Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Violet Bing and the Grand House


VIOLET BING AND THE GRAND HOUSE; Jennifer Paros; New York: Viking, 2007; 106pp. Intermediate
Violet Bing, seven going on eight, says "no" to lots of things--lumpy pancakes, going swimming, eating out. In fact, Violet's mantra is "I don't want to go anywhere or do anything," which is why, when she refuses to go on vacation with her family, she is sent to stay with Aunt Astrid at the Grand House. (Whatever happened to "Quit whining and get in the car," one wonders?). In any case, Violet refuses all adventures with Aunt Astrid, too, saying she doesn't have time, but when she finds the time to help a neighbor girl catch a dog, things slowly begin to change. Ms. Paros dedicates her book to " . . . Those Who Don't Get Out Much But Who Really Ought. . . ," and the point is well taken (and presented) in this delightful beginning chapter book about a very cautious little girl.

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