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Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum (original 1991; edition 2007)

by Kevin Henkes, Kevin Henkes (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,4933091,084 (4.4)11
Authors:Kevin Henkes
Other authors:Kevin Henkes (Illustrator)
Info:Greenwillow Books
Collections:Your library
Tags:Chrysanthemum, Victoria, flower, teasing, nickname, identity

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Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes (1991)


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This story is about a mouse named Chrysanthemum and because of her name she is the subject of bullying by those in her class. During the story she decides that her name is not beautiful and fitting for her. But by the end of the book with the help of her music teacher Mrs. Twinkle learns that her name is in fact beautiful and very fitting for her. This story is one that would be great to read to help students learn that they themselves are special and unique also while obtaining a very descriptive vocabulary. ( )
  MadelynMaxwell | May 1, 2017 |
Chrysanthemum loves her beautiful and perfect name. She loves the way it looks and loves the way it sounds. She does until the first day of school, when no one else has a name like hers and the other students like to make fun of her name. This hurts Chrysanthemums feelings so much, that she decides she doesn't love her name anymore. When her parents assure her at home that her name is beautiful and perfect she starts to feel better about her name until she goes back to school and the same few students begin to pick on her for her name again. This continues for a few more days until one teacher stands up for her and explains how she loves Chrysanthemums name and how she also was named after a flower. She also states that when she has a daughter she would love to name her Chrysanthemum. This gave Chrysanthemum the confidence she needed to keep loving her name even if others didn't love it like she did.This book would be great to read for those kids with long and unique names to make sure they know that just because their names are different doesn't mean they are any less beautiful. It would also be good for lessons on bullying others for being different. ( )
  RikkiHamilton | May 1, 2017 |
Names are very special but we may not always feel that way. This was particularly true for Chrysanthemum when she was teased and riduculed for being "named after a flower". However, thanks to a special teacher, Chrysanthemum and those who teased her learn a valuable lesson about the beauty of unique names. This story is a great example of how teasing and bullying affect students. It also serves as a great example of a teacher taking a situation and turning it for the better. ( )
  Cayetlin_Hardeman | May 1, 2017 |
In my opinion this is a wonderful book with a powerful message. The message is that no matter what our differences are it is not okay to bully anyone. With bullying finally getting the attention it deserves in our schools, this book is an excellent choice to use for a think aloud with a class of students. There are many reasons that I enjoyed this book, such as the message, the difficult variety of vocabulary and the illustrations. The language of this book is descriptive, patterned, and clear. The writing is engaging, organized and clear with the exception of harder vocabulary words, such as humorous and Chrysanthemum. The characters are represented as mice, but children will have no problems with relating to the characters. The characters are extremely well-developed and believable. The point of view switches from first and third person throughout the story. The plot is organized well and has a good pace. The tension and conflict in the plot are felt all the way to the end of the story. The illustrations are great, and they help to enhance the story with the use of warm and vibrant colors. The illustrations are also appropriate to the mood of the story, by showing the emotions of all of the characters involved in the dialogue. The book pushes readers to think about tough issues, while at the same time broadening their perspectives on the issue of bullying. I highly recommend this book, and I plan to use it for a lot of think alouds in the future.
  KMG2002 | Apr 23, 2017 |
Chrysanthemum loves her name before beginning school. After getting made fun of for how long her name is (and being named after a flower), she doesn't like school or her name anymore. However, an eccentric teacher might be able to change her mind.
  morganlasher | Apr 21, 2017 |
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The day she was born was the happiest day in her parents' lives.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
My favorite of all the MANY Kevin Henkes books I've read recently, Chrysanthemum is the story of a little girl mouse who believes that her name is perfect... until some nasty girls at school tell her differently. Henkes resolves the story beautifully -- with a teacher who also has a long flower name -- and is sensitive throughout to the hurt that Chrysanthemum feels. Henkes' child protagonists are always supported and always found to be in the right, and the resolution always comes in a way that isn't mean-spirited.

A wonderful, comforting book for young children, with enough clever asides in the illustrations to keep parents engaged as well.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0688147321, Paperback)

Until Chrysanthemum started kindergarten, she believed her parents when they said her name was perfect. But on the first day of school, Chrysanthemum begins to suspect that her name is far less than perfect, especially when her class dissolves into giggles upon hearing her name read aloud. That evening, Chrysanthemum's parents try to piece her self-esteem back together again with comfort food and a night filled "with hugs, kisses, and Parcheesi." But the next day Victoria, a particularly observant and mean-spirited classmate, announces that Chrysanthemum's name takes up 13 letters. "That's half the letters in the alphabet!" she adds. Chrysanthemum wilts. Pretty soon the girls are making playground threats to "pluck" Chrysanthemum and "smell her."

Kevin Henkes has great compassion for the victims of childhood teasing and cruelties--using fresh language, endearing pen-and-ink mouse characters, and realistic dialogue to portray real-life vulnerability. He also has great compassion for parents, offering several adult-humor jokes for anxious mommies and daddies. On the surface, the finale is overly tidy and the coincidences unbelievable. But in the end, what sustains Chrysanthemum, as well as this story, is the steadfast love and support of her family. And because of this, the closure is ultimately convincing and utterly comforting. ALA Notable Book, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Horn Book Fanfare Honor List. (Ages 4 to 8) --Gail Hudson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:20 -0400)

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Chrysanthemum loves her name, until she starts going to school and the other children make fun of it.

(summary from another edition)

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