Violet Mackerel makes a new friend while waiting for her tonsillectomy and cements that friendship by singing on the radio.
The young star of Violet Mackerel’s Brilliant Plot (2012) returns with a sore throat. Dr. Singh advises an operation, cautioning that “some people find that their voices change a little bit after they have their tonsils out.” Violet spins this into a fantasy of becoming an opera singer, which she shares with a friendly woman she meets in the hospital waiting room. Recovering afterward, she worries that they might not find each other to have their promised post-recovery tea, but through a series of coincidences and her own new verses to “My Favorite Things,” she does. Like its predecessor, this early chapter book focuses on small moments and small things—the purple lozenge Violet gets from Dr. Singh and passes on to Iris Macdonald, the butterflies that feel more like rhinoceroses in their stomachs, the many possible flavors of ice cream for the recovery period. The large coincidence in the end reminds readers that worlds are small, satisfyingly concluding another volume in a successful Australian series. Allen’s grayscale drawings (not seen in final form) both support and add appeal.
This agreeable account should attract new Violet Mackerel followers. (Fiction. 5-9)