Violet and the Pearl of the Orient by Harriet Whitehorn
|Violet and the Pearl of the Orient by Harriet Whitehorn|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Anne Thompson|
|Summary: The first in a new series this is a delightful story of mystery, adventure and humour featuring Violet Remy-Robinson, an amateur sleuth who will not be beaten. Beautifully packaged with charming illustrations this is highly recommended for readers of about 8+|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 192||Date: August 2014|
|Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Shortlisted for the 2015 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize: Best Fiction for 5-12s
This is a story about Violet Remy-Robinson. Violet is about ten years old, her favourite activity is climbing, she is an only child and has learned useful skills from her parents such as how to read a menu in French and mix a perfect cocktail. She lives in a stylish and incredibly tidy flat and when we first meet our heroine she is hanging upside down in a tree. One could safely say that Violet is not a typical ten year old. When her eccentric neighbour, Dee Dee Derota, has her precious jewel, The Pearl of the Orient, stolen the clues lead Violet to think that her strange new neighbours are responsible. However no one will listen to her so the intrepid Violet decides to discover the truth herself.
This is most definitely an occasion when I would suggest that it is a good idea to judge a book by its cover. This is a beautifully presented book for children. It is in a chunky hardback format and the cover really does convey the flavour of the story accurately. The illustrations throughout by Becka Moor perfectly complement the text and I loved the little touches such as Violet’s busy timetables. The double page spread where the characters are introduced with a description of their favourite foods and accompanying portraits is a clever idea.
The mystery is very well told by debut author Harriet Whitehorn and the use of language is lovely. Some of the vocabulary may well stretch a young reader but the author has provided a helpful glossary at the end of the story giving explanations of some of the trickier words. How can you not suspect a baddy called The Count Du Plicitous? There are some wonderful characters in the story and I particularly liked the relationship between Violet and her more timid friend Rose and developed a soft spot for the well-meaning but slightly ineffectual PC Green. This is a charming story and could, I think, be popular with quite a wide age range. The puns and use of language may appeal to slightly older primary school age children but this would work well read aloud to younger ones too. I am already looking forward to Violet’s second adventure!
Thank you to the publishers, Simon and Schuster, for providing this review copy.
The jolly Wings and Co series by Sally Gardner is also about a young detective although this time with a dash of magic added. The first of the series is Operation Bunny and is suitable for a similar age group. For slightly older readers Bookbag highly recommends Sleuth on Skates the first of the Sesame Seade Mysteries.
You can read more book reviews or buy Violet and the Pearl of the Orient by Harriet Whitehorn at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Violet and the Pearl of the Orient by Harriet Whitehorn at Amazon.com.
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