by Christine Baldacchino, Illustrated by Carmen Mok
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.