Violet Shrink

Violet Shrink

Illustrated by: Mok, Carmen
ages 3 to 7 / grades P to 2

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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:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.3
Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

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:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.3
Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd — Mar 1, 2020
Specifications 32 pages | 8.25 in x 9.875 in
Written By

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.

Illustrated by

CARMEN MOK is a studio-art graduate of the University of Waterloo and a craft and design graduate of Sheridan College. She has illustrated Percy's Museum by Sara O'Leary, Violet Shrink by Christine Baldacchino and Grandmother’s Visit by Betty Quan, an Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Picture Book Honor title. Carmen’s other noteworthy books include A Stopwatch from Grampa by Loretta Garbutt, Cone Cat by Sarah Howden and Tough Like Mum by Lana Button. She lives in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Written By

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.

Illustrated by

CARMEN MOK is a studio-art graduate of the University of Waterloo and a craft and design graduate of Sheridan College. She has illustrated Percy's Museum by Sara O'Leary, Violet Shrink by Christine Baldacchino and Grandmother’s Visit by Betty Quan, an Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Picture Book Honor title. Carmen’s other noteworthy books include A Stopwatch from Grampa by Loretta Garbutt, Cone Cat by Sarah Howden and Tough Like Mum by Lana Button. She lives in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Audience ages 3 to 7 / grades P to 2
Reading Levels Fountas & Pinnel Text Level M
Guided Reading M
Common Core CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.3

Commended, Mighty Village Spring Book Picks, 2020

Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award, 2021

Commended, Today's Parent Book of the Week, 2020

Commended, OLA Best Bets Honourable Mention, 2020

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

A calm, effective model for stating—and listening to—needs.

” —Kirkus Reviews

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