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Fun for Everyone

Violet Shrink written by Christine Baldacchino and illustrated by Carmen Mok, published by Groundwood Books.

No matter how you say it, a party is a party is a party. And Violet is catching on to all of her dad's euphemisms for party like shindig, reception, and bash. But Violet's dad isn't catching on at all to why Violet hides under the tables at all of these get-togethers.

I love how Baldacchino introduces Violet by all the things she enjoys and that many kids also do -- purple headphones, comics, birds. I bet there are many kids who equally dislike the same things she does as well, like loud noises and being around too many people.

When the Shrink family reunion is announced, Violet must find a way to tell her dad how she feels. This dear moment could help children find the words they also need to express how they feel in similar situations. It also reminds grown-ups to put on their "listening-for-real face." When kids feel heard, they will open up more easily.

Mok's illustrations are lively without being loud and active without being crowded -- perfect for the many Violet Shrinks reading this important picture book about understanding, expressing your needs, and helping yourself and others feel comfortable and have fun in their own way.

Imagine It!

Imagine you want to throw a party for a special holiday or birthday. Some of your friends love parties! Some of your friends prefer small get-togethers. Some of your friends do not like parties at all -- but you would like to include everyone.

Imagine different activities you could offer so that everyone enjoys themselves.

Some ideas: have a separate area for music and dancing, a table of party favors to make or decorate, a corner full of books about the holiday or about subjects that the birthday person really likes.

Imagine many more activities or expand on the suggestions above so that everyone can feel at ease and have fun!

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