Hello, friends! Our book today is Piper and Purpa Forever!, written by Susan Lendroth and illustrated by Olivia Feng, a sweet story of growing up and coping with change.
From the moment Piper saw the knit purple sweater in the box of hand-me-downs, she fell in love – before she could even pronounce the word “purple”. Her exclamation – “PURPA!” – became the nickname of her beloved sweater. When she first wore it, it came down past her knees, but she didn’t care. It was an outfit, a cape, a Halloween costume (three years in a row), and a cozy, familiar friend. So when Piper’s family, and eventually Piper herself, realize that she is rapidly outgrowing Purpa, what can be done?
Like a favorite sweater, soft and comforting. I’m a big fan of when children’s books give actionable solutions while connecting with common struggles and imparting life lessons, and Lendroth’s simple yet sweet story does both beautifully. Readers are not only given a subtle yet universal lesson on growing up – that it’s unavoidable but part of life, and we can still carry our childhood memories with us – to child readers, while also giving a very specific and helpful idea to adult readers on how to preserve a child’s favorite outfit once it’s been outgrown. Feng’s colorful digital illustrations have warmth and childlike energy, yet minimal diversity; a few of Piper’s classmates in the final spread have features that suggest they are POC, but every other character presents white. Otherwise, the length was great for a storytime, and JJ enjoyed Piper and Purpa’s tale. This was a fun and heartwarming read, and we can definitely recommend it, especially for readers going through similar challenges as they get bigger. Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)