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Violet Mackerel's Natural Habitat
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Violet is back with a little bit of helpfulness and a whole lot of heart in this third book of the effervescent Violet Mackerel series. Violet is the smallest in her family, and has a special affinity for Small Things everywhere. So when she finds a tiny ladybug in the garden, she expects she knows how it feels. It probably has to go to bed before all the others, and whenever it finds out something interesting (like that your ears keep growing all your life even when you are old), the bigger ladybugs probably say they already knew. Violet wants to help the ladybug, so she names her Small Gloria, puts her in a jar, and feeds her cheese toast. And then Violet wakes up to a horrible surprise. But thankfully, even as Violet learns a hard lesson about natural habitats, she realizes how nice it is to share her own habitat with a big sister.
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Reviews

"Violet's voice and good spirit is what readers will remember: thoughtful, caring, and with the right amount of self-absorption to mark her as a seven-year-old. Fans will appreciate how Violet has matured over the course of the series. The changes in the sisters' relationship, forged in the absence of parental interference, make this entry the best in the series so far. Like Ann Cameron's "The Stories Julian Tells", this is an excellent example of a chapter book that takes new readers seriously." "In this third in a series of Australian imports starring this appealing, inventive child, Violet turns her attention to small creatures.... The death of animals, whether through accidents or of natural causes, often weighs heavily on children, and this deceptively simple early chapter book takes such concerns seriously without getting stuck there.... Readers who met Violet earlier will feel right at home. Still, this sweet family story stands alone and should attract new fans."

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