Before and after school, while her parents work, ten-year-old Sonia stays with her next-door neighbour, Mrs. Kaminski, and her granddaughter, Marta. When Sonia accidentally breaks Mrs. Kaminski’s seemingly precious blue vase, Marta offers to keep it a secret for a price. But Sonia is not able to satisfy Marta’s escalating demands—more gifts, more money and favours—and when Marta spreads lies about Sonia in school, her classmates taunt her. Finally, after a teacher makes a discovery in Sonia’s knapsack, she is forced to find the courage she needs to confront her bully.
This illustrated chapter book for middle grade readers addresses the corrosive effects of bullying and suggests—with poignancy and sensitivity—the means by which it can be confronted.
Winner of the Christy Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize (the BC Book Prize), Katerina Jovanovic lives in Vancouver with her family and trains preschool teachers at a local college. This is her first chapter book for young readers.
Josée Bisaillon has won many awards for her illustration work and has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Awards in 2008 and 2010. She lives in Montreal with her husband and their three charming children. She loves drawing cats and cutting things out of any scrap of paper she can get her hands on.
Countless books have tackled the subject of bullying, in all its forms. Whether verbal, physical, emotional, or social, when one child is forced to endure abuse by another (or many others), the effects can be devastating. In Vancouver author Katarina Jovanovic’s The Blue Vase, a young girl experiences incomprehension and torment after a friend turns on her.
“Jovanovic has written a chapter book that children can read for themselves and learn from. Governor-General’s Literary Award for Illustration nominee Josée Bisaillon’s black and
white illustrations (are) engaging. The drawings depict Sonia’s internal anguish (and) show Sonia in loving situations. Girls especially will identify with Sonia’s plight. A teacher could also make good use of The Blue Vase as a read-aloud book in the classroom to augment lessons about bullying.The Blue Vase will be a useful addition to a school library collection.” Highly
Recommended –the Manitoba Library
Association CM Review