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Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse

(Mouse Books)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  30,386 ratings  ·  1,118 reviews
Lilly loves everything about school, especially her cool teacher, Mr. Slinger. But when Lilly brings her purple plastic purse and its treasures to school and can't wait until sharing time, Mr. Slinger confiscates her prized possessions. Lilly's fury leads to revenge and then to remorse and she sets out to make amends.

Lilly, the star of Chester's Way and Julius, the Baby of
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 24th 2006 by Greenwillow Books (first published May 1st 1996)
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  30,386 ratings  ·  1,118 reviews

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I have been reading Kevin Henkes’ books ever since I was small, so it was a great day for me in discovering an old favorite of mine when I was small. “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse” is a children’s book by Kevin Henkes that details the relationship that Lilly has with her teacher Mr. Slinger and how one event almost causes a huge rift between them. “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse” is a truly beautiful book about having a great relationship with your teachers that everyone will love for many years!
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
Jan 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: K-2, especially girls
Recommended to Lisa (not getting friends updates) by: Kathryn
A few tons of thanks to Goodreads friend Kathryn who recommended this book to me because I doubt I’d have read it if not for her recommendation. I’d seen this book, but its title did not seem at all appealing to me; I didn’t know what it was about but what my imagination conjured up was so far off the mark.

This is a wonderful story about Lilly (I haven’t yet read the earlier two books in which she’s featured) who loves her teacher so much she wants to be a teacher too, until she has a very diffi
Dec 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful story about awareness for other's feelings. Lilly loves her teacher--he is funny and stylish and kind. Lilly wants to be a lot of things when she grows up, like a diva and a doctor, but right now she really, really wants to be a teacher because she is so inspired by her own. But one day, when she brings a purple plastic purse to school and just cannot wait until show-and-tell to show it off to everyone (even after her teacher asks her to please be patient and not disrupt the ...more
Dec 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
I thought this was a great book; it covers great teachers who provide creative outlets for the kids and inspire them to want to teach.

It discusses the exuberance of a young girl (mouse) who gets a new toy and wants so desperately to share it with her classmates, but ends up being a disruption to the class.

And finally, best of all, it covers the sensitive topics of frustration, anger, regret and remorse in an easy to understand way.

Our girls enjoyed this story, but I loved it for the moralisti
Oct 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
One of the best parts about reading books to kids is that I'm reading it as the person I've become, but looking at my kids, I remember the person I was. Really, it's as if two mes are reading.

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse is about a little girl mouse who wants to grow up to be a teacher. She has an incredible and inspiring mouse teacher - Mr. Slinger.

She plays school at home, pretending to be him. She writes books in his honor, and all her works of art feature him.

Then one day she brings a purple
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Darling book... my grand daughter adored it too. : ) Lilly LOVES her new purple plastic purse, and takes it to school for everyone to see. She soon learns that there is a time and place for everything, and not being able to wait as requested by teacher, she loses it. Oh my does she get mad! Now her once super cool teacher is the dirtiest rotten rat on earth! She feels remorse though when he gives it back later with treats inside and she learns forgiveness too.
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorites! Lilly is always a hit!
Aug 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: younger-kids
A lesson in forgiveness.

Well, we read this again two years later and my son really got into the pictures, pointing things out. He loved it.
Pamela Covington
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read a lot of books to my children when they were young and this remains one of my and my daughter's favorites. ...more
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cute story and wonderful illustrations !
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: easy-reading
Adorable and hilarious! A perfect gift for the classroom and especially the staff room ;)
Eva Marie
Jul 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: julias-books
Julia and I listened to this on audio last night and we both really enjoyed it. I haven't listened to many audio books for myself but Julia and I have listened to a handful together and besides John Lithgow in Micawber the narrator here is awesome.
Her voice inflections are perfect, the voices of other characters in the book are perfect. (I think Julia's really starting to love audio books because I suck at voices.)
I love the way she incorporated Lilly's (and the others) thoughts and even if you
Apr 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sophie - when she's older
Shelves: picture-books
This book has so much going for it - a feisty little protagonist, Lilly, a wise and compassionate teacher, Mr. Slinger, and parents who know what to do when their little girl comes home from school with a tale of woe. Lilly the white mouse loves everything about school, especially her teacher, Mr. Slinger who is so cool. One day Lilly comes to school with her new purple plastic purse that plays a jaunty tune and holds her movie-star sunglasses and three shiny new quarters. Lilly can't wait for s ...more
Rachel A.
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Today was difficult. Tomorrow will be better.

I absolutely loved Kevin Henkes books when I was younger, especially Chester's Way. I was looking around the library recently, and I found this book on the shelves. Although I thought I'd read all of Henkes' books, I couldn't remember this one at all so I decided to give it a try.

I thought it was an excellent, realistic children's story. The book is about Lilly, a young girl, who is very excited to show off her new purple purse at school. She becom
Kate Babbitt
This book is about a little mouse who can't wait to show off her new purple plastic purse that plays a song when it is opened. She takes it out before sharing time and disturbs the class. Her teacher takes away her purse and she is devastated without it. This book has great pictures that are creative in creating mice the main characters and showing the series of expressions. I would use this book to go into a personal narrative that the students could create to tell a story on one of their favor ...more
Lilly is so true to life: charming, exuberant, flawed. This is exactly the type of drama kids experience at school and Henkes captures their feelings perfectly. There is a moment when Lilly realizes the error of her ways, and the illustration shows her getting smaller and smaller....every class I've read it to has so much to say about that feeling, and many other moments in the book. Perfect for teaching text to self connections...and lots of fun to boot. ...more
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really liked this because it accurately depicts how a kid could get in trouble, and shows kids how to deal with difficult emotions like anger, first by showing them what NOT to do. I'd love to use this in my story time, but it is a group of 4's, and it would really be ideal for a slightly older group (k-2). ...more
Sep 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: parents and early elementary schoolers
I remember reading this when it first came out, and I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention to childrens' books at that point. Henkes' books are great fun for both adults and children, and the most fun as a one-on-one read-aloud. ...more
We all learn at some point the life lesson of forgiveness and this book does a great job of making it understandable to kids. Shows that at some point people we care about will disappoint us and it is how we handle the disappointment that really makes us a better person.
I adore Lilly and almost everything she does. (Unless she was a student in my classroom. Then I'd have to alternate between finding her incredibly charming and witty, and wanting to smack her.) ...more
Destinee Sutton
Oct 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school, picture-books
My favorite part is the note the teacher gives her: "Today was hard. Tomorrow will be better." Some days I really need a note like that. ...more
Jan 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-lit, humor
Such a fun read. We read this tonight to put my son to be and discussed that we knew a couple of little girls just like Lilly.
Jul 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, picture
Christina/ The Blog for Teachers, Readers, & Life!
Ages: 4-8 years
U.S. Grades: Kindergarten-Third Grade
Lexile® Measure: 540L
Juvenile, Fiction, School, Mice, Teacher, Students, Conflict Resolution

Lily (mouse) is an outgoing student who loves school and adores her teacher Mr. Slinger. She is so enthusiastic about school and her teacher that she plays school at home. One day, Lily brings her new purple plastic purse that plays music when it opens, and wears her sunglasses to school.

During several lessons, Lily cannot resist the urge to open her pur
Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Taylor Hart
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ed-204-books
This story is about a little girl (a mouse) named Lilly, who LOVES school and LOVES her teacher. She aspires to be just like him one day. She's full of life and very carefree. Unfortunately, she is also quite sensitive. When her grandmother takes her shopping one afternoon she acquires a fantastic pair of movie star sunglasses, some shiny quarters, and a divine purple plastic purse that plays music. Lilly is ecstatic to show off her new gear at school. However, there isn't an appropriate time to ...more
Audreona Ferren
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This book is about a mouse named Lilly. Lilly absolutely loved school and her teacher, Mr. Slinger. She loved everything about him. She had decided that she loved school so much, she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up. One day, her grandma had taken her shopping and bought her a new purple plastic purse. The purse was filled with sunglasses and quarters. On the next school day, Lilly brought her new purse to school to show her friends. Lilly was so eager to show her purse to her friends tha ...more
Amy Layton
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a blast from the past, and a childhood favorite.  My first- and second-grade teacher absolutely LOVED this book, and it certainly rubbed off on me.  I love Henkes' drawings, I love the narrative, I love the hecking nostalgia.  In fact, I once too had a purple plastic purse thanks to this book.  It's such a classic, and it deserves to be one.  It's just so adorable and has one of the best emotional arcs I've seen in a book that takes place largely at school.  I can't wait to pass this one ...more
Emily Powers
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lilly, who is a mouse loves everything about school, especially her teacher. She does everything she can to impress her teacher, and even wants to be a teacher herself, until, Lilly's teacher takes away her purple plastic purse. She is furious, and now hates school, especially her teacher.

This book could be used as a teaching tool for classroom management, with the idea that things may not always be as they seem, and that although corrections may need to be made in the classroom it does not mea
Emily Heid
Jan 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I feel like this would be a great book to read when introducing rules and consequences in the classroom. I think it would do a great job of demonstrating the consequence of not listening to the teacher when they ask you to put something away (to be specific). It also teaches students to be respectful with their things in the classroom and to not disturb their peers. The book also includes Lilly apologizing to the teacher for her actions, which is a crucial part of the lesson the book teaches.
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Kids book about a mouse. [s] 5 41 Sep 30, 2017 07:08PM  

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Kevin Henkes became an author/illustrator when he was nineteen years old, working on a card table in his bedroom.
Today he's the author of many award-winning picture books and novels.

Other books in the series

Mouse Books (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • A Weekend with Wendell
  • Sheila Rae, the Brave
  • Chester's Way
  • Julius, the Baby of the World
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Owen
  • Wemberly Worried
  • Lilly's Big Day
  • Penny and Her Doll
  • Penny and Her Song

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“Today was a difficult day. Tomorrow will be better” 109 likes
“Today was a difficult day.
Tomorrow will be better.'
-Mr. Slinger”
More quotes…