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Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse

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Overview

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 loves everything about school, especially her teacher, but when he asks her to wait a while before showing her new purse, she does something for ...

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Overview

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 loves everything about school, especially her teacher, but when he asks her to wait a while before showing her new purse, she does something for which she is very sorry later.

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

Editorial Reviews

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.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2Lilly loves everything about schooleven the squeaky chalk and the cafeteria food. But most of all, she loves her teacher, Mr. Slinger, who is a sharp dresser and greets his students with an uncharacteristic "Howdy." The little mouse will do anything for himuntil he refuses to allow her to interrupt lessons to show the class her new movie-star sunglasses, three shiny quarters, and purple plastic purse. Seething with anger, she writes a mean story about him and places it in his book bag at the end of the day. But when she looks in her purse, she discovers that he has written her a kind note and even left her a bag of treats. Filled with remorse, Lilly sets out to make amends. Rich vocabulary and just the right amount of repetition fuse perfectly with the watercolor and black-pen illustrations. With a few deft strokes, Henkes changes Lilly's facial expressions and body language to reveal a full range of emotions. When she realizes how unfair she has been, Lilly shrinks smaller and smaller. When all ends well, she leaps for joy in her familiar red boots right out of the picture's frame. Clever dialogue and other funny details will keep readers looking and laughing. As the cover and end papers attest, Lilly emerges once again a star.Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community-Technical College, CT
USA Today
“Lilly is one of the great female characters in literature—like Anna Karenina with whiskers or Scarlett O’Hara with paws.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688128982
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/19/1996
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: Library Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 781,904
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 540L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Henkes

Kevin Henkes has been praised both as a writer and as an illustrator. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon; a Caldecott Honor for Owen; two Newbery Honors, one for Olive's Ocean and one for The Year of Billy Miller; and a Geisel Honor for Penny and Her Marble. His other books include Old Bear, A Good Day, Chrysanthemum, and the beloved Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse.

Kevin Henkes has been praised both as a writer and as an illustrator. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon; a Caldecott Honor for Owen; two Newbery Honors, one for Olive's Ocean and one for The Year of Billy Miller; and a Geisel Honor for Penny and Her Marble. His other books include Old Bear, A Good Day, Chrysanthemum, and the beloved Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse.

Biography

Kevin Henkes still owns some of his favorite books from childhood. "They're brimming with all the telltale signs of true love: dog-eared pages, fingerprints on my favorite illustrations, my name and address inscribed on both front and back covers in inch-high lettering, and the faint smell of stale peanut butter on the bindings," he says in an interview on his web site.

Back in his peanut-butter sandwich days, Henkes dreamed of becoming an artist. By high school, he had combined his love of drawing with a newfound interest in writing, and at age 19, he took his portfolio to New York City in hopes of finding a publisher. Young Henkes returned home from his weeklong trip with a contract from Greenwillow Books, and he's worked as a children's writer and illustrator ever since.

Henkes's style has evolved over the years to include more humor, more whimsy and a lot more mice. Though he began illustrating his picture books with realistic drawings of children, he's since developed a recurring cast of mouse characters rendered in a more cartoon-like style -- though with a range of expressions that make the spirited Lilly, anxious Wemberly, fearless Sheila Rae and sensitive Chrysanthemum into highly believable heroines. Owen, the story of a little mouse who isn't ready to give up his tattered security blanket, won a Caldecott Honor Medal for its winsome watercolor-and-ink illustrations.

Many of Henkes's mouse books deal with such common childhood ordeals as starting school, being teased and getting lost. Chrysanthemum, about a mouse whose new schoolmates tease her about her name, was inspired by Henkes's own feelings when he started school. "The book is about family, and how starting something new and going out into the world can be very hard," he told an interviewer for The Five Owls. "I remember going to kindergarten -- my grandfather had a beautiful rose garden, and he gave me the last roses of the season to bring to the kindergarten teacher the next day. I don't even remember how it happened, but an older kid took these flowers from me on the playground, and I remember coming home, feeling awful." As a grown-up, Henkes is able to translate difficult childhood transitions into stories that are both honest and reassuring. In a review of Chrysanthemum, Kirkus Reviews noted: "Henkes's language and humor are impeccably fresh, his cozy illustrations sensitive and funny, his little asides to adults an unobtrusive delight."

Henkes has also written novels for older children, in which he "explores family relationships with breathtaking tenderness" (Publisher's Weekly). In The Birthday Room, for example, a twelve-year-old boy learns the reason for his mother's long estrangement from her brother, and helps effect a reconciliation. "Refreshingly, Henkes has given us a male protagonist who is reflective, creative and emotionally sensitive," wrote Karen Leggett in The New York Times Book Review. "Ben feels the anguish of his mother's long-simmering bitterness and his uncle's agonizing guilt. Yet at a time when it is almost a fad to blame dysfunctional families for problems, we learn that even though there are never simple answers and not many fairy-tale endings, families can heal."

Though his novels are more complex and serious than his picture books, all Henkes's works suggest an author with deep empathy for the intense emotions of childhood. As a Publisher's Weekly reviewer wrote, "Behind each book is a wide-open heart, one readers can't help but respond to, that makes all of Henkes's books of special value to children."

Good To Know

Henkes's wife, Laura Dronzek, is also an artist. She painted the cover illustration for Henkes' novel Sun and Spoon and illustrated his picture book Oh!.

Henkes has turned down requests to use his mouse characters in a television series, but some of his books are available in video form in Chrysanthemum and More Kevin Henkes Stories. The video's narrators include Meryl Streep, Sarah Jessica Parker and Mary Beth Hurt.

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse has been adapted into a stage play.

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    1. Hometown:
      Madison, Wisconsin
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 27, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Racine, Wisconsin
    1. Education:
      University of Wisconsin, Madison
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

Lilly the mouse adores her teacher, Mr. Slinger -- until he takes away the purple plastic purse she was proudly showing off to her class. Lilly is so angry she draws a nasty picture of Mr. Slinger and slips it in his bag. At the end of the day, Lilly gets her purse back, and inside is a sympathetic note and a bag of treats. As in all his other books, Henkes shows an incredible sensitivity to children's feelings.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2009

    Great book!

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    One of the Best Children's Books I Ever Read to My Children

    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!"

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2002

    A great book

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2001

    I use this in my preschool class

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2001

    Lilly's a perfect pick for your school-bound child!

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2013

    Our class loves this book! We love the catchy repeatative phrase

    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!

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  • Posted August 19, 2011

    My Favorite Childhood Book!

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2009

    My 3.5 year old son enjoyed this book

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2008

    A reviewer

    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*

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2007

    Great Fantasy

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2007

    A reviewer

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2003

    Great Read-Aloud for the classroom!

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2000

    Wonderful Read-Aloud!

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2010

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