An acorn full of fabulous – ‘Violet Mackerel’s Pocket Protest’

violet-mackerel-pp

If you’ve got a girl of about four or older, and you haven’t met Violet Mackerel yet, you definitely should. The books are in a series, but you don’t need to read them in order. Standalone or not, you will be swept away by their charm.

Book 6 is ‘Violet Mackerel’s Pocket Protest‘, written by Anna Branford and illustrated (here in Australia at least) by the brilliant Sarah Davis. When the beautiful simplicity of the writing combines with Davis’ vivid illustrations, you’re on to a winner.

‘Pocket Protest’ follows Violet and her friend Rose as they attempt to save the local oak tree from being cut down to make way for a carpark. They meet discouragement and setbacks along the way, but they stay true to themselves and keep trying.

It’s a wonderful book to introduce environmental themes to kids. It also has diverse characters (race, financial status, deafness) that are treated the same as all the others, again a very positive model for young kids.

Brief breakdown

  • 10 Chapters, 108 pages (yes that’s about 10 pages per chapter if your maths-head has clocked off for the day)
  • Illustrations on most spreads
  • Primary problem Chapters 1-10
  • Secondary problem Chapters 4-9
  • Both problems successfully solved, some adult help but mainly due to the girls’ actions.

Chapter summary

Chapter 1: Introduce the primary problem – the oak tree will be cut down.

Chapter 2: Violet and Rose don’t know what to do to help stop it. Lots of options…

Chapter 3: Try first option, it doesn’t work. Then they decide to follow Violet’s Theory of Seeing Small Things – the pocket protest begins! Happy!

Chapter 4: Introduce secondary problem – Mum and Vincent can’t afford their honeymoon now that their washing machine is broken. Sad…

vmpp-spread

Pages 40 – 41. I just love the intricacy of the illustrations!

Chapter 5: Their little signs have been washed away, but they don’t give in, instead use acorns as umbrellas for even smaller signs. Happy!

Chapter 6: Leaving acorns everywhere (so cute!) but feeling discouraged. Decide to start a petition. (This is the most charming petition ever.)

Chapter 7: Vincent’s letter isn’t published in the local newspaper. But at the end of the chapter, Violet learns that two new names are on her petition. Happy!

Chapter 8: A Sunday Special newspaper arrives full of letters about the oak tree, from people who found the acorns. Yay!

Chapter 9: Meet Albert, who signed the petition. Because of Violet he offers Mum and Vincent a free honeymoon at his hotel. Happy! Second problem fixed!

Chapter 10: Primary problem fixed – the oak tree has been saved!

As an added benefit, at the end of the book you can learn how to make your own acorn messages. BYO oak tree.

 

These books are charming and inspirational – a big recommendation from me!

 

 

 

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