A delightful addition to the Violet Mackerel series which I couldn't wait to get my hands on. The fear with any new addition to a much loved series is that it won't quite hit the same spot, however Anna Branford has really excelled with book 4, Personal Space, which seems to be growing in parallel to Violet's fans.
The plot in Personal Space is a little bit more involved, a little bit more complicated and really gets to grips with trying to understand the emotions of others. Perfectly suited for the fan base which is growing up alongside Violet.
Anna's blend of humour and sensitivity weaves Violet through a period of change in her life - a new house and the marriage of her mum to Vincent. Through the reaction of Violet's older brother Dylan, the reader is encouraged to empathise with his confusion through the sympathetic eyes of Violet who just wants him to be ok. Delicately handled, as ever, Anna gently explores his feelings - eliciting sympathy, teaching understanding and inspiring courage from her young readers.
I love the delicate touch of Branford's narrative which sweeps the reader along the journey with Violet. The whimsical pencil illustrations are a perfect match bringing to life crucial moments from the novel, the one depicting Dylan and Violet sitting together outside his tent is particularly evocative.
Catch up with the rest of the series:
Violet Mackerel's Brilliant Plot (Book 1)
Violet Mackerel's Natural Habitat (Book 3)