Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mr. Pine's Purple House

I'll put my growing stack of doll books aside for the moment - believe me, I've got more - and feature Tommy's current favorite.  This arrived in the mail two days ago - along with yet another sweet dolly book - from Purple House Press

Mr. Pine's Purple House was written and illustrated by Leonard Kessler and published in 1965 as an Easy Reader.  It's been touted as a book about non-conformity blah, blah, blah.  But you know what?  It's a story.  A very funny story, at that.  Why do we feel compelled to make stories mean something greater, be about something higher

Let's all talk about this book now class.

A story is a story is a story.  Read it and laugh, weep, rage.  Whatever. 

Grown-ups, you listening?  Just read the book and get out of the way.

Rant over.

Anyway.  The book.  Sorry about that, guys.

Meet Mr. Pine.

Charming chap, isn't he?

And here's his house.  Third door from the left.  I think.  Looks kind of like the door on the right.  And the door on the left.  And every door on every house on Pine Street.  Therein lies Mr. Pine's problem.  He'd like to be able to tell which house is his. 

Maybe if he plants a pine tree right out front, he thinks.
Pine tree.
Pine's house.
That's me!
 So he does.  Just like this.

Ahhhhhh.  Looks pretty nice.  And different.  Problem is, Mr. Gold likes it too.  And Mrs. Green.  And Mrs. Brown.  What scene greets Mr. Pine's bespectacled eyes when he looks out his window the next morning?  You got it.  Pine trees up and down Pine Street.

Mr. Pine is a bit miffed.  So, he plants a bush.  Just like this.

Mr. Pine is pleased as punch.  As is Gold, Green, and Brown.  Drastic means call for drastic measures.  I wouldn't want a purple house.  Would you?  That's what Mr. Pine is banking on when he drives down to Color Corner Paints for nine gallons.

Much to the paint man's chagrin, Mr. Pine buys his purple paint and gets to work.  Despite a few mishaps and missteps . . .

. . . when he is finished, the house looks just as Mr. Pine expected.  Purple, purple, purple.

Wonder what happens next?  Purple houses up and down Pine Street, perhaps?  My lips are sealed.

Purple House Press.  Look it up, buy the book.


  1. I love Mr. Pine's Purple House. I'm old enough for it to have been one of my favorites when I was learning how to read---several years ago :)

  2. My son loves it. And he's at that age where the his ideas are developing more rapidly than his speech, so spitting out words can sometimes be difficult. It is precious to hear him beg for Pine's Purple House, tripping all over the P's.

  3. I love Purple House Press, too, and I was excited to see this book at the library. I picked it up for my kindergartner and she loved reading it. It's an easy-to-read without looking like one, and she loved the story.

  4. Why do we have to tell people a story is just a story and means nothing more than entertainment?