Violet Mackerel is on a summer holiday at the beach with her sister, Nicola, her brother, Dylan, her mum and her mum’s boyfriend, Vincent. It is nearly the end of the holiday and Violet is wishing it was still the beginning.
At the beach house where they are staying there are bunk beds. Violet has been sleeping on the bottom bunk. She has tucked a sheet under the mattress of the top bunk and dangled it down, so it is a small personal space of her own.
Violet has had a lovely time with her family at the beach, but now it’s time to go home. As she packs up she discovers a left-behind shell, and develops a new theory. This one is about leaving something of yourself behind when you leave. But thoughts of leaving little things behind are forgotten when Mum and Vincent make an announcement. It’s a double-barrelled announcement, and although Violet is happy about the first part, the moving-house second part is going to take some time to get used to. Violet thinks things through at her own pace as the world around her begins to swirl with change.
Violet Mackerel’s Personal Space is a new instalment in a series about Violet. As with previous offerings, it’s a beautiful hardcover book, with Sarah Davis’s gentle illustrations. Each opening includes black & white illustrations designed to intersperse the text and give the reader the opportunity to pause. Endpapers feature shells set in th same orange as the spine. Young Violet is surrounded by a supportive family, but she is determined to work her own way through things. In this case, it’s the notion of personal space and that it’s a different notion for everyone. ‘Violet Mackerel’s Personal Space’ uses Violet’s perspective to examine the responses of all the family members to the changes they are encountering. Delightful. Recommended for mid-primary readers.
Violet Mackerel’s Personal Spaceby Anna Branford ill Sarah Davis
Walker Books 2012
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author
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