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I Love You the Purplest Hardcover – September 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (September 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811807185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811807180
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 9.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Further probing the theme of her Mama, Do You Love Me?, Joosse's resonant tale spotlights two young sons on a fishing expedition with their mother; each boy is angling to be tops with Mom. Clearly an experienced peacemaker, Mama offers just the right answers when the boys inquire which of them, for example, is the best rower: "Why, Julian, you took the deepest strokes. And Max, your strokes were fastest." As she tucks them into bed that night, they each pose the ultimate question: "Who do you love best?" She loves one the "bluest," the other the "reddest"; it is up to presiding adults to explain how these add up to the "purplest." Though it hovers on the cloying, Joosse's image-laden narrative makes for a soothing bedtime read-aloud. Gracefully moving from naturalistic panoramas to close-ups of the cherubic-looking brothers, Whyte's (Boomer's Big Day) watercolors amplify the story's considerable emotional pitch. Combining lifelike images of the characters with abstract impressions of twilit skies or lakeside woods, the art encapsulates the lyricism of the text. Ages 3-8.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2. Two young brothers head out with their mother in a rowboat for an evening of fishing. They ask her to tell them who is better at digging worms, rowing, and catching fish, and later, back in their cabin at bedtime, they ask whom she loves the best. With each answer the caring mother assures both boys that they are equally skilled and equally loved. "I love you the bluest" she tells thoughtful, methodical Julian, "the color of a cave...splash of a waterfall...hush of a whisper." To peripatetic, energetic Max, she says, "I love you the reddest...the color of sky before it blazes into night." The final double-page spread, illustrating their cabin at night, is awash with purples; and so, she loves both "the purplest." The text effectively conveys movement with vigorous verbs and uses expressive phrases. Clues to each boy's character and temperament are provided. The glowing double-page watercolors, rendered in greens, blues, golds, reds, and purples, evoke the night's activities. The striking use of light, particularly the lantern in the boat and the stars, creates interest as do the effective compositions and varied perspectives. Occasionally some of the figures are awkwardly painted, but this is a minor flaw. Like the author's Mama, Do You Love Me? (Chronicle, 1991), this reassuring book, good for story time or one-to-one sharing, will encourage families to think of their own superlative expressions of love.?Cynthia K. Richey, Mt. Lebanon Public Library, Pittsburgh, PA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Barbara Joosse is the author of the ever-popular Mama, Do You Love Me?, along with many other books for young readers. She lives in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I'm a mother of two boys (one red, one blue) and this book is my favorite!!!
Susan L. Gatlin
When a child states "You love Bobby more than me," this book is a perfect read to share with children.
Lori Harrison
The illustrations are in perfect harmony with this warm and beautifully written book.
Jennifer Dunagan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By K. Bennett on June 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Wow! Sometimes you read a book and think, "This was written just for me." That's how I felt when I read this one. I have four children who were born within six years of each other, and at times the sibling rivalry can be quite intense. My kids ask, "Who do you love the best?" The standard answer of "I love you all exactly the same" isn't exactly true. I love them all immensely just because they are mine, but I also love each of them differently because each one is unique. Barbara M. Joosse conveys this in her story of a summer evening that a mother and her two sons spend at a lakeside cabin. From the opening lines about hunting for bait, she makes it obvious that these two boys have distinct personalities: "Max exploded from the cabin, twirling the shovel in front of him. Mama came next, and then Julian. Julian shut the cabin door tightly to keep it safe from burglars and bears." Whenever the boys ask their mother who is the best, she gives them an answer that allows them both to be special. Max catches the liveliest worms, and Julian catches the juiciest; Julian is the rower with the deepest strokes, and Max is the rower with the fastest. When each boy asks, "Mama, who do you love the best?" She answers by giving them each a color of love that matches his personality. Julian is the bluest. Max is the reddest. Each boy is thrilled with her answer.
Mary Whyte's illustrations are a beautiful complement to the story. The pictures fill each two page spread with the soft colors of a summer evening. The mother and sons are strikingly real. I look at Max and Julian and see my own boys, one overflowing with exuberant energy, the other cooler and more reflective.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By R. Sheffield on April 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Any parent with more than one child eventually faces the question of "who do you love the most." This book centers on a mother and her two sons and the repeated comparisons the two boys make with one another. "Who is the best at...?" and "Who do you love the most?" are some of the questions directed at this mom by her sons. The answers are both touching and provoking - to both the child and parent reading the book. It is a unique approach to teaching the concept of boundless love and the limitless love flowing from a parent to a child.
The book is of very good quality, especially the art work. Whyte's illustrations are full of warm colors and touching images, and the artwork dominates each page to add to the story. The artwork also avoids any taboos such as huge homes, lots of toys laying around or inappropriate images. The story itself is easy enough reading for a child who is past the basic reading level, and the words are printed large enough where a parent and child(ren) can all see the words & pictures together as the story is read. Finally, the length is not taxing on the attention of young children (3 to 5), but the charming story is not cut short either. You will love this book and the lesson it teaches.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 16, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is a lovely story about the unique mother-son bond. As the mother of two boys, as different as night and day, I can relate to the conflict the children present to the mother of "Whom do you love the most." The mother's response is wise and patient and inspires in me the desire to see my sons as individuals whose qualities complement and enhance each other. I highly recommend this book to other members of the "mother of two sons" club!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This gentle, loving story explores a mother's heart and how we all can learn to express our feelings for others, especially children, in creative and "colorful" ways. My three-year-old loves the story and it provides a perfect atmosphere for our nighttime routine; after the boys and their mother fall asleep and the book ends, my daughter also is ready to tuck in. I hope this book is passed down for generations in our family.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "tmtaylor@usit.net" on January 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have this book and I often read it with my two daughters. I love the message in it ----- that each child is equally but differently loved. This is important to convey to your children. My girls now compete to see who can come up with the best color descriptions for my husband and me!
I have a friend who is expecting her second baby. She said one day that she could not imagine loving another child the way she loves her first. This book is my baby gift to her.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gatzpup on January 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I finally found a book about a mother with two boys! I mentioned to my sister-in-law how competitive my boys are for my praise and love. She suggested I buy this book. I bought it from Amazon and think it is wonderful. To be honest, I really bought the book for myself, as a reminder and example of how to bring out the best in each of my children. I have already thought of which of my boys will be "blue" and which will be "red"! They think the book is a great read, but I can't wait to save it for them for when they get older and can appreciate the meaning even more!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mom of two girls on April 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book answers the often-asked child's question, "Who do you love the most?" I have two daughters who are too young, yet, to ask this question. However, I am always telling my two-year old that she is my favorite first-born brown-eyed daughter and I tell my one-year old that she is my favorite blue-eyed daughter. Joosse does a wonderful job writing in a way as to teach mothers how to answer this question. Very touching. Even, a bit of a tear-jerker.
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