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I Love My Purse

I Love My Purse

By Belle DeMont
Illustrated by Sonja Wimmer
Interest Age: 4–7
Grade: p–2
Reading Level: Common Core Correlations
CCSS.ELA-Literacy Strand-Reading literature: RL.2.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,1

Reading Level: Lexile 560L
Hardcover (Picture book) : 9781554519545, 36 pages, September 2017 , 9.20" x 8.90"
Paperback (Picture book) : 9781554519538, 36 pages, March 2020 , 9.00" x 9.00"
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781554519552, 32 pages, December 2017
Rights sold: French


Charlie loves his bright red purse, so why does everyone else have a problem with it?

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 don’t carry purses. But Charlie isn’t deterred. Before long, his unselfconscious determination starts to affect those around him. His father puts on his favorite 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 isn’t always necessary to conform to societal norms. It’s more important to be true to yourself.

With its humorous, energetic illustrations, this book is sure to entertain young readers. It can also be used to open a discussion on gender roles.


  • Nominated, Blue Spruce Award 2018
  • Joint winner, Foreword Indies Book of the Year Award, Silver 2018
  • Joint winner, Notable Books for a Global Society 2018
  • Joint winner, Storytelling World Award 2019
  • Winner, Eric Hoffer Award, 1st Runner-up 2018
  • Nominated, Cybils Blogger’s Award 2017
  • Joint winner, Top 10 Recommended Reads, TD Summer Reading Club 2018
  • Joint winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, *starred selection, Canadian Children’s Book Centre 2018
  • Short-listed, Storytelling World Award 2018
  • Nominated, Rainforest of Reading Award 2017
  • Joint winner, National Parenting Product Award 2018
  • Short-listed, Eric Hoffer First Horizon Award 2018
  • Joint winner, Children’s Literature Recommended Lists, Wisconsin State Reading Association 2019


“Affirming of gender nonconformity.”

- Kirkus Reviews, 07/15/17

“Kudos to Charlie for his non-conformist ways. We could all take a lesson, and teach a lesson by sharing this book with our kids.” 

- Sal’s Fiction Addiction, 05/16/18

“With his polite determination not to conform to other people’s gender expectations, Charlie is the heart of this delightful story.”

- Quill & Quire, *starred review, 09/17

“Refreshing and enjoyable, full of colorful and eye-catching illustrations. There is a good amount of diversity to keep the book from falling into a stereotypically white construct like so many others that look to gender or sexuality.” 

- CM Reviews, 11/24/17

“A wonderful story about self-expression.” 

- CanLit for Little Canadians, 08/14/17

“A winner for families and schools being more inclusive about breaking gender norms.” 

- Waking Brain Cells, 10/03/17

“Delightfully inspiring.” 

- Foreword Reviews, *starred review, 09/17

“A lovely, light-hearted tale about breaking from the norm.”

- Resource Links, 12/17