Shrinking is a familiar occurrence in children’s literature – both Mrs Pepperpot and Treehorn bear witness to this. Now we have Violet. She is about to experience what she tells us will be the Biggest and Best Day of her life; a ride on the Plunger. But there is a height restriction. Violet will just qualify. Then she shrinks. However, the ability to become very small is not always a disadvantage, as Violet discovers.
Using first person narrative, a breathless style, contemporary speech, a variety of fonts and font sizes, Kuenzler catapults the reader through Violet’s experiences at speed. If characterisation is light, there is plenty of humour and a real adventure to keep the pages turning. Though Violet may be a Shrinker, the problem she has to solve has the merit of credibility – a local theft. Kuenzler also makes sure that there is an explanation for Violet’s predicament and a limitation. Light hearted and lively in approach, this is more substantial than many offerings aimed at top KS1 and early KS2. Violet joins company with Pippi Longstocking, Esme and Clementine and can be recommended to young readers of 7+ looking to develop their reading stamina.