Two Peas in a Pod By Chris McKimmie

 

two_peas

 

Two Peas in a Pod was a Short-Listed Book in 2010. It’s a story that made me smile, and sometimes, that’s about the best thing a story can do.

Summary:

Marvin and Violet are ‘two peas in a pod’; best friends and neighbours, who do everything together. Violet calls Marvin, ‘Marvellous’ and when they play, that’s just what everything is.

But one day, Violet and her family move away. They pack up and they are gone. Marvin doesn’t know what to do with himself.

Over time, he learns to get on without her.

“It was just about the end of winter and I had almost put Violet in with the forgets…” (How awesome is that line?!)

Marvellous’ Mum surprises him with a trip to visit Violet in her new home and the two peas in a pod realise that friendships can survive distance.

 

Why I love it:

Where to start? The friendship Marvin and Violet have is probably my favourite thing about this book. I love the way Violet calls him ‘Marvellous’ and I love the adventures they create together. Theirs is a supportive, true bond and I think those are rare and special.

I also love the words and the phrasing. There is some word play with rhyming pairs and a fun list of place names to get through. There are also gorgeous sentences, like the one I quoted above.

The layout of the book is heaps of fun, too. It’s presented almost as if Marvin has put it together himself. The words  jump around over the pages, snake around bends and change in size and colour. It’s visually engaging and would appeal to children.

All in all, this is just a delightful book and one I hope you seek out. I’m still reeling a little from reviewing Jenny Angel a couple of weeks ago, and Two Peas in a Pod, was just what I needed.

Themes to discuss with your child:

  • Friendship
  • Support
  • Family
  • Community
  • Loss and letting go
  • Resilience
  • Acceptance
  • Moving on
  • Change
  • Distance
  • Bonds

Questions to ask your child:

Before reading:
  • What do you think this book might be about?
  • Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
  • Is this a book you want to read? Why/why not?
  • What do you think the medal on the cover means? Does this influence the way you feel about reading the book?
  • What do you think ‘Two Peas in a Pod’ means?
  • Who do you think is pictured on the cover?
  • What age range do you think this book is aimed at?
After reading:
  • Did you enjoy this story? Why/why not?
  • Do you think Marvin and Violet had a nice friendship? Give me an example of why.
  • How do you think Marvin felt when Violet moved away?
  • How do you think Violet felt?
  • Have you ever had a friend move away? If so, how did you cope?
  • Do you think friendships can last even when the people don’t live close to one another?
  • What was your favourite page in this book? Why do you think you like that one the most?
  • Who is your best friend? What do you like most about them?

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