Book Review: Violet by Tania Duprey Stehlik, Vanja Vuleta Jovanic

Violet is a picturebook written by Tania Duprey Stehlik and illustrated by Vanja Vuleta Jovanic. 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 purple? 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.
Violet is a delightful picturebook that explores race and being different. Violet is different, her mom is red and her father is blue- but she she is violet. She is worried about being different and faces questions from classmates. I liked how her mom calmly and simply explained, and the author is able to express the idea that people are people. It is not color (or race, religion, ability, or anything else) that define us- it is what is inside us that makes us who we are. The illustrations are wonderfully colorful and quirky, making the story more endearing. I really enjoyed the book and think it is an important one. This could be a great tool for families and classrooms, in fact I think everyone should read books like this- because understanding each other how simple the solution (if only everyone could live it) is important for us all. But most importantly, everyone should be able to see themselves in the books they read, and this gives so many children a chance to see themselves (and their families) in print.
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