#PPBF – The Purple Kangaroo – Encouraging Imagination

Today is Friday – I have a children’s book review to add to the Perfect Picture Book resource list that author Susanna Leonard Hill is building on her blog. For more wonderful reviews from authors, educators and others who contributed today, please go here.


I’m immersed in writing and revising picture books these days…and one of the best ways to learn to do it right is to READ LOTS OF PICTURE BOOKS that have already been published! So I came home from the library yesterday with a HUGE stack…it reminded me of when I was a little girl and couldn’t wait to go to the library to take out as many books as I could carry. I’m sure you can visualize that tiny little child, barely able to walk because of the tall piles of books in her arms.

It was hard to choose…but I did! It is one of the new variety of picture books which engages the reader by actually talking directly to him or her…a unique technique that I will have to keep in mind as I formulate my next stories.


The Purple Kangaroo

Written by Michael Ian Black

Illustrated by Peter Brown

Publisher: Simon and Schuster (2010)

Ages: 4 and up


Humor, imagination

Opening Lines:

“Hey kid! Guess what? I’ve got a supersecret, highly unusual, incredible and amazong magical power. I CAN READ MINDS. It’s true. In fact, I can read YOUR mind.


From Amazon: The monkey narrator in this humorous picture book guarantees that he can READ YOUR MIND. What begins as a simple request to imagine the most spectacular thing in history turns into the story of a roller-skating, bubble-blowing purple kangaroo searching for his dear friend Ernesto on the moon. So by the time you finish this book, there’s no chance you will be thinking of anything BUT the purple kangaroo.



Why I like this book:

  • Great INTERACTIVE read-aloud for younger children…older kids will enjoy reading it themselves
  • Just for the sheer silliness of it
  • Hilarious illustrations – the incredible Peter Brown

How a parent can use this book:

  • Great read-aloud
  • Opportunity for encouraging creative imagination – take turns guessing what the other person is thinking about

Related Activities:

Great kangaroo crafts here: http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/kangarooscraftsideasactivitieskids.html


Spending time with our kids can be lots of fun – if you are looking for a great resource book that provides dozens and dozens of quick and easy crafts and other activities for young kids, please check out my Show Me How book.


About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Press, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE MOVE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my 9-year old grandson.

Posted on May 23, 2014, in Imiagination and Creativity, Perfect Picture Book Friday, The Purple Kangaroo and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Second person picture books can be SO fun – and this one looks like a winner. Fun stuff!! Thanks for sharing!


  2. I am totally intrigued as to how the title ties in! 🙂


  3. Cathy Ballou Mealey

    Hurray for Black, Brown and their Purple kangaroo! I agree this is a silly, fun book.


  4. You sold me. Sounds very funny!


  5. Looks like an excellent fun time read aloud!!


  6. What a great concept for a PB! I love these interactive books and this one sounds like lots of fun! Thanks so much for adding it to our list, Vivian, and kudos for you for getting the post up even with all you have going on this weekend! 🙂 Have a great weekend with your family!!! 🙂


  7. Stacy S. Jensen

    I haven’t read this one. I’ll see if the library can connect me with this book before next week! Thanks. Have a great weekend.


  8. Ooh…this looks fun! Have to check this out!


  9. a monkey who can read minds and a purple kangaroo? OK, I’m definitely going to have to read this one. Especially given the whole interaction with narrator thing.


  10. OK, you’ve hooked me. Back to the library!


  11. This book sounds AWESOME!!!


  12. Catherine Johnson

    That sounds loads of fun, Vivian. A good reminder to keep reading too. I haven’t read enough lately.


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