Australian Writer and Illustrator
Anna Branford, illustrated by Sarah Davis
Violet Mackerel’s Helpful Suggestion
Walker Books 2014 $19.95hb 111pp
ISBN 978 1 9222 4436 9
Themes: Flashcards/ Friendship/ Loneliness/ Series/ Stepfathers
Violet’s best friend Rose has dropped a bombshell – she is going on a trip to Japan and will be away for more weeks than Violet wants to think about – maybe she will forget all about Violet. And Rose is not the only one with news – Violet’s stepfather, Vincent, has a new job in a nut and bean shop – and it is a job that comes with problems as he has to memorise long lists of products and prices. Anna Branford has invented a new set of experiences to help her ever-inventive, appealing and down to earth heroine Violet, solve both these puzzles. There is something about Violet to which small girls and maybe a few boys really relate and the realistic and endearing illustrations by Sarah Davis add to the book’s charm. I was so sure that Violet Mackerel was real that when I was talking to Sarah at the NZ Post Book Awards for Children and Young People in Auckland last month I asked if her illustrations were of a real child but she said no – she was a made up character. Maybe that makes Violet even more unique.
Year 3 up/ Age 7 up