The Boy Who Could See Only Purple. That's Right!
by Claire Ashmore 
Trafford Publishing

"Well, I guess he made them more violet than violet, more purple than purple."

Beautifully conceived and executed, The Boy Who Could See Only Purple. That's Right! is a thoughtful story about self-discovery. Milton sees only purple and relishes his vision. Like an artist, he sees more than what is physically in front of him. Purple is Milton's gift, his lens through which he views the world. "Milton would see sudden purple in sunlit water under rocks, in shady branches of a tree, on a fishy fin, a turtle shell."

But with the onset of winter, Milton seems to lose his precious gift, filling him with despair. Even though there are small glimpses of purple tucked away in the illustrations, he cannot see them. Ashmore skillfully uses purple as a metaphor for the creative process, while Milton experiences something akin to an artistic block. As with any creative, Milton's talent and vision are not gone only hidden from him.

An inspiring aspect of Ashmore's story is that Milton does not get help in recovering his gift, but rather looks within himself to find the gift he has lost. He lies down, closes his eyes and envisions purple until it is so strong he can see it again in the outside world. Once purple has returned toward the end of the book, Flo enters the story. She is described as being more purple than anything else Milton has seen. While a pretty metaphor for friendship, it would have been stronger to have had more interaction with her character. However, the author states that the next book will feature Flo in her very own story where readers are sure to love her as much as Milton himself. The lovely line drawings of Merewether enhance the simple but powerful message of believing in oneself.

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