28 February, 2013

Violet Mackerel book giveaway... with love from Anna Branford

Are you a Violet Mackerel fan?
My children & I most certainly are.
Are you an Anna Branford fan?

If you are not yet familiar with either, you're in luck.
 I am ever so pleased to be the one to introduce you!

Having read most of the books in the Violet Mackerel series, 
my boys and I came up with some words
to describe the character of Violet Mackerel:~
Likeable.  Adventurous. Positive. 
Thoughtful. Brilliant. Giving. Funny.
Friendly. Loving. Happy. Considerate.
Resourceful. Creative. Inspiring. Kind. 

The stories themselves are relatable. The way Violet speaks involves us from the first page.  The language is very clear, unpretentious and engaging. 
The themes and happenings always passionate, interesting and often surprising.

 You can see why this Hinterland Mama is extremely happy to read all of Anna's Violet Mackerel books to my gorgeously growing, absorbent and impressionable young children.
And newly released is a fifth book in the series!
"Violet Mackerel's Possible Friend"

Each book has it's own special tale to tell, and can be read independently.
They are available worldwide - from all good bookstores !

Here is a little about Australian author, Anna Branford:~
"Anna Branford is a children's writer and a maker of things. She lives in a small flat in Melbourne between large piles of wool and felt and she is the author of the Violet Mackerel series. When she was little her favourite books were Beverly Cleary's Ramona stories and Philippa Pearce's Tom's Midnight Garden and whenever she gets a cold they quickly become her favourites again."

...and now to the Giveaway!
Anna says:~
"This is a prize that combines two of my absolute favourites - a book and some small things made by hand. If you read the book, Violet Mackerel's Possible Friend, you will find that it is about a girl called Violet who is a brilliant maker-of-things. She makes something particularly special for the girl next door, who she thinks and hopes might be a possible friend."
For your chance to win your very own copy of Anna's brand-new title
in the Violet Mackerel series - 
and a very special hand-made gift from Anna herself.
We ask:~
"Have you ever been given a gift that someone made for you by hand? What was special about it?"
 Please write your answer in the comments below.

 Entries close 8pm Wednesday, 6th March (QLD, AEST). 


  The Giveaway is open Worldwide.
The THREE eligible winners will be randomly selected and notified soon after.
Please include an email address with your entry

DO go and have a look around Anna Branford's website

- www.annabranford.com -
to enjoy more of this talented lady.
And don't forget to say Hello.
She may very well be a Possible Friend.

 Good luck everyone!  


  1. The books look and sound fabulous! I find that children's books are such a powerful way to get positive messages across to children. I especially love books that reinforce the messages I am trying to teach my children. It's like it's more legitimate coming from a book, haha.

    The best handmade gift I received was a portrait of me drawn by my brother-in law. It is really cool! :)

  2. I am sad to say that I don't know these books, but I'm so glad I know about them now. They sound divine!
    My Grandma gifted me with a hand painted ceramic horse. It's quite hideous but very special because it reminds me of her :)

  3. My best gifts made by hand were my 2 children of course.

    Then its all the lovely mothers day gifts and christmas gifts they make by hand, little notes and drawings and their handprints with poems and claypots and cardboard robots - all that great stuff.

    Actually just discovered this books just this week and promised my daughter I would buy her some for her birthday. We have already visited the website and played some of the activities, like the word find etc. Love the Small Things and the new friend topic is especially relevant as we have just moved to a new area and my little girl has done very well making lots of new friends but its still been a big change. Great giveaway thankyou

  4. What a delightful looking book! My niece would absolutely love it. I have been given many handmade cards, mostly from my niece and nephews - they are so much more wonderful than bought ones, and make me smile every time.

  5. My best gift was the first mother’s day flower that my daughter made for me when she was in Kindy. It had her photo in the middle and she had written "I Love My Mum" on the petal’s. I love Anna’s books and Violet she is everything that I wanted to be as a child and is just like my two children.


  6. Oh!! We can't wait to read about Violet Mackerel's latest adventure! I have really enjoyed all of Anna's lovely books ~ I really adore children's chapter books and these are especially delightful. And before I was born my mum made a Raggedy Ann doll for me and called the doll Kelly, it waited for me until I arrived and used to sit on my bed when I was little :-)

  7. gorgeous giveaway and Anna i LOVE your work! your hand dyed felt and embroidery has inspired countless little treasures. thank you Hinterland mama for introducing me to the world of Violet!

    after pondering all the heartfelt things my first born has hand made for me, i remembered something my husband hand made and it made me smile all over again... he got me a tiny potted banyan fig tree and turned it into a little gnome called 'little willy'. imagine a matchbox sized trunk - with a head-sized nobbly bit on top which was the head and two wee little branches sticking out of the sides for arms. the leaves looked like crazy hands. and he snuck some felt out of my supplies and made a little gnomie hat for it. when i saw it's profile, i realised where he got his name from :)

    good luck with the book launch anna!


  8. wow I love the sound of these books. So refreshing :-)

    The most precious gift I've been given was undoubtably by my daughter who made me a simple but very treasured rainbow woollen bracelet.. I never take it off..

    Can't wait to read one of these books to her now that I know about them!
    Louise xx

  9. SQUEALS! Like I mentioned on your Facebook post I've recently become aware of Violet and Anna and look forward to the adventures that await us ahead. I feel we'll be kindred spirits indeed.

    My husband made a birthday ring for our home which a treasure. Not only is it beautifully crafted and cherished because he made it but we also add memories as the years roll by

  10. Thank you for so inspiring giveaway! I like Anna's works and blog posts very much and her dolls are very warm and unique I think:)
    I remember how my cousin Anastasia made mini post-office play set in my childhood for my birthday cause I was a big fan of post offices, snail-mailing and sending cards for all my friends and relatives and it was very special gift for me. I was so happy that day:))

  11. My father and his wife commissioned a painted portrait of my daughter for me. Since the artist had never met Lola, they took a picture from my blog. It is so beautiful. It is the first thing I see when I open my eyes in the morning.

    And when I just met my husband, he made a mix-tape for me, on CD. Lovely!

  12. This series sounds like so much fun. . . time to go on a search for it.

    The most memorable hand made gifts are those from my kids, a necklace with some beads hand-strung by them. Needless to explain for a mama why it is the best gift ever. . .

  13. A very clever sewer, made me a beautiful doll, it sits on my mantle, and she is a darling. cheers Marie

  14. Funnily enough we haven't heard of the Violet Mackeral series, despite being voracious readers! So thankyou for introducing her to us. My favourite handmade gifts are the jumpers my nana and mum knit for my children. Although a close second was the handmade Christmas ornament that was sent to me from a dear friend, who lives far away- arriving at our new house the day we moved in! A little something special during a hectic time.
    alky00@ bigpond.net.au

  15. Love Anna's blog and I have made a few of her delightful craft items via her tutorials and have read two of the VM series which are available at our local Tas library - Violet Mackerals' Brilliant Plot & Violet Mackerals's Remarkable Recovery. Just wonderful reads.
    I received about 30+ years ago a beautifully hand crafted hexagon shaped pin cushion from a dear friend in Victoria. I still have this and it has a very vintage feel to it now (it has purple colours) and I use it all the time. Keep up all your good work Anna.

  16. I have many handmade gifts which I treasure from my 5 children. I also have a treasure which I keep tucked away and only take out a couple times a year because it is so special. It is my antique. Hawaiian quilt handmade by my great grandmother when she was a teenager in Maui just learning to quilt. It is an heirloom I plan to pass to my daughters.

  17. I have many handmade gifts which I treasure from my 5 children. I also have a treasure which I keep tucked away and only take out a couple times a year because it is so special. It is my antique. Hawaiian quilt handmade by my great grandmother when she was a teenager in Maui just learning to quilt. It is an heirloom I plan to pass to my daughters.

  18. Oh wow! Anna's blog is delightful! And these books look like a dream for little girls! :) The best handmade gift I've received was probably a mosaic trivet from a dear friend. It was such a special gift because it was made especially for me! :-) My colours, my kind of design etc. She did a perfect job! :-) I truly love GIVING handmade gifts too!

  19. Alicia GutierrezMarch 1, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    On Christmas morning nearly 2 decades ago, my four brothers and sisters and I were presented with a bright red go-cart lovingly handmade by my dad. He'd been locked up in the shed for a couple weeks beforehand, working on some secret project that we weren't allowed to know about, and then there it was under the tree with a big bow. Every other store bought trinket was forgotten that morning as the five of us kids raced outside dragging dad and the new wooden go-cart up a hill before piling into it and letting it go, screaming all the way. And there we stayed, all Christmas morning. Best handmade gift ever. xxx Alicia

  20. My mum made me a fairy wooden box to put all of my special documents and letters in. This was when I was an adult. I guess we never ever truly grow up!


  21. I think I am looking forward to meeting Violet ! She sounds wonderful.
    I was sick for a week last year and a wonderful friend of mine made a gorgeous little rainbow pipecleaner doll who sits in her seed pod boat. It totally made my day when I found it in the mailbox and makes me smile everytime I look at it :)

  22. The book and gifts look lovely.

    I host themed Christmas parties every year. One year we hosted a DIY Christmas Party, and guests were asked to bring one gift they had made themselves. The gifts that people brought varied and showcased a range of talents.

  23. What lovely illustrations! I haven't heard of this author before, but now I'll keep an eye out. And I love the idea that she's include a handmade gift with the prize!

    As for my favourite handmade item? Well, it wasn't initially for me. My Nana knitted some lovely little outfits - dresses, booties, hats, mittens and the like for her first grandson, who is my cousin's son, my second cousin I guess. Now my Nana has always been VERY talented when it comes to knitting and sewing and the like, so of course these were exquisite. A few years later, my Nana suffered a major stroke, and she is now paralysed on one half of her body, and she can't do any knitting or embroidering or sewing or any of those things she used to love to do. When I had my eldest daughter, the second of her grandchildren to have kids, my cousin asked if I would like her to onsend Nana's lovely knitted outfits. Of course I would! They are a symbol of her love - for her family and for knitting. I've since onsent Nana's outfits to another cousin who has had her first child. And now we've created a tradition. My Nana is delighted that the clothes she initially made for one grandchild are now being worn by all her grandchildren, even though she can't make them anymore. Brings a tear to my eye...

  24. This looks like something my little girl would LOVE to read (and me too) we love reading! My most memorable handmade gift was from my first love, dried up "roses" tied with a string. I kept it for a long long time in my drawer, imagining his hands getting the flowers and tying them up with a simple string. The simple handmade bouquet made out of sheer will by someone who is not normally into crafting, was powerful for me. - Jzin

  25. The most wonderful; and treasured hanmade gifts i have received always came from my Grandmother. the Gift that stands out in my memory is the little gnome village she made for me when i was a child. Everything was made by hand, i believe she crochet/knitted all the little houses and gnomes. It was a special gift for me because it showed me just how beautiful, meaningful and natural handmade things are. It set me on a natural path in my own life. Since recieving this wonderful gift (which my own daughter has now) i have always tried to "Tinker" everything of my own. Whenever i see something beautiful i try and make it myself. It has a great meaning to me because its made especially with Love and Care. :)

  26. Last Christmas my friend made me some stone people that her daughter and her had painted and stuck eyes on. They were special because it meant they had been thinking about me while having fun together creating something. I treasured them - until my son found them and pulled all the googley eyes off, but hey he enjoyed them too, just in his own unique toddler way.

  27. I would love these books for Miss Poss. They really do look inspiring.

    I think my favourite handmade pressies were from y other in law. She is a beautiful knitter and we are spoilt rotten with adorable cardigans and blankets almost every winter. I feel very blessed to have these gifts from her and i'll keep them for when my girls have babies one day.

  28. What a lovely give-away. My mama commissioned a friend to make a wool dress for my newborn babygirl.. so that was pretty sweet. But we are a homemade kinda family so I have received many lovely homemade items from the Hubs and my little one!

  29. Thank You so much for sharing the Violet Mackerel books.. I can't wait to get them for my daughter.

    My favorite handmade gift is a gorgeous handmade Waldorf doll for my daughter that was given to her by a dear friend. It was made with so much Love. It never leaves her side. She will have it forever and will keep it for her children one day.
    It brings so much happiness to both of us. We have so much fun dressing her in different outfits and taking her with us everywhere.
    Thank You so very much for this wonderful giveaway..

    BIG HUGS to you.

    email addy. austina.bosco@verizon.net

    best place to message me is threw faebook.. Here is my fb link.

  30. My mother-in-law made a beautiful rose cross stitch coverlet for my bed. I think of her each time I see it.

  31. I have been given many handmade gifts in my time, and each and everyone has been very special, but
    just this Christmas I was given a pair of handmade pyjamas. They were special beacuse they were made for me by my daughter, but to make them even more spacial they were upcycled from a vintage sheet.

  32. My husband made me (us) a king size bed frame out of all recycked timber. It has to be taken apart to move it, but it is so lovely!

  33. Oh my gosh, what a lovely prize....I have never heard of this series of books. They sound adorable. I can't say I have an absolute favourite handmade gift. I have three kids, and a very clever husband, along with some amazing crafty friends. I can't play favourites. There are too many to choose from. I guess aside from the handmade kiddies things, my most treasured handmade item would be the television cabinet that my husband made for me or the gorgeous baby blanket that my MIL made for our first born (before I could really knit)....that has now been loved by three children. Cassy. email: cassha1@bigpond.com

  34. Yes, by my nephew when he was six years old, he made me a paper compass with paper clip pointer; I still have it in my Keepsake box. It's special because with his Aspergers he doesn't think of others, but he made the compass just for me.

  35. oops forgot the email address, here it is:


  36. One of my boys painted me a beautiful watercolor of a white leghorn rooster which is mounted on my wall. It s simple....just the head and ruff in white and red. He is a very gifted man~

  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. My almost 6 year old has discovered the joy of Violet Mackerel recently (and us adults too). Such a curious and thoughtful character. A couple of stand out handmade presents are some delicious foccacia bread my partner made before we were officially dating and a colourful knitted blanket my Nan gave me.

    Thanks for the give away. regan(dot)field(at)gmail(dot)com

  39. What a lovely give away :) I love handmade gifts for their uniqueness and thought. My favourite handmade gift I have been given is the first teddy bear my nana ever made. It is a little bit out of proportion and the eye has come loose but it signifies the beginning of my nana's journey towards becoming a master craftswoman.

  40. This looks like a lovely book! I've never heard of Violet, but I think I will love this series.
    I've been given lots of handmade presents. The first one (that I am aware of) was a handmade baby sleeping bag. We used to do a lot of camping, and a friend of my parents, who was pregnant at the same time made it for me. There's an incredibly detailed scene with a castle, knight and princess on it. All made out of ripstop nylon. I can't even imagine how hard that was to put together.
    After I was too big for it, it became my blankie.

  41. I love hand made gifts and I am Violet Mackerel's biggest fan.
    My favorite hand made gift is a paper mache egg with a baby triceratops made of Plasticine inside it. It was made by my son in primary school and I still have it.

  42. I have been gifted in life with some amazingly crafty people and have been so lucky to be given many handmade treasures from them! :) My daughter' "lovey" was hand knit by my cousin in Germany...Another handmade collection would be the oil paintings made by my grandpa...or the amazing glittered Easter eggs from my husband's grandma. My list of handmade treasures could go on and on... These books sound just lovely and I'd be thrilled to win this for my girls! I'll be sure to go look them up!

    wpooh_9 at hotmail dot com

  43. When I was pregnant, I received a beautiful handmade quilt from a work friend which was so unexpected and we just adore. THe same friend, knpwing my love for jewellery, also made me some beautiful earrings and bangle. I still wear them today

  44. This would be so lovelly... I have few hand made items and the first that popped into my mind was hand knitted colorful socks by my grandmas first cousin. She made many for me my kids and many relatives in the family, all still worn proudly today.

  45. when I was four my Aunty gave me a handmade stuffed toy dog. I remember my brother scoffing at her because she was hand made and her fabric was a tiny bit course but I loved her instantly and named her Hound. 27 years later I have her still and whenever I need a hug she is there for me. I will treasure her forever, while more expensive store bought toys have come and gone without ever capturing my heart and imagination like this one little dog, sewn with love.

    1. I've never have received a handmade gift, but I love such kind of it. I teach art in school and work with art therapy. Indeed I would be so proud to receive it. Thanks!
      I'm Brazilian,
      Leila Immediato

  46. oops! I forgot to leave an email!
    emailcatwatts@gmail.com :) Thank you!

  47. Oops my email is aloma16@hotmail.com

  48. Yes,beautiful things given to me by my daughter. Special things made with love by tiny hands.



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To contact me directly, please email me at HinterlandMama (!AT)gmail(DOT)com

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