Alex Latimer and Patrick Latimer
Pavilion Children’s Books
Following on from Woolf, the brothers Latimer return with their second collaboration and it’s young Violet who is star of the show. That’s not quite how others see this extremely spirited little miss however.
By all accounts she was born wild and despite predictions, has failed to outgrow this wildness on reaching four years old.
Washing isn’t on her agenda, nor is anything that might vaguely resemble good table manners; her hair is disgusting – full of all manner of undesirable bits and pieces; wall art and nocturnal shrieking are more her thing.
Imagine how tiring all this is for her parents. One day as exhaustion overwhelms them, they decide to call on her grandmother, begging for an afternoon’s respite.
Gran obliges and decides the zoo with its calming fresh air and plethora of birds is a good place. However the animals are not good role models for the little miss and by the time they reach the Monkey House gran is shattered.
So shattered, that come home time, she catches hold of the wrong hand,
delivering a rather different looking ‘Violet’ back to her parents.They too fail to notice; after all the new Violet’s habits are almost the same as those of the old.
Violet herself meanwhile is having the time of her life in her new abode, until that is, night comes and with it insomnia. Now there’s nobody to clear up her mess or read her a bedtime story; there’s no morning bath or tasty breakfast, let alone warm parental embraces.
A quick phone call by the zoo-keeper soon has the switch sorted out, but it’s a rather different little girl who greets her parents when they come to collect her.
Is Violet now a reformed character? Well yes and no. Mostly it’s the former but on the days when her mum takes her to visit her simian pals, that’s the time her wild side manifests itself.
We adults all know a Violet-type character and I’ve certainly taught a few children who could give her a good run for her money. This makes Alex Latimer’s story all the more enjoyable for readers aloud; children on the other hand will simply revel in Violet’s utter irrepressibility so wonderfully portrayed in Patrick Latimer’s scenes of mischief and mayhem.
Another winner for the Latimer partnership.