Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Violet

Second Story Press 2009. 24 pages
First published: 2009
ISBN: 9781897187609 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, dialogue, point of view, setting

Award

The Forest of Reading – The Blue Spruce Award Nominee – 2011

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Children will relate to Violet’s nerves, as the language takes readers through a fairly successful first day at a new school. Then her dad picks her up. His skin is blue, hers is violet. “‘. . . How come your dad is blue and you’re not?’ Violet didn’t know. The truth was she had never thought about it before.”

At this new school, “They were red kids, yellow kids, and blue kids.” Violet’s own colour has her “worrying all over again about fitting in.”

Elegant illustrations depict an otherworld that combines elements of manga, surrealism and a delicate beauty all its own. In one spread, Violet gazes out a giant picture window at home. Inside, a family photo shows a younger Violet, holding onto her parents’ hands—one red, one blue. Another image shows her surrounded by great sheets of paper, a paintbrush tucked in her elbow, as her mom explains Violet’s colour, with red and blue paint. “Is anyone else purple?” asked Violet. “People come in a whole rainbow of beautiful colours . . . .”

Gorgeous to look at, lovely to read, this is a great book for discussing ethnicities—and positivity toward diversity in general: “‘I,’ she said, grinning . . . ‘am Violet!’”

  •  

    Pause after reading two pages. Besides making friends, discuss what else might be worrying Violet. Make a list of typical first day jitters. 

  •  

    What do you notice about the font on the last page? Why might the author have chosen to end the story this way? What did Violet learn about herself? What global message is the author trying to convey?

  •  

    Consider the quote: “People come in a whole rainbow of beautiful colours. . . .” Create and share your own I AM poem or poster. Identify what makes you special. 

  •  

    As a class, create a rainbow poster and add your classmates' names. Try drawing a picture in the same style as the illustrator. 

  •  

    Before reading, predict what could happen on a first day of school. After reading the rest of the story, compare your predictions with the story.

  •  

    Discuss Violet’s character traits. How is she similar to or different from you? Complete character trait organizers for Violet and yourself.

  •  

    When Violet asks, “Why am I not blue?” she actually is blue. Research and discuss expressions that include colours (green with envy, red in the face, etc.). Make illustrations that show their meanings.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Science and Technology