Violet Mackerel’s Possible Friend by Anna Branford and illustrated by Sarah Davis, hardback chapter book, 109 pages, published by Walker Books Australia Pty Ltd in 2013.
Violet’s family has just moved into a new house. Violet is busy exploring the backyard when she discovers a knot in the fence, and accidentally turns it into a hole. She worries that the neighbours might be angry about the hole, so she writes a little apology note and leaves it, along with a small present in the hole. A reply arrives in the hole from Rose, a young girl that lives next door. Is Rose Violet’s possible friend, or maybe she could be a very good friend?
This is the story of a young girl making a new friend and all the uncertainty that comes with it. The story is well written and enjoyable. Violet reminds me of some children I know, and all her worrying and planning gave me a chuckle. While this is not the first book in the Violet Mackerel series, it is the first one we have read. It will not be the last. My preschooler is taken with Violet. She really enjoyed the story and I think she identified with Violet, they have some things in common, such as their collection of small items. She’s keen to read more Violet books.
There are very nice black and white illustrations throughout the book. My preschooler was particularly impressed with how Violet was depicted in the illustrations, just like she imagined her to be (apparently)! The notes that are passed between Violet and Rose are actually drawn as notes in the book too, with writing that even looks like the writing of a young girl. I thought these were a lovely addition.
Violet Mackerel’s Possible Friend is a chapter book that is suitable for lower to middle primary school children. My second grader read the whole book before school one morning, finding it an entertaining story, but a very easy read. I think it would be a good book to help build reading confidence in young children.