Violet Mackerel’s Natural Habitat (Book 3)

Anna Branford (Author), Sarah Davis (Illustrator)

Violet Mackerel's Natural Habitat (Book 3)
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Violet Mackerel’s Natural Habitat (Book 3)

Anna Branford (Author), Sarah Davis (Illustrator)

VIOLET MACKEREL quite likes helping. She PARTICULARLY likes to help SMALL THINGS. So when Violet makes friends with a tiny ladybird called SMALL GLORIA, she wants to give her a HELPING HAND. But sometimes it’s hard to know the best way to help a SMALL THING - especially when it’s not in its NATURAL HABITAT.


When Violet is at the shopping centre waiting patiently for her mum to finish talking to Mrs Lin from next door, she spots a sparrow trapped inside and starts to think about her Theory of Helping Small Things. Basically, Violet’s theory is that if you help small things, perhaps one day they might help you too (though since Violet likes helping, she doesn’t really mind if her theory doesn’t work out).

After they finally arrive home, Violet decides to make a ladybird habitat out of a jar, a bit of tinsel, a sweet pea flower and a special rock. Violet thinks it’s a marvellous home for Small Gloria, the smallest ladybird in the patch of fennel in her back yard.

Except things don’t seem to be working out so well for Small Gloria and her new habitat. And speaking of problems, Violet’s sister Nicola is in tears over the upcoming Natural Science exhibition. With time running out, she’s worried she won’t be able to make a good display. Even though Violet has problems of her own, can she and Nicola find ways to help each other?

This third book in the Violet Mackerel series by Anna Branford is such a beautiful story. It’s all about the joy of helping people (and small things) and how even the best intentions can sometimes not work out, but at the end of the day, isn’t it the thought that counts? This is a quiet, thoughtful book which kids aged seven and up will love.

holly-pic Holly Harper is a children’s bookseller at Readings Carlton where she organises the kids and Young Adult e-newsletters. She also writes books for younger readers under the name H.J. Harper. Find out more about her Star League series and other books here and follow her on twitter - @hj_harper.

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