Book Review: Mr. Pine’s Purple House by Leonard P. Kessler

Book Review: Mr. Pine’s Purple House by Leonard P. Kessler

This was a popular children’s book when I was a lad, but I feel it has a message that isn’t for children. If you disagree, you can still buy the book here on Amazon.



Mr. Pine…Have You Been Drinking?

I get that this is a children’s book and everything, so maybe I shouldn’t be so literal in examining the ongoing issue Mr. Pine has. But here’s the deal. Mr. Pine has a townhouse that resembles all the other townhouses in the neighborhood, so he has trouble figuring out which house is his when he comes home at night.

OK, is the resemblance of the houses REALLY the reason for his trouble? Anyone who has lived in the same home for over a month–and there is no reason to assume Mr. Pine has not–should not have too much trouble finding it from day to day, even at night. My hypothesis is that the man has a bit of a drinking problem. Perhaps he could look for other distinguishing characteristics to find his home, like the busted up mailbox that he ran over one night or something. Since the book never delves into Mr. Pine’s history (which might include some incidents), we are left wondering what the actual reason is for Mr. Pine’s difficulty, which drives him to plant a tree, then a bush, and then ultimately paint his house a very gaudy purple. Apparently ol’ Mr. Pine-A-Colada needed it to be obvious.

Ultimately, I don’t think that this is good for kids to be reading. Even if Mr. Pine’s real problem is just a sly implication left within the story so that we streetwise adults can pick up on it.


Photo credit: Padraic. on Best Running / CC BY-SA

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