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By age 17, only about 1 in 17 seventeen year olds can read and gain information from specialized text, for example the... More

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Author: Kevin Henkes

Illustrator: Kevin Henkes

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers ´┐½1996

Material: hard cover

Summary: Lilly is so excited about her new purple purse that she is having trouble waiting until the correct time. When she disobeys her teacher by playing with it, he takes the purse away until school is over. She gets mad at him and draws an unflattering picture of him and writes mean words on it. When she gets her purse back and opens it she finds a nice note from the teacher and feels very bad. Her parents help her write an apology to the teacher and also help make a snack he will enjoy. She goes to school and apologizes and gets to share with the class her new purse, only this time she waits until she is allowed to. This is a picture book that any child who has something for share time can relate to.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 7; read yourself: 6 to 8

Interest Level: 3 to 6

Age of Child: Read with a 5-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: My daughter picked this up from the library because it is about a purple purse. She stopped me throughout the story wanting me to tell her how it was going to end. At first she thought the teacher was being mean, and she was curious about how Lilly would be punished. After she finished the book she said "I really liked that story because she ended up getting her purse back and got to show it to the class." She was so excited that Lilly got her purse back and got to share it with the class that she jumped off the couch and started dancing. She said would be embarrassed to have to apologize like that to someone.

Adult Reader Reaction: I enjoyed the story and liked that there were consequences to the mistakes Lilly made! I really liked that she tells her parents and they are right there helping her fix her mistake. This book prompted my daughter to ask lots of questions, which means she was listening. I didn´┐½t think she would like it as much as she did. She reacted like it was a real story about a real girl!

Pros: This is a great story that kids will immediately connect with, because they get excited like Lilly. It also has a nice lesson about making mistakes and apologizing.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. All parents should have this book in their library. I am not sure boys will like the story but the teacher is a man so that helps keep their interest.


Educational Themes: There are lots of lessons in this book. Based on my daughter's reaction, it is easy to get kids to talk about what happens. In general, you can talk about classroom rules and respecting your teacher. Lilly herself opens the door to talk about following the rules, what "mean" really is, being disruptive, dealing with your emotions, and patience.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book series, life lessons

Date(s) Reviewed: March 2009

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