Lilly's Purple Platic Purse by Kevin Henkes

Much like Judy Blume, Henkes captures the language and thought patterns of a five year old in this book that mixes talking animals in a reality based situation. Henkes creates stories that tell the lives of their characters with truly insightful zing. And it's a rare day I can really use zing in a sentence. This tale is filled to the brim with the Henkes touch that a person expects from his work (be sure to notice the Krazy Kat reference in Lilly's dining room). As per usual there is the comfortable family containing loving parents. And best of all, that wonderful way Henkes has of bringing a happy child to life on the page. No adult reading this book would want to be anyone BUT Mr. Slinger and no child reading it wouldn't want to know him. As for Lilly, she walks the fine line between precocious and precious. And wins. Henkes has a flair for creating truly interesting characters for children.