Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day 56: Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse

I'm so happy our friend Melinda introduced us to Kevin Henkes.  We just love his books!  My son has asked to read this story several times a day since we took it out of the library last week and it has quickly become a favorite.  There are so many things I love about this book that I'm not sure where to start.  Lilly is a sassy, precocious, red-cowboy-boot-wearing free-spirit of a mouse.  She loves school, especially her teacher Mr. Slinger, and wants to be a teacher just like him when she grows up.  Lilly writes stories and draws pictures of Mr. Slinger, and even stays after school to help him clap out erasers.  You could say she's your classic wannabe teacher's pet.  But when Lilly can't wait to show off her new purple plastic purse and her movie-star sunglasses to everyone in the class, she sees a different side of Mr. Slinger:  the firm teacher (aka "big, fat, mean, Mr. Stealing teacher!")  The tale that unfolds from here is one that I think everyone can relate to.  Who hasn't, at some time in his or her life, acted upon impulse, only to deeply regret it later?  There are so many great lessons to be learned from Lilly's decisions in this book (both good and bad), and I just love the way this story plays out.  The illustrations are fantastic, too, especially Lilly's expressions.  Be sure read the captions within the pictures, as well!  Children of all ages will relate to Lilly and her feelings, and this must be a favorite book of elementary and preschool teachers everywhere.  I find this particularly relevant to my son at the moment, who, at nearly three and a half, is definitely starting to push his limits with us a bit more.  I wonder if part of the reason he loves this book so much right now is that he sees a bit of himself in Lilly.  As parents, we're trying to help him see the importance of patience, forgiveness, good manners, and following rules, even when he doesn't want to.  And, just like Lilly, he sometimes learns the hard way that he has to accept responsibility for his actions. (One of his favorite parts of the story is when Lilly tells Mr. Slinger she is "really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really sorry."  He gets a big smile on his face every time we read it.)  These are important lessons for all children, I think, and I just love the way Henkes expresses them within such a delightfully fun story.  Definitely add this one to your must-read list.  Like Lilly's movie-star sunglasses, this book is simply fabulous!


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