Author: Barbara M. Joosse
Illustrator: Mary Whyte
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Audience: Ages 3 – 8
Summary: This book is the story of a mother and her two sons and an evening they spend digging up worms, fishing, and getting ready for bed. Throughout the story it is apparent how different the boys are from one another and the competition they feel for their mother’s love. As they go to bed they each ask their mother who she loves best. It is the mother’s response that is most powerful: she paints for each boy her unique picture of them, showing them each how much she loves them and how she loves them equally. The mother describes her love qualitatively, rather than quantitatively, which is a huge lesson for parents and children today. This is a wonderful story for parents (a good gift for mothers having a second child) and allows them to see how it is possible to love multiple children, to see their unique qualities and praise them for who they are as people. This book praises the individuality of the boys and empowers each of them by showering them with their mother’s love.
Literary elements at work in the story: This book employs a lot of dialogue, which draws the reader into the conversation making them feel a part of what is unfolding. It would be a wonderful book to use in readers theatre with a narrator, mother and 2 boys.
Perspective on gender/ race/ culture/ economic/ ability: The pictures and story depict a white mother and her two sons. The book does not focus on gender, race, culture, economic or ability differences.
Scripture: Psalm 127:3, Psalm 139:13-14a
Theology: Children are gifts from God, each unique and different. A child bears the image of God and God loves each child for their unique and different qualities. We reflect that love by loving each and all of our children. Love is a quality, not a quantity.
Faith Talk Questions:
- What is your favorite thing to do with your mommy (and daddy- you would not want to leave out the children who only have a daddy or are not close to their mommy)?
- What do you think your mommy loves about you? Does she love the way you ride your bike? Sing? Color?
- What do you do that makes God smile and laugh? What do you do that you think God loves?
- How do you think God loves all at the same time?
Review prepared by Ashley Cheek, MDiv/MACE, Entering Cohort Fall 2007
I Love You the Purplest by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.