The Sad Story of Veronica Who Played The Violin by David McKee

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The Sad Story of Veronica Who Played The Violin by David McKee

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: A hoot and a half, this story of a sassy little girl by the name of Veronica is bound to be a hit.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: November 2013
Publisher: Andersen
ISBN: 978-1849397636

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When I sing, people cry. And not in a good way. But when Veronica plays the violin, the tears are good tears. She moves people, y’know? It’s a big deal for Veronica, because when she started playing, she kind of sucked. But now she’s gotten good. Very good. So very good, in fact, that like an X Factor contestant, she’s dropping out of school to become a star.

When fame comes at such a young age, however, all sorts of things can go wrong. Veronica gets burnt out and decides to give it all up to trot round the world instead. I can’t say I blame her. What happens next is rather unpredictable, and I wouldn’t want to spoil the ending for you, but I must say it’s rather brilliant with a fun twist at the end.

This is a wonderful book that’s super funny in a rather naughty way. Veronica is fabulous, full of self belief and unwilling to sit around and do what is expected of her (homework, first , then later on, working on her music), when there’s fun to be had elsewhere. She is definitely the star of the show, and it’s all so matter of fact, her meteoric climb to stardom.

David McKee’s books are ace and this is another that does not disappoint. I enjoyed reading it as an adult because it reminded me so much of the books I used to have as a child. And some of them it turns out I did – I’ve only just twigged that he did King Rolo too in the 80s, and that Veronica actually first started playing said violin in that decade too. This is a book that really didn't need any updating. I love the page where the family are crying into their fizzy drinks (no doubt a special, birthday treat) and the way the talent scout is succinctly called a famous music man because isn’t that exactly the way a child would describe him?

The illustrations are a bit ghoulish at times, but the attention to detail is superb. When she arrives in port, for example, we have Veronica now dressed as the clichéd jungle explorer (socks and sandals, and a very appropriate straw hat) alongside a man having a knife confiscated from his luggage, and a snooty rich traveler waltzing behind her servant type who is carrying her bags on his head, as them there foreign people do in exotic, far off lands.

The ending took me by surprise, but I thought it very fitting. In a world where everyone seems to want to follow their dreams, no matter how impractical, it’s nice to see people being taken down a peg or two. One should never have ideas quite that far above one’s station.

All in, this is a book that’s a hoot and a half, and bound to be a hit especially in nursery schools, because it’s one that really lends itself to reading in a group.

Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this brilliant book.

Isabel's Noisy Tummy is another brilliant piece of this author's work for the same sort of age group, and is equally full of uh-oh parts.

Buy The Sad Story of Veronica Who Played The Violin by David McKee at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Sad Story of Veronica Who Played The Violin by David McKee at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Sad Story of Veronica Who Played The Violin by David McKee at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Sad Story of Veronica Who Played The Violin by David McKee at Amazon.com.


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