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Violet the Snowgirl: A Story of Loss and Healing

Violet the Snowgirl

A Story of Loss and Healing

illustrated by Wendy Leach

When third grader Jerzie wakes up the day after her birthday, she feels grumpy. Her birthday cheer is gone and she knows today is going to be nothing but boring—until she hears a knock at her door. Grandma’s here! Grandma, Jerzie, and her little brother, Josiah, spend all day outside building and playing with Violet, a snowgirl that becomes a pilot, a teacher, a vet, and even their late granddad throughout the day. But when a warm day comes and Violet melts, Jerzie must learn to cope with her grief and develop positive coping skills.

The stages of grief are complex, but using the simple analogy of building a snowman, Violet the Snowgirl is accessible and versatile. It helps children develop positive coping skills so they can process change, like moving to a new school, and offers strategies for dealing with more difficult loss, like divorce or death. At the back of the book, mental health professionals, educators, and parents will find discussion questions, diagrams to help children understand and track their emotions, and resources for when additional support might be needed.
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ISBN: 978-1-63198-517-1
Reading Level: Grade 2
Interest Level: Ages 5–10
Guided Reading Level: L
Lexile Measure: 580L
Illustrated: full color
Trim Size: 11.25" x 9.25"
Page Count: 36
Praise for Violet the Snowgirl

“Seeing our children experience negative emotion is challenging. With good intentions of trying to spare children from sadness, grief, or even anger, many adults attempt to change a child’s feelings rather than allowing the natural process of experiencing them. Lisa L. Walsh skillfully navigates this complicated process in a delightful book written for kids and the adults who love them. As a psychologist and play therapist, I’m always on the lookout for books that are fun for kids, as well as helpful for understanding emotions. I highly recommend this book for all families!”—Angela M. Yoder, Ph. D., RPT, associate professor of counseling and student development, Eastern Illinois University
Violet the Snowgirl is a wonderful journey into the power of imagination, understanding and identifying feelings, and discovering the circle of life. All of this occurs under the umbrella of involved and supportive adults. The accompanying exercises that follow the story provide great opportunities for deeper interaction and exploration of these important issues. Charming in every way.”—Connie Baker, Baccalaureate Field Practicum Coordinator and Senior Lecturer
Violet the Snowgirl kept me captivated until the last page! This short story allows children to see that it is normal to have a variety of feelings, and it models how to deal with their range of emotions. The characters learn that talking with others and working through their emotions helps them move beyond their grief and look back at the fond memories. I love that this story is creative in showing how to deal with loss through an age-appropriate event other than a death or divorce. This book will be read to many students in our school, as well as with my children at home.”—Kristin Dunker, director, Vermilion Association for Special Education
“As a former kindergarten teacher, I highly recommend this book for children of all ages. It is a touching story that illustrates the importance of making and keeping memories alive. In doing so, those memories can help children face trauma, loss, and change with the hope of better tomorrows. It also demonstrates a child’s need to have nurturing family relationships in order to build positive coping mechanisms. Both their grandmother and their mother provide love and support for Jerzie and Josiah in helping them overcome their feelings of loss.”—C. Fiedler, retired kindergarten teacher, Rantoul City Schools

“In the midst of disappointment and sorrow, Jerzie stumbles on a big life lesson when she realizes that the great treasures she loved and had feared were gone forever aren't really lost after all. Talking with young children about loss can be a tough conversation for adults to know how to start, and overwhelming for children. Violet the Snowgirl is a useful vehicle for such conversations, offering helpful tools in a child friendly story format. Throughout the story, the children model checking in with and identifying their emotions, expressing them, and finally finding a way to effectively think about and cope with them. The genius in this simple story is in its versatility. Violet the Snowgirl can be used to help children talk about any number of real-life situations including moving, divorce, and death. A helpful set of discussion questions is provided at the end to guide the processing of these kinds of difficult life events. This book is a must-have tool for parents, therapists, school counseling programs, or teachers who care for and work with elementary-age children.”—Sheila Garrett, LCSW 
“Talking about loss and sadness can be tough, especially with young children. Walsh’s Violet the Snowgirl beautifully captures the importance of acknowledging those difficult feelings and how, with love and support, those feelings can eventually transition to hope and fond memories. This is a wonderful story to help children understand that while losing someone or something is difficult, we always have our memories and hope for what is yet to come.”—Emily Willard, LCSW, school social worker, Rantoul, IL

Download a worksheet from the book.

  • Common Core State Standards


  • ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success

    MS.1, MS.2, MS.3, MS.4, MS.5, MS.6, BS.LS.1, BS.LS.2,BS.LS.7, BS.LS.9, BS.SMS.2, BS.SMS.5, BS.SMS.7, BS.SMS.9, BS.SMS.10, BS.SS.1, BS.SS.3, BS.SS.4, BS.SS.8, BS.SS.9

Related Resources

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User Reviews

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November 1, 2020 / Sue - Illinois
An insightful view of children's emotions

Violet the Snowgirl is a beautiful journey of Jerzie and Josiah's struggle of overcoming loss. You see how making memories with loved ones can get your through those difficult times and that it's ok to feel all of your emotions. The wonderful author, Lisa Walsh, not only provides excellent examples in the story but also many useful resources after the story ends. You can tell how much she loves children and cares about their mental health and her experience and knowledge shines through from the beginning of the book straight through to the end. The illustrations are wonderful as well. Vibrant colors keep your eyes on each page. Great job ladies. Highly recommend.

November 1, 2020 / Jessica Holmes - Rantoul, il

This book is beautifully written and I would highly recommend it. I can totally relate to those feelings as a child.


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