Available October 2020. 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 and Josiah feel angry, frustrated, and sad. It feels like they’ve lost a loved one and they wonder why they even made her in the first place. Mom didn’t tell Josiah to stop crying, or tell Jerzie to cheer up. Their sadness just seemed right.
Later that night, Jerzie still feels sad, but when she remembers the magical day Violet came to be, she can’t help but smile a little. She helps Josiah remember how much fun they had with Grandma too, and she realizes that even though Violet is gone, just like her birthday, the memories will always be with her.
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 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.