Miss Pinkeltink has a ginormous purse that knocks people down and causes general mayhem, but she’s always got something to give: some tape to repair a bike wheel, a comb, or a rake; anything to help someone out. When Miss Pinkeltink’s purse is empty, she’s filled with the wonderful feelings of sharing. Miss Pinkeltink is homeless, and beds down on a park bench, or on the grass at night, her pink cape as a blanket and her purse for a pillow; Zoey, one of the kids Miss Pinkeltink’s generosity touched, spies her outside her window one night and determined to do something. She gathers the town together to give Miss Pinkeltink new things for her purse, one by one, leading up to a lovely final gift for her purse: a home.
This is an earnest, sweet introduction to the concept of homelessness and taking action for younger readers. The rhyming text introduces ideas in a simple, softened light; the bright daytime colors and expressive characters convey a sweet, if slightly dizzy, older woman who will give her last possession away – even if it it a bone, to a cat – with patchworked, layered clothing, who looks like she could be someone’s grandmother. Zoey, a brown-skinned girl, gets her town behind the effort to help Miss Pinkeltink out; the town is a multicultural mix of families and individuals. It’s a simple, warm-hearted story about how a group of people can come together to take care of someone less fortunate, and a good way to start a discussion about homelessness, empathy, and taking positive action. The back matter includes links to organizations, created by young people, to raise money to help and house the homeless. There are also tips for positive action, from fundraising to volunteering.