Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse



Lilly gets a lesson in patience.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Lilly misbehaves during class and retaliates when she is disciplined, but she redeems herself.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Lilly draws an unkind picture of her teacher, but she learns her lesson in this tale.

Parents say

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What's the story?

A purple plastic purse. Movie-star sunglasses. Shiny quarters. Kevin Henkes's mouse child is eager to share her new possessions with her classmates, but her unwillingness to wait her turn quickly leads to anger, and remorse. But a supportive teacher shows Lilly the importance of patience. Henkes has a light touch with his lesson, and his main character is a delight.


Is it any good?


Few lessons in patience are so entertaining. Parents find something familiar about the hyperactive child, and readers get a close-up look at Lilly's personality through speech and thought bubbles that supplement the text, highlighting conversations with Mr. Slinger and her baby brother, Julius, as well as providing insight into her thoughts.

What makes Lilly so lovable to parents is her joy for life and her ability to draw young and not-so-young readers in with her limitless enthusiasm. The range of emotions Lilly experiences on one important school day teaches readers about patience and remorse in a most nonjudgmental way. And while two 5-year-old readers giggled at Lilly's unkind drawing of her teacher, they quickly commented, "That's not nice." Both were thrilled at the end, however, when Lilly displayed her nifty purse, quarters, and glasses after waiting for sharing time.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about waiting your turn. Why was it important for Lilly to wait? What was the problem with her sharing everything right away? Why was it better for her to share at sharing time?

Book details

Author:Kevin Henkes
Illustrator:Kevin Henkes
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:William Morrow
Publication date:January 1, 1996
Number of pages:30

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old December 12, 2009
its a really cute book
What other families should know
Educational value
Adult Written byhotdogchick April 9, 2008

This was a great book!

I heard this story from Mrs. Stavang! I used to work in the library!


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