Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I Love You the Purplest (Fishing for Numbers)- Read Along with Me

We were first introduced to Barbara M. Joosse's books when Firecracker's birthmom gave her Mama, Do You Love Me? as a baby.  Since then we've fallen in love with many of her books and own 4 or 5 of them.
As much as we love Barbara Joosse's other books, I Love You the Purplest by Barbara M. Joosse is one of my all-time favorite children's picture books...EVER. 

It's the story of a mother who takes her two boys (either fraternal twins or similar in age...we're not told) fishing.  Throughout the story, they're competing for their mama's attention and  praise, but Mama cleverly chooses her words to help both boys feel accomplished and important.  At the end of the book as she's tucking them into bed, each boy whispers to ask who she loves the best.  To one she says she loves him the reddest and goes on to describe red things that remind her of his firey personality. 

To the other she tells him that she loves him the bluest, and goes on to describe a number of blue things that remind her of his more tranquil personality.  Hence the name, "I Love You the Purplest."

This is one of my favorite books to read to Little Brother at naptime.  It's always a good reminder for me to appreciate the individual personalities that my children have to help them feel loved for the individuals that they are.

And it's an especially good book to read to Little Brother when we've have a rough morning.  It often leads to a game of "I love you the reddest!" "Well, I love you the pinkest!" "Well I love you the rainbowest!" etc.  It always puts a smile on our faces. 

I'd like to come up with some kind of wall hanging for each child saying "I love you the [favorite-color]est," but I haven't but something like that together part because I have two with a favorite color of purple...but maybe I'll have something like that to share with you in a few months.

For now the activity we did when we read this book yesterday was to go fishing...

In the house...

...for number fish.

Be careful though.  Just because you're doing it in your own home from the comfort of a laundry basket, doesn't mean the boat won't capsize.

You can line them up.

Sweet Pea could identify the color and then I helped her with the numbers.

I had Little Brother do a little adding...
...but just a little becuase on this particular day it was a little too fun to be maybe more adding practice next time...if we do it earlier in the morning and not so close to naptime.

I made the number fish over a year ago.  All you really need is felt and paperclips, although the buttons are cute for the eyes.  You can see the tutorial and printable here.  I also made a biggest-number-eating-alligator here that can be used with them to compare numbers.  Our fishing pole came with a magnetic puzzle we have, but you could easily make your own from a dowel and a ring magnet.

If you're just now joining us, be sure to visit our Read-Along Archives to see the books we've already read.


  1. What a great book! I'm always trying to find ways to explain to the kids how much I love them - all differently (because they're so different), but the same. I'll have to check our library for this book!

  2. What a sweet-sounding book. I love that idea! I'll have to add that to our "put on hold at the library AFTER we settle in" list. ;)

  3. Rub-a-dub-dub, two kids in the tub...what a fun way to practice cooperation along with numbers and colors.

  4. The title of the book caught my eye for my "pink and purple" girl. Your kids are so cute in that basket.

  5. I haven't read that book before but it sounds wonderful- great review. My husband is an avid fisherman and I think that book would be a great addition for my 2 boys.

  6. What a beautiful book! I love the pictures! Fishing is something JDaniel likes to do too.

    Thanks for linking to Read.Explore.Learn.

  7. I love the fish! I did a similar activity in my summer program, but these as just TOOO cute! Great ideas!

    Thanks so much for linking up with For the Kids Friday!


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