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4.0 1
by Tania Duprey Stehlik, Vanja Jovanovic

Violet is happy that her father has come to pick her up after her first day at a new school. But as she races over to meet him, one of the other kids asks, "How come your dad is blue and you're not?" Violet has never even thought about this before. Her mother is red and her father is blue, so why isn't she red or blue? Why is she violet? Upset and


Violet is happy that her father has come to pick her up after her first day at a new school. But as she races over to meet him, one of the other kids asks, "How come your dad is blue and you're not?" Violet has never even thought about this before. Her mother is red and her father is blue, so why isn't she red or blue? Why is she violet? Upset and confused, Violet goes to her mother. Using paints, her mother shows her that when you combine red and blue, you get violet! Like many people in the world, Violet is a beautiful mix of colors. But color isn't really that important. After all, it is what's inside us that counts.

Tania Stehlik is of Indian and French Canadian descent and takes great pride in her mixed heritage. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Vanja Vuleta Jovanovic is a multimedia artist and a freelance graphic designer. Born in the former Yugoslavia, she lives in Toronto, Ontario.

The Violet book trailer is now online for your viewing pleasure!

Editorial Reviews

Midwest Book Review

"A sensitive and memorable story... The celebration of differences message is very clear in Violet, which is additionally enriched by a plethora of spicy, imaginative, full page color illustrations."

Quill & Quire

"Jovanovic keeps things interesting by creating a world that is part Dr. Seuss, part The Little Prince, and part something else quite unique...This familiar-yet-strange environment makes it easier to deal with the tricky issue of race with getting bogged down in earnest preaching. As a result, while the message will have a special resonance for mixed-race families, any kid who has ever felt 'different' will feel right at home."

CM Magazine
"The story's innovative and fresh approach succeeds in imparting an important, but timeless message. Violet provides a chance for readers to explore this topic with the help of parents and teachers. Jovanovic's art captures this colourful world with wild, exuberant digital illustrations featuring double page spreads of strangely shaped kids that are portrayed with long skinny limbs. The whimsical drawings are full of fun details, add a comical twist and are as inventive as the story line. Recommended."
Canadian Bookseller Magazine
"This simple, smart tale is a great way for adults to introduce the concept of difference to young people, opening the way to positive discussions, insight and opportunities for us all to be proud of who we are."
Teach with Picture Books blog
"I can see this book being a real asset for discussions and themes on differences and diversity."
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Violet's first day of school goes pretty well. She enjoys arts and crafts and shares lunch with a new friend. The text mentions in several places that all of Violet's classmates are red, yellow, or blue in color. Violet's skin color is violet. When her dad picks her up, someone asks Violet why she is not blue like he is. Violet does not know and she broods about the subject for awhile before she asks her mom, whose color is red. Her mom mixes some red paint and blue paint together to show her that the combination of these colors produces shades of purple. Then she explains that Violet is a lovely mixed color and that people come in a rainbow of beautiful colors. She tells Violet to just be herself and not worry about her color. The people in the illustrations are oddly shaped with long, thin legs and chunky bodies. Apparently the colors did not reproduce well because some of the children appear to be green, although according to the text they are yellow. The basic message of the story is clear, but the illustrations may cause confusion. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
Publishers Weekly
In the world imagined by this debuting team, everyone is a person of a single color—specifically, red, yellow or blue—except the eponymous and literally named heroine, the offspring of a mixed marriage (mom is red and dad is blue). Violet, anticipating the first day of school, is nervous about making friends and fitting in. And while her fears are partially founded when students are surprised to discover the color of her parents, Stehlik’s message remains upbeat. “People come in a whole rainbow of beautiful colors,” Violet’s mother tells her.... “Just be yourself. People should like you for who you are, not what color you are.” Readers, especially girls, may find more to love in Jovanovic’s digital drawings. Although the setting is clearly the lower grades of elementary school, long-limbed Violet and her peers look like middle schoolers, and the hand-drawn feel of the pictures brings to mind the anime-influenced journal marginalia of an intensely emotional adolescent. If the message is less than subtle, it should still be a comfort to readers, particularly those of mixed heritage, who struggle with belonging. Ages 5–8. (Sept.)

Product Details

Second Story Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Violet 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
LauraFabiani More than 1 year ago
My children and I liked this book for its originality-both in the story and the colourful quirky illustrations. By using the metaphor of colour to show being different is okay, the author has allowed for its application to all differences, not just skin colour. It could encompass physical and intellectual differences, multi-cultural and linguistic differences, as well as religious differences. The story is a great way to introduce young children to tolerance and acceptance, and also to help them celebrate their own differences or uniqueness. A parent can easily bring up how special their child is because there is no one in the world like them. Helping children be proud of who they are, as Violet was, is also an important lesson derived from this story. The illustrator's style is well suited to these themes and makes a beautiful book. I may be biased, though, because violet or purple is my favourite colour.