Perfect Picture Book Friday – Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse

Hurray!  It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!  And today’s Perfect Picture Book is one of my all time favorites.  (So is next week’s and really I wish I could have put them both up in one day but all in good time…!)  Assuming even 9 people besides me post books today, our archive list will be over 100 books already – isn’t that great?!  It’s becoming a real resource! 🙂  Thanks SO MUCH to everyone who is participating!

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse
Written and Illustrated By:  Kevin Henkes
Greenwillow Books, 1996, Fiction
Suitable For: ages 4-8
Topics/Themes: following the rules, consequences
Opening:  “Lilly loved school.  Lilly loved the privacy of her very own desk.  She loved the fishsticks and chocolate milk every Friday in the lunchroom.  And, most of all, she loved her teacher, Mr. Slinger.”


Brief Synopsis:  (From Amazon.com Review)  Lilly loves everything about school, especially her teacher, Mr. Slinger–until he takes away her musical purse because she can’t stop playing with it in class. Lilly decides to get revenge with a nasty drawing of “Big Fat Mean Mr. Stealing Teacher!” but when she finds the kind note he put in her purse, she’s filled with remorse and has to find a way to make things right again.


Links To Resources: Lilly Classroom Activites, Color Lilly, Lilly Maze, Lilly Dot-to-Dot, Make Your Own Purse & other activities, more Lilly activities (please scroll down past Chrysanthemum)

Why I Like This Book:  Kevin Henkes perfectly captures the excitement of having something new and treasured to share with friends and the overwhelming difficulty of staying within the rules on such an occasion.  Lilly’s exuberance feels so perfectly real.  Without preaching or moralizing this story shows the importance of behaving properly, that actions have consequences, and that it is within a child’s own power to correct a mistake – that just because she didn’t handle a situation quite right the first time doesn’t mean she can’t do it better tomorrow.

I love Lilly… 🙂

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

(And if you posted a Perfect Picture Book, please don’t forget to add your link to the list below!)

Now, then, onto a couple other things.

First, the results of the contest poll have shown conclusively that you are inconclusive 🙂  Only “No thank you I’m too busy” got only 1 vote 🙂  Since everything else was pretty evenly split across the options, including the easy-going types who were willing to do whatever worked for everyone else, I think we’ll do a contest every 2nd or 3rd month.  We’ll skip January to give everyone a rest, and then do one in February (Groundhog Day and Valentine’s Day leap instantly to mind :)) and see where we go from there.  Sound good?

Second, when I started my blog last year, I did a few author/illustrator/author-illustrator interviews along with book giveaways that people seemed to like.  (Karen Orloff, Cori Doerffeld, Ryan Sias…)  I’d like to get back to doing some of those because I always like meeting the creative minds behind the picture books we all love and we can learn so much from them!  So once a month on Saturdays we’ll have someone awesome over to chat.  Of course there will be delicious breakfast items on offer (aren’t there always?)

If there are any particular questions you’d like answered by our visiting authors or illustrators, please be sure to let me know!  What are the things you secretly wonder about while browsing through the bookstore?  I want everyone to get the most they can out of the interviews, so please don’t be shy – shout your questions right out! 🙂

Have a great weekend, everyone!  (And don’t forget to post your Perfect Picture Book Link below if you have one!)

67 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse

  1. Loni says:

    Oh this book is a wonderful choice! We loved it at our house. It was checked out of the library multiple times. A great add to the list.

    I love Lilly too! 🙂

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Penny Klostermann says:

    I Love! Love! Love! Lilly! And all things Kevin Henkes. This is one of my all time favorites, too! To me Kevin Henkes did everything right in this book. I can read it over and over and just be more impressed each time. I have gifted it many times because it deserves to be shared :•)

  3. patientdreamer says:

    Okay so I have just posted and Slop goes the Soup has come in at number 8… so only need one more to make 9…yay!
    Love your book choice Susanna, I can just see Lilly's face reactions in this beautiful book.

  4. Catherine Johnson says:

    I should so read that book lol. Faux pas du jour.

    You are so great doing all these fun things for us. I have a question for the author/illustrators. Is it totally important to have a story or can you just entertain and make people think. My current idea is an adventure with a lot of imaginative things in, but there isn't really a story per se.

  5. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    I need to read this book for my current PB draft. I like the idea of that contest schedule and those interviews. After reading parts of Eileen Christelow's website, I was intrigued by some of the illustrator process. I also second Catherine's question. I'll be back to read all the selections as I need to return to my manuscript right now.

  6. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    You should read this book – you would love it! 🙂

    That is a great question. I will add it to my interview list. I would say that story is important and that entertaining and making people think are necessary additions. Nowadays, a book has to work on many levels to get picked up by a publisher. That said, I see a fair number of books on the shelves in B&N that make me wonder how they got there! 🙂 I will be interested to see what other authors and illustrators think about this!

  7. Beth Stilborn says:

    All I need to read is the name “Kevin Henkes” and I know I'll love the book. He is right up there in my top most-loved picture book writers. I will look for Lilly next time I'm at the library.

    I'm so delighted with the way PPBF is growing! Now to read all the PBs people have posted this week, and add to my Must Read list.

    This year I'm going to try to find mainly picture books that focus on the arts (although I'll no doubt veer from that occasionally).

  8. Clara says:

    This sounds like a great book with a lesson carefully in place. That's hard to do without sounding preachy. I need to read this book and learn about that for a book I'm writing. Thanks for the review and the pick of the week for you.

    Also want to thank you for all the ideas you share with us on your blog, ie, the contests, the pitches and the author interviews etc. I just love your blog and don't miss a one. A big hearty Thank you.

  9. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Aww, thank you so much Ciara. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your kind words – you have made my day! 🙂

    Lilly is great for a read-aloud and also a worthy example for studying the craft.

    Hope to see some contest entries from you in the future and please feel free to join in with PPBs if you're ever so inclined!

  10. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I know – I love Kevin Henkes. The one about the Kitten is so cute! And I love Olive's Ocean which is a MG novel.

    I'm delighted with PPBF too! We're getting so many great books! Focusing on the arts sounds great – a bit like Jayne at ABCs of Reading – great idea!

  11. Renee LaTulippe says:

    I keep putting this book in my Amazon cart and then taking it out again…now in it goes again! The premise sounds quite funny, and I bet I could learn a thing or two about writing from this one, as these “real-life” scenarios are REALLY hard for me to write in any engaging way.

  12. Natalie says:

    I love Lilly too! I have actually gifted this book to a couple of my nieces. 🙂 I will really enjoy your author/illustrator interviews–I love to hear about an author's writing process and always find the way a book came to be fascinating

  13. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    You're so kind! I enjoyed your post today about I Want My Hat Back. I'm still deciding how to respond since on the one hand I think there should be creative freedom but on the other I'm not sure I'd want to read a picture book with murder in it to my kids 🙂 But I haven't read the book, so I can't judge!

  14. Beth Stilborn says:

    I have read it, and I've heard it read on npr by Daniel Pinkwater, and I never once thought of it “having murder in it”. It has an ending that makes one suspect that something has happened. I'd suggest you read it ahead of time and see what you think.

  15. Julie Hedlund says:

    Wow, some really good books got “taken” this week, including Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. 🙂

    I'm sorry to miss yet another PPBF, but I'm still buried under the 12 x 12 stuff and beginning of the year planning. Will be back next week with bells on.

  16. tiltonph says:

    I saw this book in the library, but didn't really look at it. My bad. I should have known that Kevin Henkes would create something wonderful. Sounds like a book with many lessons for kids without over doing it. Now, I will have to check it out. Love it the list is growing and so are the contributors!

  17. Angela Brown says:

    The fact that it involves my favorite color, purple, instantly snagged me. Knowing it's about learning consequences for actions makes it even better. Certainly need to look into getting this one.

  18. Penny Klostermann says:

    I had a request for the opening lines to of The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School. I have now updated my link with Laura Murray's opening lines. You will see why I love her rhyme!

  19. Elizabeth Stevens Omlor says:

    Susanna!

    Each Friday, I come and take a peek at what you guys are doing, but I must admit…I am slightly intimidated! Could I suggest a book that has already been described on previous Fridays? Great way to get people talking about what they love! =)

  20. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Elizabeth – we'd totally love to have you join PPBFs! Please don't be intimidated 🙂 It's really not hard. Just pick a book you love and follow the format. It would be terrific if you could pick books that haven't already been done, though… I know it's hard when someone's already posted one of your favorites, but it's more helpful… I think I'm going to add an alphabetized list of ALL the books that have been done so far at the end of the Perfect Picture Book tab so it will be easy to check before you choose!

  21. Julie says:

    This sounds like a book that I would even like for myself! What woman wouldn't want a musical purse to carry around her most precious possessions in?! This is such a creative concept! Thanks Susanna!

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