I LOVE MY PURSE

Summary: Charlie loves the bright red purse that his grandmother let him have. One day, he decides to take it to school. First his father, then his friends, and even the crossing guard question him about his strange choice. After all, boys dont carry purses! They point out that they too, have things they like, but that does not mean they go out in public wearing them. But Charlie is not deterred.  

Before long, his unselfconscious determination to carry a bright red purse starts to influence those around him. His father puts on his favorite, though unconventional, Hawaiian shirt to go to work, his friend Charlotte paints her face, and the crossing guard wears a pair of sparkly shoes. Thanks to Charlie, everyone around him realizes that it is not always necessary to conform to societal norms. It is more important to be true to yourself. This book is humorous and full of energetic illustrations. This book is also ideal as a read-aloud or as a text for emerging readers. It can also be used as a starting point for a discussion about gender roles.  

Recommended for: Grades K to 3  

AuthorBelle DeMont is a writer and illustrator from Halifax, Nova Scotia.  This is her first book. 

Illustrator: Sonja Wimmer is an award-winning German illustrator from Munich.  

WITS ConnectionTalk it Out 


Lesson Plan 
 

 QUESTIONS AND ACTIVITIES 

Pre-reading questions: 

  • Look at the book cover of I Love My Purse and describe what you see.   
  • What do you think this book is about? 
  • Why do you think this book is titled I Love My Purse? 
  • How do you think the boy on the cover of the book feels? 

During-reading questions: 

  • In the story I Love My Purse everyone questions Charlie on his “strange” choice to wear a bright red purse to school.  What do you think about it? 

Class questions: 

  1. Does the opinion of Charlie’s dad affect his decision to wear his bright red purse to school?  What does he say to Charlie?  
  2. Does the opinion of Charlie’s friend Charlotte affect his decision to wear his bright red purse to school?  What does she say to Charlie? 
  3. Does the opinion of the older kids at Charlie’s school affect his decision to wear his bright red purse to school?  What do they say? 
  4. Does the opinion of the crossing guard at Charlie’s school affect his decision to wear his bright red purse to school?  What does the crossing guard say? 
  5. How does Charlie respond to everyone’s concern and questions about his choice to wear his bright red purse to school?  What does Charlie say?  
  6. Charlie’s decision to wear his bright red purse to school despite what others say to him starts to affect those around him. How does it affect his father? How does it affect his friend Charlotte? How does it affect the crossing guard? 
  7. Thanks to Charlie, everyone around him realizes something about themselves.  What do you think they learned? 

After-reading activities: 

  • If you could wear whatever you wanted to school what would that look like? Use your imagination to think of something special and unique that you could bring or wear to school. Create a drawing of this special and unique item and list some of the reasons you choose this item. 
  • Charlie’s friend Charlotte loved to paint faces (e.g., lizard faces, princess faces, etc.). On a piece of paper draw a big face and create some of your own face painting designs. What do you like about your designs?