Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse
  • Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse
  • Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse
  • Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse
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Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse

4.7 19
by Kevin Henkes

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Lilly loves everything about school, especially her cool teacher, Mr. Slinger. But when Lilly brings her purple plastic purse and its treasures to school and can't wait until sharing time, Mr. Slinger confiscates her prized possessions. Lilly's fury leads to revenge and then to remorse and she sets out to make amends.

Lilly, the star of Chester's Way

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Lilly loves everything about school, especially her cool teacher, Mr. Slinger. But when Lilly brings her purple plastic purse and its treasures to school and can't wait until sharing time, Mr. Slinger confiscates her prized possessions. Lilly's fury leads to revenge and then to remorse and she sets out to make amends.

Lilly, the star of Chester's Way and Julius, the Baby of the World, is back. And this time she has her name in the title - something she's wanted all along. If you thought Lilly was funny before, you are in for a treat. So hurry up and start reading. Lilly can't wait for you to find out more about her.

Editorial Reviews

USA Today
“Lilly is one of the great female characters in literature—like Anna Karenina with whiskers or Scarlett O’Hara with paws.”
New York Times Book Review
“In all of children’s literature there is just a handful of characters we think of as family—Madeline, Winnie-the-Pooh, and Charlotte come to mind—and when this young generation is old enough to reflect on the ones it loved, Lilly will probably lead the pack.”
Ann Pleshette Murphy
Mr. Henkes manages to convey the depth of Lilly's emotions in illustrations that are pure delight. -- New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lilly the mouse idolizes her teacher Mr. Slinger, but when she comes to school flaunting three jingly quarters, movie-star glasses and a purple plastic purse "that played a jaunty tune when it was opened," she interrupts Mr. Slinger's lessons on "Types of Cheese" and words that rhyme with "mice." After one too many disruptions, he confiscates the purse until the day's end. Lilly, humiliated, takes revenge by slipping a mean drawing into Mr. Slinger's book bagonly to open her purse and find a conciliatory note from her hero. Caldecott honoree Henkes (Owen) understands Lilly's enthusiasm for her prize possessions, but astutely shows that Lilly goes too far when she acts up in class ("She's in trouble," whispers a classmate in a voice-bubble aside). The perfectionistic watercolor-and-ink illustrations, in vignettes and panels, are as sharp as the narration. Henkes communicates Lilly's emotions through her eyes, so that when she goes from "sad" to "furious," her eyebrows shift from U-shaped dips to hard slants; he also enlivens his scenes with tiny details, like Mr. Slinger's copy of Stuart Little. The author/artist offers useful, timeless advice for apologizing to a friend and resolving a conflict. A sympathetic and wise treatment. Ages 4-up. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
Lilly loves everything about school and her teacher, Mr. Slinger. One day Lilly brings her new purple plastic purse to school. She is so excited to show and tell everyone about it that she can't keep quiet. When Mr. Slinger takes the purse from her, Lilly is angry and resentful. During writing lab, Lilly draws an unflattering picture of Mr. Slinger and sneaks it into his book-bag. Mr. Slinger returns Lilly's purse to her at the end of the day. On the way home, Lilly discovers a treat and an encouraging note from Mr. Slinger. She is embarrassed and sorry for her actions. With her mother's understanding and encouragement, Lilly writes a story and draws a flattering picture of Mr. Slinger in hopes of his forgiveness. The ending is joyful and restores Lilly's positive feelings for school life.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Lilly loves school until her favorite teacher takes away her purple plastic purse. That purse and her glittery sunglasses make her feel like a star, and she lets everyone know it. The charm of this story is in the jaunty artwork and the believability of Lilly mouse as 'every child' who wants to be liked but can be such a "know-it-all" that she makes herself thoroughly disliked. With her purse confiscated, she draws a nasty picture of mean Mr. Slinger, who, at the end of the day, puts a note in her purse that says, "Today was a difficult day. Tomorrow will be better." How embarrassed she feels. It's time for an apology and Lilly does it with style. What a role model is Mr. Slinger!
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Lilly, heroine of two other Henkes picture books, returns for a staring role in the story of a small girl who adores everything about school, especially her playful teacher, Mr. Slinger. One day, when Mr. Slinger, imposes a limit on Lilly's exuberance, her feelings change completely. Lilly's angry reactions are real and so is her teacher's kind resolution. Once again, Henkes hits the emotions of early education on the mark, and helps children think about their relationships with important adults in their lives.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Kevin Henkes' characters always delight students and teachers with their real-life personalities, foibles, and situations. The stories are funny and sweet, and readers can recognize their own experiences in the characters. In Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse (Greenwillow, 1996) Lilly, who loves school and her teacher, has gone shopping with her Grandmother. Lilly comes home with a new purse and she can't wait to show it off to her classmates. Mr. Slinger reminds Lilly to wait until sharing time, but Lilly's enthusiasm gets the best of her and the teacher must take the purse away from her. Heartbroken, Lilly retaliates by drawing a mean picture of her teacher and slipping it into his school bag. When Mr. Slinger returns the purse to Lilly at the end of the day along with a kind note and treats, Lilly feels remorse, runs home, and confesses all to her family. She gives herself a time-out and then draws a new, more complimentary picture of Mr. Slinger. Lilly apologizes profusely, her teacher accepts, and during sharing time the purse is presented to the class. This audio version features excellent narration, mouse-like voices, and delightful sound effects mirroring the illustrations. Listeners must have the book available while listening to the tape because the illustrations are wonderful and reflect all the emotion that Lilly feels throughout the story. For schools that use audio books, this is a must purchase along with all of Kevin Henkes' other terrific tales.-Jane Enfield, Howe Community School, Minneapolis, MN Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.35(w) x 10.31(h) x 0.35(d)
540L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years


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Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this! All of Kevin Henkes books are terrific but the ones with the little mice are the best. They never talk down to children. They are intelligent, articulate and just fun to read. Perfect for a little girl.
MysteryLover11 More than 1 year ago
From the moment I read LILLY'S PURPLE PLASTIC PURSE to my children (they were four years old at the time), I knew this book was a classic. The story of Lilly, a mouse so excited about life, about being a little girl, about school, and about her teacher, entranced both of my children, boy and girl. And when Lilly got a brand-new purple plastic purse and brought it to school with her, she proceeded to get into a little bit of trouble because of her innocent excitement. It was so sweet to see how the issue with her beloved teacher was resolved. And what a nice resolution! I think I read that book every single night to them, among the others we would read. As they grew older and started reading other books, I would suggest LILLY'S PURPLE PLASTIC PURSE, not only for the lessons learned, but because I missed that book in our nightly routine (I hold LILLY right up there with GOODNIGHT MOON). To this day, I talk to my now-11-year-olds about LILLY, and we still laugh about her. It is not uncommon to hear me say to them in many situations in their lives now, "Wow! That's about all I can say -- Wow!"
Guest More than 1 year ago
My daughter thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though she is a little young( 4). Has a moral too. A "long" book, but good to keep occupied for a few nights. The book has also been turned into a play.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great! The story has enough action and a great climax to keep the kids attention. The kids can relate to lilly when she asks the questions she does!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lilly is an outstanding, endearing charcater, whose adoration for her teacher is quite comparable to the behavior of a real child. Henkes consistently creates vibrant, living characters, whose 'problems' are easily recognized by youngsters. I look forward to his next story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Our class loves this book! We love the catchy repeatative phrase. It has a great moral to the story; you shouldn't disturb the teacher while he/she is talking. It has great details about the upside and down side to school that kids can relate to. Wanting to share right away instead of waiting our turn is a problem all kids have faced at one time or another. Lilly apologizes for the mistake she made- this teaches kids that sometimes we make mistakes and we should try to fix them. We love it and we think you will too!
SamahNYC More than 1 year ago
I remember reading this book in the first grade or so (long time ago). It would sit on a book shelf in my classroom and everyday during Library/Reading Time I would run to that book shelf, pull out this book and sit down and read it. I absolutely loved the story. It's about having a little something that you treasure, which every child and adult can relate to. It is probably also the reason why I'm obsessed with buying bags! This book may be the cause of my empty bank account but I love it and will buy it for any little girl I love. You should too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Understandable and realistic storyline about a mouse who did not listen to her teacher and had to be reprimanded. Taught various emotions, including anger, remorse, regret, and happiness.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book for the start of school days. Insert a male teacher's name in for Mr. Slinger, the teacher in the book. Captivates young elementary readers. Great for read-a-louds. Great moral learning too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a teacher this book really touched my heart. My daughters were mesmerized by Lilly and could really relate as they too had the 'coolest ever' male teacher. This book will keep their interest, make them laugh and teach them that everyone can have a bad day and thats okay. I have also found that this book and a Barnes and Noble gift certificate makes a perfect end of the year gift for teachers that have touched your child's life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kids of all ages really relate to Lilly and her problem. I've read this book to 5th grade students who raved about the pictures and roared at Lilly's antics! Love this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic read-aloud for the first few days of school. It will be a favorite of the children and will leave everyone feeling warm all over! I just smile when I think of this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i thought that this book was a wonderful exapmle of love and loss. it gives me a deep understanding for love in the material world. i think that this is REALLY meant to be a synopsis of life on the upper east side. however, i think that the obsession goes to far with the love for her teacher. lily could wake up with a humungo burder on her heart. reading this book made me feel BAD *cough*