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Children's Fiction Values & Virtues


by (author) Nan Gregory

illustrated by Luc Melanson

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Aug 2007
Values & Virtues, Parents, Colors
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2007
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 7
  • Grade: p to 2
  • Reading age: 4 to 7


Finalist for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award

Vivi is dizzy with wanting pink. Perfect pink. The kind the rich girls have, beyond the budget for her beloved truck-driver dad.

One day in the window of a fancy toy store she sees something that embodies everything she longs for -- a bride doll in a dress of perfect glistening pink. Vivi wants it more than anything. She saves and saves to buy the doll, walking the next-door dog and running errands for the neighbors. But when she takes her parents to show them the precious doll, she experiences a crushing disappointment.

A touching story about longing for something beyond reach and finding something better close to home.

About the authors

Nan Gregory's previous children's picture books include the international best-seller How Smudge Came and the critically acclaimed Wild Girl and Gran. Nan Gregory is a professional storyteller and has performed in schools, libraries, hospitals, parks and theatres, at conferences and festivals, and from the back of a horse-drawn sleigh. Her career has taken her across Canada and to the United States, Japan and New Zealand.

Nan Gregory's profile page

Luc Melanson won the Governor General’s Award (Illustration) for The Grand Journey of Mr. Man by Gilles Tibo, and he was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award (Illustration) for My Great Big Mamma by Olivier Ka, Les Compositeurs by Claudio Ricignuolo and La petite Kim by Kim Yaroshevskaya. He has illustrated many books, including Book of Big Brothers by Cary Fagan, and Pink by Nan Gregory, both finalists for the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award. Pink was a finalist for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize. Luc lives in Laval, Quebec.

Luc Melanson's profile page


  • Short-listed, Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens 2008
  • Commended, CCBC Choices 2008
  • Long-listed, Chocolate Lily Award
  • Commended, Booklist's Editor's Choice of 2007
  • Short-listed, Christie Harris Picture Book Award

Editorial Reviews

There have been a variety of books lately about young girls' love of the pink and fancy...but this one is unusual both in its deft and fluid prose and in its acknowledgment of the underlying meaning of the fuchsia fantasy...[Pink] offers youngsters a thoughtful context for their dreams of possibilities beyond their grasp, and their sympathy for Vivi may help them stretch to understanding her finding of a non-pink satisfaction.

Bull Cent Child Books

Gregory writes with precision and creates apt, sometimes surprising phrases that capture the characters' feelings...Written with subtlety and tenderness but not a whiff of sentimentality, this picture book quietly depicts Viv's intense longing and, when it cannot be fulfilled, the unexpected satisfaction that she finds instead.


...this one is unusual both in its deft and fluid prose and in its acknowledgement of the underlying meaning of the fuchsia fantasy...offers youngsters a thoughtful context for their dreams of possibilities beyond their grasp...

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

...a tale that will capture adults and children alike...

CM Magazine

Once in awhile a book comes along that just melts your heart-and not because it is full of puppies...Rather, it stops you in your tracks because it cuts right to the heart of childhood pain. This is one of those books, especially if you grew up in a family where resources were sometimes outpaced by desire...[It] is very nice (and much rarer) to see a book that holds the other side with such sensitivity and of my favorite books of the year.

pixie stix kids pix

...tough yet tender story...written with poetic precision and illustrated with charm and verve.


...glorious colour as well as content...

Globe and Mail

...Melanson's bold and colourful illustrations capture the longing, disappointment and ultimate contentment of the child in this story. Pink has a positive message for any young child...

Lethbridge Herald

Librarian Reviews


Vivi lives in an apartment with loving parents who sometimes struggle to make ends meet. At school she aspires to be one of “the Pinks,” a close group of wealthy girls who are always dressed from head to toe in a perfect shade of pink. Vivi longs to own something in this same hue. “You can’t have everything,” her father reflects.

One winter’s day Vivi passes an exclusive toy store and spots an exquisite and expensive bride doll wearing a dress of perfect glistening pink. She immediately begins saving for the doll by doing errands for the neighbours for months on end. Springtime arrives and she invites her parents to admire the doll for which she has been saving. However, when they reach the store they see the object of Vivi’s dreams leaving in the arms of one of “the Pinks.” Vivi’s disappointment crushes her and she finds it even difficult to follow her parents home. She inwardly sobs “It’s hard to go fast when your heart is a stone.” She We Recommend comes to terms with her material loss and slowly realizes that deep satisfaction is not necessarily tied to possessions.

Pink is a story about longing for something beyond reach and does not have a predictable happy ending. Vivi does not get the doll, even though she has worked hard for it. She will never be one of “the Pinks.” She does have, however, the enduring love and support of her family.

Luc Melanson’s digital illustrations successfully capture the range of the characters’ emotions, from the haughty expressions of “the Pinks” to the courage and hope of Vivi and her family. “The Pinks” are surrounded by a vibrant pink while Vivi and her world are bathed in muted colours.

Nan Gregory’s masterful writing captures the poignancy of Vivi’s plight. A reader will discover memorable gems — e.g. “Vivi’s heart is breaking up into stars.” Gregory explores peer pressure, loss, love and hope in a manner understandable to young children, and easily identified by all ages. This is a book with lasting impact.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Winter 2008. Vol.31 No.1.


Vivi adores pink. When she spies the perfect pink doll in a store window, she works and saves to buy it. But when she takes her parents to see it, she faces a crushing disappointment.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2008.

Other titles by Nan Gregory

Other titles by Luc Melanson