Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse (Lilly)

by Kevin Henkes (Author) Kevin Henkes (Illustrator)

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse (Lilly)
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Series: Lilly
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 tittle--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.
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Publishers Weekly

Starred Review
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 bag--only 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.)

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2--Lilly loves everything about school--even 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 him--until 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

Review quotes

"Lilly is one of the great female characters in literature—like Anna Karenina with whiskers or Scarlett O'Hara with paws."—USA Today
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Greenwillow Books
Publication date
January 20, 2006
BISAC categories
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV002180 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Mice, Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, etc.
JUV035000 - Juvenile Fiction | School & Education
Library of Congress categories
Book Sense Book of the Year Award
Winner 1997 - 1997
California Young Reader Medal
Nominee 1999 - 1999
Red Clover Award
Nominee 1998 - 1998
Kentucky Bluegrass Award
Winner 1998 - 1998
Buckaroo Book Award
Nominee 1998 - 1999
Indies Choice Book Awards
Finalist 2010 - 2010
E.B. White Read Aloud Award
Finalist 2014 - 2014

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