Reviews for Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse


Horn Book Guide Reviews 1997
Enchanted with school, Lilly wants to be a teacher until one fateful Monday when she gets in trouble. She plots her revenge until her teacher's final gesture, a thoughtful note and a packet of tasty snacks, makes her feel miserably small. With help, Lilly puts her world to rights in a sensitively crafted, dazzlingly logical conclusion. A skilled caricaturist, Henkes conveys variations in mood with economy and charm. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 1996 #5
The Ramona Quimby of picture books, that beguiling mouse-child, Lilly, a major presence in Chester's Way and Julius, the Baby of the World (both Greenwillow), takes center stage in a deliciously funny look at the traumas that can upset even the most dedicated young scholars. "Lilly," proclaims the minimal introduction, "loved school." And the initial pages provide ample justification for her attitude through a series of masterfully executed vignettes celebrating pointy pencils, squeaky chalk, long shiny hallways for running, one's own personal desk, and lunch with fish sticks and chocolate milk every Friday. But most of all, school means Mr. Slinger, whose patterned shirts, brilliant ties, elegant glasses, and pupil-centered methods, particularly the "Lightbulb Lab where great ideas are born," confer instant popularity. Thoroughly enchanted, Lilly wants to be a teacher until one fateful Monday when she brings her weekend shopping treasures to school: sunglasses decorated with diamonds, three shiny quarters, and a purple plastic purse that plays music when opened. Naturally, she can't wait to demonstrate her wonders; naturally, the unflappable Mr. Slinger has to quash her efforts. Not one to be easily thwarted, Lilly plots her revenge until Mr. Slinger's final gesture, a thoughtful note and a packet of tasty snacks, makes her feel miserably small - a process made visible in an emotionally charged, carefully planned sequence. With the help of her parents and the understanding Mr. Slinger, Lilly puts her world to rights in a sensitively crafted, dazzlingly logical conclusion that teaches more about good manners - and good teachers - than any number of manuals. Kevin Henkes just gets better and better with each book. A skilled caricaturist, he conveys variations in mood with economy and charm. His concepts have enough subtle humor to entertain adults without ignoring his intended audience; his texts are precise and imaginative; his illustrations remarkable for expressive lines, delicate hatching, and superb composition. As Lilly and her classmates would say, "Wow!" m.m.b. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Magazine Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 1996 June
0-688-12898-X ~ Lilly (Julius, The Baby of the World, 1991, etc.) is back, and in school. She loves everything about it, especially her wonderful teacher, Mr. Slinger. One morning Lilly is happier than ever because her grandmother has given her movie star sunglasses, three shiny quarters, and a purple plastic purse that plays a tune when it's opened. She's dying to show her new things to her friends. But when she talks out of turn and distracts the class, Mr. Slinger confiscates her treasures for the day. Suddenly he becomes ``BIG FAT MEAN MR. STEALING TEACHER!'' in Lilly's eyes, and she leaves him a note telling him so. Then she finds Mr. Slinger's own note to her, along with some snacks: ``Today was a difficult day./Tomorrow will be better.'' Helped by her parents, a remorseful Lilly manages a heartwarming reconciliation with her teacher. Henkes once again demonstrates his direct line to the roller- coaster emotions of small children. With a slightly more complicated plot than those of Lilly's previous adventures, this one employs understated humor throughout. The illustrations do an exceptional job of amplifying the text: Lilly dances with excitement, flashes with anger, wanes in remorse, and leaps right off the page with joy. (Picture book. 5+) Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1996 June #2
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.) Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 1996 August
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 Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

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