“This is the best small thing we’ve ever found,” says Rose.
“By far,” agrees Violet.
When Violet Mackerel and her friend Rose find a beautiful locket buried in the dirt at the park, they are very excited, although they worry whether someone is missing the locket. Then, when Mum loses a basket of precious knitted toys on the train, they realise just how sad and worried somebody can be when they lose something. They hatch a plan to give Mum a lovely surprise – a formal occasion. In the meantime, Violet tries to cheer Mum up by writing stories about what might have happened to the missing toys.
The eighth in Violet Mackerel’s ongoing adventures, Violet Mackerel’s Formal Occasion is also a beautiful stand alone story. Violet is a likeable main character, who is caring, resourceful and funny, a combination sure to appeal to young readers. The gentleness of the series means they are just as perfect for sharing as they are for individual reading, and the soft, grey-scale illustrations are a beautiful complement.
With acts of kindness, friendship, and cupcakes, and in a delightful hardcover format, Violet Mackerel’s Formal Occasion is delightful.
Violet Mackerel’s Formal Occasion, by Anna Branford, illustrated by Sarah Davis
Walker Books, 2015
Available from good bookstores and online.