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Violet Mackerel's Brilliant Plot (Violet Mackerel #1)

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  234 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Introducing Violet Mackerel, a charismatic new chapter book star with a zest for life and an endearing, relatable voice akin to Ramona Quimby and Junie B. Jones.

Violet is a seven-year-old with a knack for appreciating the smallest things in life: her “Theory of Finding Small Things” states that the moment of finding a tiny treasure usually coincides wi
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Hardcover, 112 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published November 1st 2010)
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Stephanie
This is one of those books I love so much, I want to thrust it at *everybody*, whether or not they have a chapterbook-aged child. I'm a 35-year-old, and my eyes were misty at the (absolutely perfect) ending. The whole book is so funny and sweet and clever, and I love, love, love dreamy Violet and her whole quirky, wonderful family. I cannot wait to read more books in this series!

(Longer, more detailed review on my blog.)
Susan P
7-year-old Violet desperately wants a blue china bird that she sees the the weekly farmer's market she and her family attend. But she has no money - so she needs to come up with a brilliant plot to earn the $10 she needs to buy the bird. Digging in the garden for valuable fossils doesn't work - but then Violet gets the brilliant idea to use some of her mother's knitting mistakes to create a one-of-a-kind tube scarf. This sweet beginning chapter book is the first in the series. Fun for beginning ...more
The Styling Librarian
So, let’s celebrate a combined non-fiction and early chapter book series today, shall we? I’ve recently become a huge fan of Anna Branford. I read Violet Mackerel’s Brilliant Plot; Violet Mackerel’s Remarkable Recovery; How to Make Small Things with Violet Mackerel – by Anna Branford - Early Chapter Books – after I read another book from the Violet Mackerel series and I was simply enchanted with the beautiful philosophy and life experiences that Violet’s character has from needing to get her ton ...more
Julie
Jan 19, 2013 Julie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: kids
This is a cute short chapter book about wishing for things, making mistakes, and coming up with creative solutions. The illustrations are fun and plentiful, and I like the U.S. edition's cover more than Australia's. It's nice that Violet chooses an unselfish (but not very business-savvy) option near the end of the story.

A few minor quibbles: While the idea of theories and plots is a big part of the story, and this is a good introduction to those concepts, the first chapter might be a turnoff to
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Laura
Wonderful early chapter book. Violet shows readers that all ideas, big and small, are important. I also like the warm family relationships and the emphasis on earning your own money for the things you want.
Sarah
Lovely, simple and sweet. I have a bit of a crush on Vincent; I'll have to read more to make sure he sticks around.
Anne Hamilton

Violet's brilliant plot starts when she decides she wants to buy a special blue pottery bird from a table at the craft market. There's a man who never speaks when she talks to him and he has it for sale. She's got to find a way to earn $10. Her career as an archaeologist looking for treasure in the backyard comes to an abrupt end when she wrecks the garden.

Eventually she decorates a 'tubular scarf' that's been one of her mum's experiments and tries to sell it for $10. But the silent man at the s
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Brandi
Violet Mackerel is an endearing, quirky young girl who, in this great chapter book for transitional readers, hatches an imaginative plan to acquire a tiny, blue china bird.

I love knitting-related books, so this book with a single mom of three who sells her hand knit wares at a flea market is tops with me. I love Violet creativity and industrious ingenuity to obtain the china bird. I think her older siblings efforts to earn money--making jewelry and busking--are admirable and great addition. Also
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Marya
Such a sweet book that sticks to the perspective of its 7 year old protagonist. Violet is sweet, naive, and always willing to help others. She's never mean, and not even cross (which is the unrealistic part). Still, it's nice to read a quiet, lovely book that paints such a model child to one's own child if for nothing more than propaganda purposes.
Dana
Love the U.S. edition's cover.

Violet's theory of finding small things, thinking outside the box, the blue china bird, the archaeological dig, the tubular scarf: love.

She reminds me of Ramona. Great starting chapter book series for Maisie!
Lisa
This is a delightful short story for junior readers. Violet Mackerel is a lovable little girl whose determination to get what she wants through her own initiative is inspirational. What she wants is a simple little china bird from the local craft stall where mum goes to sell her knitting each weekend. Alas, Violet doesn't have $10 or even $1 and unlike her irritating brother and sister she is too little to earn any.
So she dreams up various plots to get the money. Mum who only just manages to kee
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Jodie
I am really enjoying this series. These books have bigger print and short chapters with pictures throughout. Good book for those readers transitioning to chapter books. Main character is easy to like.
Alison Stadt
I like Violet mackerel`s because when I read it yesterday I wished that I could read more. I can`t believe that Violet almost dug up the hole garden! I am totally reading more books of that are in this seires.







Sarah
Beautiful, sweet chapter book for my own little Violet and me to read together. I happened upon it at the library and I'm thrilled to see that it's a series! We'll be reading more for sure.
Violet, her two older siblings, and her mother go to the market every Saturday to sell her mom's knitting. There are some deeper subjects that older readers can choose to explore with their young listeners (dad left, mama's trying to make ends meet), but it's told from little Violet's perspective so everythin
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Dayna
So I may need to sneak off and read this entire series on my own. The adorable cover illustrations drew me in. Then the story line had me hooked. Each title page starts with a small knitting inspired illustration - sign me up! The heroine is as sweet as pie. These are just the type of stories I would want to write myself. My daughter let me read two of them to her and she read #3 on her own...but does not have quite the same level of love for these as I do.

Violet's mother knits and sells her ha
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Cathy
I wanted to like this book. It seemed to have all of the right elements - a spunky little girl who is neither a tomboy nor a girly-girl - and a potentially fun storyline. Unfortunately, the book was sabotaged by the writing (at least for me as an adult). It felt stiff, and unlike a book like the Nancy Clancy series that introduces and uses bigger words successfully, the bigger words sometimes felt forced and repetitive. The story was cute, but a little slow. My daughter liked the book but didn't ...more
Margaret Behr
Cute book! I'd recommend this to readers who like Ivy & Bean, or possibly Judy Moody.
Rachel
Jul 27, 2014 Rachel rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rachel by: MAD YS librarians
I bet this would be a good "chapter" book for an early reader to read on her own.
Beverly
A very good, short transitional chapter book.
Alice
This book was recomended in a family magizine. I love Ivy and Bean and I hoped this would be the same...it wasnt. It wasnt a bad book it just wasnt any thing that stood out making it special. It is written by an Australian and I am not sure that American kids are going to get what a plot is in this context (a plan) and when talking about wool she is talking about yarn. It does have a happy ending and I do like that. I also have a co worker who sells her jewelery at a country market during the su ...more
Dolores
Well-written first chapter book with an engaging main character with a quirky, loving family. Violet has a unique, but well-grounded way of looking at the world. She appreciates the little things in life. Her whole family spends Saturdays at a craft/farmer's market where each is attempting to make money for a goal. There are no spoiled children in this family. Violet has her eyes on a china bird in one of the neighboring stalls and her brilliant plot is very sweet and very selfless. Not a lot of ...more
Tami
Super, super cute.
Erin
Oct 22, 2012 Erin rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: elementary school girls
Violet is a sweet little girl who wants a blue china bird and needs to think of a BRILLIANT plot to earn enough money to buy it. It takes her a few tries and a generous gift before she succeeds.

It's a very short chapter book. Easily read in a few bedtimes. Large font and frequent illustrations. I'm not sure how old Violet is supposed to be. 5 or 6? Perhaps a little older, since she writes her ideas down in notebooks. The level of the language makes me think it's aimed at older elementary student
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Erica
A very sweet and touching story.
Ellie
Lovely, sweet first-chapter book for 1st-2nd graders. Shows that all ideas can be great and that it is completely okay to cry (not throw a fit) when you're upset. There's some sweet family life in this book, as well as some lovely market scenes - I LOVE markets and I think they don't show up nearly often enough in modern kids books!

Though the plot meanders, it is never confusing and it never really gets off track. It just works the way kids' minds work.

Really, fantastic.
Tanja
Cute little story about young Violet, whose ideas are as special and different as is her family - very refreshing! I loved this book - as I loved Violet and her family - for its uniqueness and it's "out of the square/box" ideas and characters. The story celebrates in a very subtle and charming way the importance of being who you want to be and living your life the way you want to live it. The idea of having a Box of Little Things is very cool - I might just have to get one myself ;)
Tracie
A loving and lovely story about a spunky young girl who wants to buy a beautiful clay bird at the local market where her mother sells knitted goods. Violet has to come up with some way to make $10 to buy the bird, but she discovers that sometimes things don't matter as much as people.
Recommended for those who like The Cobblestone Cousins, a gentler Clementine or younger readers not-quite-ready to read What Happened on Fox Street by themselves.
Maureen
I had to have a friend send this to me from AU b/c sadly, it's not avail for the US - yet! Can't wait till Violet gets here! This little book of Violets is like a breath of fresh air that I know kids in the states would enjoy immensely. Can't wait to get my hands on the 2nd installment! Also read Sophies Salon -a book on the importance of friendships - making them and maintaining them all while being true to yourself.
Lois
A warm ,heart felt story told with great affection for all its gentle, happy characters.
Violet is the little girl that lives in all our hearts, young and old.
Memories of my own child hood surfaced and the recognition of my own daughters day to day adventures, hopes and dreams in this wonderful gentle story. A story of love, hope and a very clever plot. My whole family loved it.
S.K.
Violet seemed really young and not too bright to me. What is the age group on this one? Also, if the desired audience is young then the words used seemed overly complicated...like the repetitive "she rather quite liked it".

Somehow there was a mismatch with audience and language and voice and character that didn't work for me. There was much ado about not much, sad to say.
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