4 years & up
Charlotte Sullivan Wild & Charlene Chua
Can you remember having a crush on someone? What about if you’re queer, do you remember navigating those moments? For me, I remember looking at boys and being like “Oh, I’m supposed to like one? Uhh…that one!” At the same time, there were pretty girls that I might not have been actual friends with at the time but I really hoped that they wanted to be my best friend and also maybe thought that I was pretty too? That’s totally straight logical thinking.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and Violet has one special classmate that she wants to go on adventures with: Mira. The only problem is that whenever Violet is around Mira she freezes and then worries that Mira doesn’t want to hang out with her. Violet makes Mira the most special valentine, but will she be able to give it to her?
The point being, I wasn’t prepared for how I was feeling. In the nineties, when I was a kid, and up until now, there has been very little page space dedicated to LGBTQIA+ kids seeing their childhood reflected. Charlene Chua’s illustrations are absolutely adorable, and the tender way that Violet thinks about Mira encapsulates childhood whimsy and how love feels as an adult at the same time.
Some people might not know but my spouse Lee and I worked together at a school. The kids knew we were married and they asked why people got married. I would always answer, “because it’s like having a sleepover with your best friend every single night.” They understood that, just like Violet understands that she wants a special person to go on adventures with.
I can’t overstate how much this story impacted me, and made me reflect on moments as a child where I can now recognize my queerness. I put my face on the internet in the hopes that one day someone younger will see me as possibility: an out, proud, queer person doing what they love.
Love, Violet was kindly sent by the author, but all opinions are my own! It’s being published by Macmillan Kids and it’s out in the world today!
Charlotte Sullivan Wild was first struck speechless by a crush in preschool. In grade school she may have cut and pasted a special valentine for someone and been too shy to sign it. But she’s not shy about love anymore! Her first picture book is The Amazing Idea of You, illustrated by Mary Lundquist (Bloomsbury, 2019). Originally from snowy Minnesota, she now lives wherever her wife is stationed, from Texas to Italy, to see what they might find–together.
Charlene Chua‘s debut picture book is Hug?. When she is not making art, she enjoys cooking, reading, and playing with her cats. She now lives with her husband (and cats!) in Hamilton, Ontario.