Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 3 to 7
- Grade: p to 2
In this powerful story from Christine Baldacchino, author of Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress, a young girl navigates social anxiety at family gatherings and works with her father to find a solution.
Violet Shrink doesn’t like parties. Or bashes, or gatherings. Lots of people and lots of noise make Violet’s tummy ache and her hands sweat. She would much rather spend time on her own, watching the birds in her backyard, reading comics or listening to music through her purple headphones. The problem is that the whole Shrink family loves parties with loud music and games and dancing.
At cousin Char’s birthday party, Violet hides under a table and imagines she is a shark gliding effortlessly through the water, looking for food. And at Auntie Marlene and Uncle Leli’s anniversary bash, Violet sits alone at the top of the stairs, imagining she is a slithering snake way up in the branches. When Violet learns that the Shrink family reunion is fast approaching, she finally musters up the courage to have a talk with her dad.
In this thoughtful story about understanding and acceptance, Christine Baldacchino’s warm text demonstrates the role imagination often plays for children dealing with anxiety, and the power of a child expressing their feelings to a parent who is there to listen. Carmen Mok’s charming illustrations perfectly capture Violet’s emotions and the vibrancy of her imagination. A valuable contribution to books addressing mental health.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.
About the authors
CHRISTINE BALDACCHINO is a graphic artist and web designer with a background in early childhood education. Her picture book Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress was a Stonewall Honor recipient and the winner of the CBC Bookie Award for Best Picture Book. She lives with her husband in Toronto.
Carmen Mok is a studio-art graduate of the University of Waterloo, and a crafts and design graduate of Sheridan College in Ontario, Canada. Her books include Waiting for Sophie by Sarah Ellis, Look at Me Now by Carol McDougall and Shanda LaRamee-Jones, and Ride the Big Machines in Winter. She recently illustrated Grandmother’s Visit by Betty Quan, which was named an Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature Picture Book Honor Title, was on the shortlist of the IODE Ontario Jean Throop Book Award and was selected for the Ontario Library Association Best Bets List. Carmen lives in St. Catharines, Ontario.
- Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award
- Commended, Today's Parent Book of the Week
- Commended, Mighty Village Spring Book Picks
- Commended, OLA Best Bets Honourable Mention
Carmen Mok’s illustrations, rendered in gouache, color pencil and graphite pencil, add charm and provide a very detailed, fantastical addition to the story. … Books like Violet Shrink can serve as starting points for discussion with children and can serve as essential tools for parents and teachers alike in addressing anxiety.
CM Review of Materials
A calm, effective model for stating—and listening to—needs.
Christine Baldacchino and Carmen Mok have given introverts and shy children the opportunity to see themselves and be accepted as they are.
CanLit for Little Canadians