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I Love You the Purplest
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I Love You the Purplest

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  519 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews
Early in the evening two young brothers and their mama finish supper in the sturdy red cabin and set out to fish. While digging for worms, rowing the boat and pulling in fish, each brother asks his mama which one is the best at each task and, as they are being tucked into bed, which one she loves the best.
Barbara Joosse's heartwarming text is beautifully complimented by M
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by Chronicle Books (first published September 1st 1995)
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Jul 15, 2009 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Sweet story of how a mother's love for her children can be equal but different. Draws forth the qualities that makes each child unique and how the mother loves those aspects "best" in each child, but loves both children with equal strength and attachment. A touching and thoughtful story with a fun, loving and clever mother (I thought it was great that she goes fishing with her boys) and great for competitive siblings who might wonder who mom or dad loves most!
Nov 15, 2009 Connie rated it liked it
I'll admit it. I think this book is a little syrupy. The mother is just too too patient with her ultra-competitive little ones. All they care about is being the best, and yet, she always manages to have the answer which avoids choosing favorites. (Frankly, she sets a standard that's hard to live up to.) Neither son is the best rower - one rows deep, the other rows fast. Neither is the best fisherman - one gets more fish, but the other got the smart fish. And so on.

And yet, despite the fact that
Feb 22, 2008 Daniel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
This book is destined to be a long-lived classic.

The illustrations are wonderful watercolors that would stand alone as beautiful paintings.

The story is perfect. Anyone who has more than one child can understand and appreciate. Since the first time we read this, my wife and I still refer to it when we kiss the children goodnight. Sometimes we use the examples in this book ("I love you the bluest" "I love you the redest") and sometimes we make up our own.

And on top of all this, there is also a nic
Apr 21, 2009 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
I actually snuck-read this book when I was sorting the Scholastic order last night. I loved it! This book displays how a mother can love both her children- who are nothing alike- to the same degree. Her sons are competing for their mothers attention and love during a fishing trip one day, and the mother is able to pull out and focus on their individual strengths and tell them how they are both special in their own way. One son is much more reserved and focused, and the mother explains how she ...more
Kerri Harshaw
This is a great book to teach imaging and visualizing to students with. The text is extremely descriptive which allows for the mind to paint a picture of what is happening in the story. This is a comforting book of how a mom sees the best qualities in bother of her sons, even though they are different (neither boy is better than the other). Each page is full of beautiful,soft illustrations.
Mar 04, 2016 A.J. rated it really liked it
This book addresses the love and kinship that resonates in a family. I would be careful about reading this book in class because it talks about a boy's close relationship with their mother. However, maybe a teacher could use this book to relate it other types of relationships students may have with other family figures.
Apr 03, 2008 Jana rated it it was amazing
This book is one of the reasons I chose the name Max for my second child. I had a first child who was so easy and calm that I knew my second had to be the opposite. A few years ago a friend of mine found this book and changed all the Julians to Carters so when we read this book it is Carter and Max. Perfect!!
Jul 24, 2009 Shayne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Moms
Recommended to Shayne by: my mom
Shelves: childrens
Love this book having a sister who is very different from me and two boys of my own, I can understand how the mother loves them equally but differently. Even though I know I am my parents favorite child! :)
Feb 24, 2008 Rebekah rated it it was amazing
I remember when, it was either in 4th grade or 2nd grade or something, my teacher read this book to us and I absolutely adored it. It is my FAVORITE picture book that there ever was, is, or will be!
Nov 20, 2016 Bobbi rated it really liked it
A touching story about how a parent explains which child she loves best.
Oct 26, 2016 Abby rated it it was amazing
This book is an excellent read. It has great illustrations and a great story line. I gave it five stars because of those two previous sentences and because my mom used to tell my little brothers and myself that she loved us the brownest because there was three of us. This book brings back fond memories. Throughout this story, two boys are trying to be the favorite in their mother's eyes by besting the other brother. The genre of this picture book is realistic fiction. The ages that might be most ...more
I have read this many times and just reread to my class today. It is the story of a mother's love...told through simple, yet almost poetic language and gorgeous watercolor illustrations. The two brothers keep asking their mom who is the best and who she loves the most. She responds cleverly, highlighting the fact that she loves them both, equally but differently because they are different. One she loves the bluest; the other the reddest.

For the past couple of years, I have used this as a spr
Jul 13, 2013 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Joosse, Barbara M. (1998). I love you the purplest. New York: Scholastic.

A mother has a gift of finding the strength of each of her two children. She is able to make both feel special and know that they are each the most loved child.

This book is certainly appropriate for early elementary right up to middle years. The imagery defined by the precise language makes this book visual without even looking at the exquisite watercolours by Mary Whyte. I am always on the lookout to find picture books to
In the story "I Love You the Purplest" by Barbara Joosse, There is two little boys who live with their mother. Julian is the fast, competitive, impulsive brother and Max is a smart, cautious thinker. They go out fishing with their mother one night after dinner. That eventually arises the question of which son mommy loves more.

This is a really good book to explain a mother's love for her kids. It is a reassuring book for young children. Many books for children are made for the same thing.
I thought the book was very sweet, and it made me think of my mother's love for my brother and I growing up. In the book two boys are competing for their mother's love. During a fishing trip, they are asking their mother who is better at fishing. At bedtime they are asking their mother who she loves more. Throughout the whole book, their mother was very patient and she reminded her sons that she loves them equally no matter how different from each other they are. She points out different ...more
Feb 03, 2009 Krysten rated it really liked it
Summary: Two brothers, Max and Julian, go out fishing with their mother. They compete and ask their mother who is the best at worm catching, fishing, and rowing. To each question she points out how each boy is best at a different part of the activity. Finally, when they are in bed, they boys each ask who she loves the most and she tells Max she loves him the reddest, and Julian that she loves him the bluest, describing features of each of the colors that make the boys feel full of love and joy.
Melanie, Aaron, Annie, and Mary Project
Read by: Melanie
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Author: Barbara M. Joosse Illustrator: Mary Whyte
Interest Level: K-2
Grade Level Equivalent: 3.5
Lexile: 600L

This story of two boys and their mother who take a day to go fishing. The mother is very encouraging of both boys and when she compliments one, she is sure to compliment the other. She tells them both how much she loves them by describing a color and what can be seen that is that color. The sentences are a lot more simple than some other book
Naomi Kenorak
Apr 18, 2013 Naomi Kenorak rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
This charming book tells the story of a Mama who goes fishing with her two small and very competitive sons. The boys want to know who got the most worms and who is the best rower. Later, at bedtime, each son whispers a question to his mother: Who do you love the best, Mama? Throughout, the mother is calm and joyous in answering her sons. She says that one son’s worms are the liveliest and the other’s are the juiciest. One son rows deepest and the other rows fastest. And finally, she loves one ...more
Zara Younus
Aug 21, 2012 Zara Younus rated it really liked it
This book is a great way to show students that although different, two people or any two things can be loved in their own way. The mother in the book had two sons who loved each one equally, but complimented each one's tasks differently, making sure not to discourage the other.

After reading this book, have the students discuss in a small group which two things they love, but love differently because of what they do. Examples may include: two toys, two pets, two siblings, two books, two games. Th
Jul 19, 2010 Nicole rated it it was amazing
When Julian and Max go to the cabin with their mother, they try to get her to say who she likes best. Using red and blue imagery, their mother is able to describe how she loves both of the boys differently. The words paint vivid pictures, “Max exploded from the cabin”.

Even when trying to corner their mother into describing who has the most fishing worms, the clever mother answers positively to both boys by answering, “Max, your can is full of the liveliest worms. And Julian, your can has the ju
Alana Graham
Jan 25, 2011 Alana Graham rated it really liked it
Shelves: family
I appreciate how detailed this book is written. I think it's sweet that the mother makes it very clear that she doesn't just love them the same, but she loves both of them the best. This book sends the message that one way is not always better than the other, just different. This would be a great story to read if competition becomes a problem in the classroom. This would not be interesting enough, however, for younger children to read on their own, but could be captivating as a read-aloud. A ...more
Aug 26, 2008 Kaylene rated it it was amazing
This book was first read to me in a Children's Literature class and I feel in love with it. The watercolor artistry is breathtaking and enhances the beautiful story of a mother and her two sons. I was particularly drawn to the sweet way this mother makes both boys feel loved equally.
I read this book to a 6th grade class on a Friday before Mother's Day. The room was silent as I explained the beauty of this Mother's love. I'd never had a class of pre-teens so excited about a picture book or any bo
Kristin Hamrock
Jan 18, 2011 Kristin Hamrock rated it really liked it
This book uses many great descriptive words, and very realistic illustrations. It is a great book to read to young children that have siblings that are close in age to them and might be wondering about how their parents feel about them. At this age, children are constantly competing with siblings, and trying to impress their parents; this book makes children understand that their parents love them the same, and each child has a uniqueness to them that can't be compared to his/her brother or ...more
Bree Bosse
Feb 01, 2010 Bree Bosse rated it it was amazing
This book has beautiful illustrations and shows a mother's love in a creative way. The mother celebrates the differences in her two sons and when they ask her who she loves more she explains what she loves in each of them- one loves red and one loves blue and she describes their special qualities within those color ranges and so she loves them "purplest". It would be great to add to an about me or beginning of the year theme- or family love- maybe for those children with new brothers or sisters ...more
Stephanie Zamora
Jul 05, 2011 Stephanie Zamora rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all time favorite children's books. This is about a mother who tells her two boys the different ways that she loves each of them. I would always change the names in the book depending on which child I was reading this book to, and my children loved it. It shows us that we do not need to love people in the same way, we can love people differently, but equally. This is a book that I will always treasure and pass on to many future generations. The artwork and colors used are also ...more
Jodi Young
This story was sweet. It was very descriptive including words and phrases, and it had many different verbs that students could take and incorporate in their own writing. This story can also be used to talk about competition amongst friends and family and how a little bit is healthy as long as it doesnt get too crazy. The mother in this story was able to build her boys up while not letting the other down. The colors in this story were beautiful and can be discussed and most of all the vocabulary ...more
Oct 15, 2014 Alice rated it it was ok
Shoot me in the head and color me purple! Was that too harsh!!? It is so sappy and squishy and annoying! But that is not why I didn't like this book. Why on earth is is call "I love you the Purplest" well you would think that purple would be mentioned in the book somewhere...nope...just the title. There is no resolution or explanation of purple you just have to guess... and infer...

I guess if you need a book where you need to talk about the love for two of your children then here you go!! But I
Megan MacDonald
Jan 18, 2011 Megan MacDonald rated it it was amazing
Shelves: family-books
This book is great for children with siblings that may be curious about the way their parent(s) feel about him/her. The book uses many good descriptive words and has good illustrations as well. Many people may be able to relate to this book, including myself, as my sister and I used to ask many similar questions to our parents as well. Overall, this book has a good moral and theme and can see that everyone is good at different things in different ways.
Apr 06, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it
This is a sweet and very descriptive book of a mother and her two sons, both who love and crave her praises. I thought this would be great to use for children when any of them are feeling like they may not be loved as much as they are, whether by family or a classmate or even a teacher. It's a good reminder that people love others in different ways. It is also very descriptive and uses a ton of imagery in the writing.
Neil Nicholson
This story is about two brothers who go on an outing with their mom. The story takes place in the woods, which is an ideal setting to include vivid details. While the boys are out exploring and competing for their mothers' approval they use a colorful array of verbs and adjectives. I would recommend this book for grades 2nd through 5th. The students can use the book to identify the verbs and the adjectives and can also create their own story that mirrors Joosse's use of adjectives and verbs.
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Barbara Joosse has written many books for children. Among them are Mama, Do You Love Me?, illustrated by Barbara Lavallee; and I Love You the Purplest, illustrated by Mary Whyte. She says, "When I was a little girl, I wished for two things — a best friend, and something so ferocious it would scare away the monsters under my bed. And so I have written Lovabye Dragon. I think maybe it’s for little ...more
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