Violet Mackerel’s Personal Space by Anna Branford


Title:  Violet Mackerel’s Personal Space
Author:  Anna Branford
Illustrator: Elanna Allen
Format: Hardcover / Paperback / eBook
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Pages: 128
ISBN: 978-1442435919
Source:  Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Children’s Fiction, 6 – 10
Series: Violet Mackerel
Best Read in Order: Not Required
Stars:  5
Publishing on 3 September, 2013
Pre-Order Now:  Hardcover  §  Paperback §  Kindle
You can get the first 3 books in the series
Violet Mackerel’s Remarkable Recovery
Violet Mackerel’s Brilliant Plot
Violet Mackerel’s Natural Habitat
or Pre-Order the Violet Mackerel’s Outside-the-Box Set which has all 4 titles!

About the Book: 

Is it possible to leave a piece of you wherever you go? Violet Mackerel thinks so in this fourth illustrated chapter book of a charming series.

Violet Mackerel believes that wherever you leave something small, a tiny part of you gets to stay too—like how the little piece of green sea glass under the mattress at the beach house means that a little piece of Violet gets to stay on summer holiday.

Violet’s theory is put to the test when Mama and Vincent announce some very special news: They are going to get married. And they are all going to move. Violet is excited for the wedding, but Dylan is angry about the move. Normally, it is nice to be inside with your family when there is a big noisy storm outside and there is pumpkin soup for dinner and something on TV about penguins. But it is hard to enjoy it when your brother is outside in the garden in a leaky tent.

When Dylan won’t budge, the wedding preparations feel a bit sad. But just in time, Violet thinks of the perfect way to help Dylan feel better about moving. And her Theory of Leaving Small Things Behind is going to come in handy!

Book Review:

In this illustrated and heartwarming story, Violet is faced with change.  In her thoughtful and  innocent way she theorizes that you can leave ‘pieces’ of yourself behind so you really aren’t gone, if you leave a small token.

And the changes are coming fast and furiously: her mother is marrying her long term boyfriend, they will have to move house, her brother is unhappy at the idea of moving, and her sister is more excited about a new and bigger room.   With reasonable and simple to follow examples and lots of warm fuzzies, this is a good introduction to the idea of big changes.

No one really adores change, and her brother is by far the most upset by the planned move, but when he locks himself in his room, or retreats to a tent in the backyard with the zip closed, it is his ‘personal space’ and they allow him the time to sort through his feelings.  The concept of ‘secret spaces’ and understanding boundaries and limits are introduced in a way that is easy to understand.  While Violet is forever trying to be the peacemaker and wanting to help, her cleverly written notes and illustrations are sweetly thoughtful, and a trait to admire.

I thoroughly enjoyed this little story, perfect for children ages 6 – 10, giving parents another way to introduce change and how the scary feelings don’t always have to be so.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Edelweiss.  I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.


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