Violet by Annie Taylor

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Violet by Annie Taylor

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jo Heffer
Reviewed by Jo Heffer
Summary: Violet is a very unusual hippo with a very special gift. This causes a great deal of attention and leads her into a very exciting adventure that takes her halfway around the world. This beautifully written and illustrated book is sure to appeal to many young readers.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 64 Date: October 2009
Publisher: Sibling Press
ISBN: 978-1906847371

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Violet is a very special hippo. She is extremely small but that does not make her adoptive parents Albert and Mavis love her any the less. However, they are slightly worried that Violet has a very unusual habit of turning pink without warning and for no explicable reason.

Although Violet makes friends with many of the animals in the African jungle; there are some that make fun of her size and call her 'Shrinking Violet'. They also laugh at her when she turns bright pink – that is until they realise that her pinkness only occurs when she senses danger which is an incredibly useful attribute to possess. This causes great admiration from the mighty King of the Jungle as well as from a cheerful rhino called Reggie who becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, Violet also attracts the attention of Mr J. Arnold Schleppenberger Jr, a film producer who captures her and transports her to Hollywood where he has big plans for her to star in a movie. When Reggie discovers what has happened though, he daringly follows her across the ocean, with a little help from some pelicans and dolphins, in a desperate bid to rescue her. Will he succeed or will he be just too late? The story certainly builds to a thrilling climax which is likely to enthral many a young reader.

I read this book with my six year old daughter and she absolutely loved it. It's a very exciting story which had her on the edge of her seat. A lot happens but it is not so busy a storyline that it might become confusing. It's also told with a great deal of humour which will appeal to both adults and children. The main characters are very endearing, not only in how they are described and what they do, but also through the wonderfully captivating illustrations which are scattered throughout the story. The author, Annie Taylor, is also the illustrator and apparently the story is based on the cartoons she painted on her daughter's walls when she was a baby.

Because the story is broken into small chapters it is quite suitable for a young but competent reader who is building up their reading stamina. It only has sixty pages which means that it can be easily read over just a few days. Although my daughter could have read this on her own, it was a lovely book to share and to enjoy the exciting adventure together. We took turns in reading the chapters but she also insisted on reading all the words in capital letters. These were all the words that needed some added emphasis and I have to say that my daughter read them all with great gusto and feeling!

Overall, I thought this was a lovely book and would definitely recommend it for young readers who are just becoming familiar with chapter books and who are developing the ability to hold a story in their heads for a longer period of time.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

If this sounds appealing you might also want to take a look at The Last Wolf by Michael Morpurgo.

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Buy Violet by Annie Taylor at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Violet by Annie Taylor at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Violet by Annie Taylor at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Violet by Annie Taylor at


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Charlotte Kinnersly said:

I bought this book for my great niece to read with her when she came to visit me. We both absolutely loved it, not only the original storyline, but the totally endearing illustrations that go with it. The author is to be congratulated on a fresh and charming tale, which will appeal to all younger children, and I for one, hope that there will be further stories about Violet and her success in Hollywood and the jungle!