interesting. Apparently some people’s voices change a little after their tonsils are removed. Imagine what it would be like if that were to happen to Violet. Why, she might become an opera singer!

Violet decides that the purple grape throat lozenge Dr. Singh gave her is a sign that something special is going to happen to her. Violet believes in the Theory of Giving Small Things. The theory says that if someone gives you a small gift when you are in trouble, that gift “might have a strange and special” effect on you. It might have a “hidden helpfulness tucked inside” it. Perhaps the lozenge is just such a thing.

A few days later, Violet packs a bag full of useful things, including some gifts that she has been given that she feels might help her during and after her operation.  In the waiting room at the hospital Violet meets an older lady who is having an operation on her arm. Like Violet, the lady is nervous and Violet starts to wish that she had something to give the lady that will help her. Not having anything else to give the lady,Violet gives her new friend a purple grape lozenge and the two patients promise to get back in touch when their operations are over. They never expect that their brief encounter at the hospital was a surprise gift that they will both cherish.

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. 

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