Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

I Love you the Purplest

I Love you the Purplest

Barbara Joosse
Illustrator:  Mary Whyte 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 8
Chronicle, 1996   ISBN: 978-0811807180

Mama, Julian and Max are getting ready to go fishing. First they have to collect worms and Max asks his mother which of them has the most worms. Then they have to row out into the middle of the lake and Julian asks Mama which of them is the best rower. Always Mama has the right answer, making each of her boys feel special in their own way.

When the fish have been caught, and when bath times and story times are over, the two little boys climb into their bunk bed. Both of them ask their mother “Who do you love best?” and for each boy Mama describes how she loves each child differently for the unique feelings, memories, ideas, and adventures that they have shared. Julian she loves “the bluest” and Max she loves “the reddest” and both boys are made to feel special, loved, and comforted by her beautiful and image-filled answers.

Often siblings wonder if their parents have a favorite and this book will give parents the perfect way to answer all those “who do you love best” questions. Children will see that there is no best and that everyone has their own special skills and gifts to offer. They will also see that they are all loved and that love comes in all many shapes and sizes.

In this very special picture book a lyrical text full of imagery and emotion is perfectly complimented by the soft watercolor illustrations. For parents and children alike it is a guide and a heart-warming picture of family life.