About this book
Christine Baldacchino • Carmen Mok
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 musters up the courage to have a talk with her dad.
In this thoughtful story about understanding and acceptance, Violet’s natural introversion and feelings of social anxiety are normalized when she and her father reach a solution together. 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.
About the Creators
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.
Awards and Praise
Reviews and awards for Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress (written by Christine Baldacchino and illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant):
Stonewall Honor Book in Children’s and Young Adult Literature
Winner of the CBC Bookie Award for Best Picture Book
Finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award
Finalist for Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award
Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year
“Morris is a complex character whose creativity and personality shine.… Sensitive and reassuring.” — Kirkus, starred review
“[A] wonderfully moving and enriching picture book. Morris is a relatable character whom many readers will find both sympathetic and familiar.” — Quill & Quire, starred review
“Baldacchino’s gentle story sensitively depicts gender nonconforming children, offering them reassurance and, one hopes, acceptance by introducing other children to the concept.” — Booklist
“Baldacchino doesn’t sugar-coat the teasing and isolation Morris endures.… Malenfant showcases Morris’s full emotional spectrum.” — Publishers Weekly
“[R]ather than presenting an overt message about gender identity, the book provides a subtle and refreshing glimpse at a boy who simply likes to dress up.” — School Library Journal
Reviews and awards for Grandmother’s Visit (written by Betty Quan, illustrated by Carmen Mok):
Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature Picture Book Honor Title
“Quan’s words and Mok’s pictures together create a luminous reflection of how children experience grief and loss.” — Quill & Quire, starred review
“This is a wistful, tender story recommended for children who are confronting the loss or imminent loss of a loved one.” — School Library Journal
“This sweet and gentle story about losing a loved one is emotionally lovely . . .”— Kirkus Reviews