The image of a little white mouse in red cowboy boots and carrying a purple plastic purse is hard to forget. That’s just what Kevin Henkes has done in creating Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse.
Lilly the mouse loves her school and her teacher, Mr. Slinger. She loves her possessions, including her purse, which happens to play music when opened. Today though, she is a bit too excited and interrupts Mr. Slinger a few too many times. Finally he confiscates her purse, much to Lilly’s despair. Out of frustration and anger, Lilly creates a mean picture of Mr. Slinger, which she covertly sneaks into his case. However, when she gets her purse back, she finds he’s put a note inside – a nice note. Now Lilly has to figure out what to do about her drawing and make peace with her favorite teacher.
Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse uses watercolor and ink illustrations also done by Henkes. Facial expressions are his way of getting Lilly’s emotions across. Children won’t mistake the sentiment they see when Lilly’s eyes go a slightly swirly red when she gets really mad. Henkes also provides good attention to detail, from the tiny designs on mouse clothing to the miniscule cheese snacks Mr. Slinger serves. It’s the kind of story that will make kids want to leap and skip and girls to want their own purple plastic purse to tote around. Sentences are easy for children 4-8 and include fun sound words like the “clickety-clickety-click” of Lilly’s boots. Children’s books like Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse are sure to put a smile on every reader’s face. It’s no wonder it has quickly become a classic.