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Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
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Chrysanthemum (original 1991; edition 2007)

by Kevin Henkes, Kevin Henkes (Illustrator)

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3,5242311,499 (4.38)9
Member:alissabecker
Title:Chrysanthemum
Authors:Kevin Henkes
Other authors:Kevin Henkes (Illustrator)
Info:Greenwillow Books
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Chrysanthemum, Victoria, flower, teasing, nickname, identity

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Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes (1991)

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Showing 1-5 of 230 (next | show all)
I absolutely loved this book for multiple reasons. To start, the writing of the book is very organized and the author, Kevin Henkes, does a great job with repetition throughout his story to show emphasis. For example, some sentences appear over and over again: "Chrysanthemum wilted. She did not think her name was absolutely perfect. She thought it was absolutely dreadful." These three lines appear multiple times throughout the story to show that Chrysanthemum is extremely unhappy with her name she once thought, and her parents think, is perfect. With this organized writing characteristic, the reader can really feel the main character's frustration with her name. I also really enjoyed the plot of the story. A story about how a child starts to hate her name because some kids teased her is easily relatable to children who have also been teased. Also, the story does a great job at describing how much Chrysanthemum ultimately loves her name and even though she was teased, she learns to accept her name and many children will learn that they should not let other kids tease them about their names and they should accept who they are no matter what. The plot is easily relatable, has conflict that ends up being resolved, and has a happy ending which children will enjoy. The main message that all students struggle with acceptance but eventually need to be comfortable with themselves is an important one to grasp but this author executes it perfectly. ( )
  mpotts1 | Apr 4, 2015 |
I enjoyed Kevin Henkes’ story Chrysanthemum because of its descriptive language and vivid illustrations that capture the reader and emerges them into the world of Chrysanthemum. Henkes describes the rollercoaster of emotion that Chrysanthemum felt about her name. He emphasizes how much she loved her name and how she “loved the way her name looked when it was written with ink on an envelope, when it was written with icing on her birthday cake, and how she loved the way it look when she wrote it herself with her fat orange crayon”. He then describes the embarrassment, shame, and sadness she felt about her name when her classmates ridiculed her, urged her to change her name, and she dreamt that her mean classmates were “plucking her leaves and petal one by one until there was nothing left but a scrawny stem” . Henkes then describes the bliss, pride, and joy she felt when her music teacher Mrs. Twinkle reveals that she too has a long name and is named after a flower (Delphinium) and decides to name her daughter Chrysanthemum because “it is absolutely perfect”. The illustrations throughout the story are very vivid and help the reader follow the story plot which is beneficial to students who are struggling readers. This story causes reader to think about how everyone has a name and although some might be more uncommon than others they are all beautiful. The overall message in this story is to appreciate and love ones name because it is an important part of what makes someone who they are. ( )
  Mchapp1 | Apr 3, 2015 |
This is a great book for young children and has a very important lesson that all children need to learn. Chrysanthemum loves her name until she goes to school and gets made fun of and wants to change it. At the end, her teacher shows the students how great Chrysanthemum's name is and the students want their names to be those of flowers too. The book teaches students that even if something is different about someone you should not make fun of them. This is very important because bullying occurs very often in schools today. I loved the message of this book which made it great. I also loved the illustrations that were a nice pastel. The last thing I enjoyed was the main character. She was so cute and the reader could sympathize with her and she made you want to keep reading. ( )
  sfinke5 | Apr 3, 2015 |
This is great book to read to your class as it has a good message about teasing others and the damage that can do. It also has a good message about being yourself, despite what others might think. Books like this are wonderful for the classroom as they are fun and cute, but also teach about good behavior. This book could also be fun to use with a lesson plan about names and where different names come from, and their different meanings.
  JessicaLeupold | Mar 14, 2015 |
I really liked this book because of the moral of the story, the adorable pictures and the vocabulary level. The story was about a mouse who was given the name Chrysanthemum and she loved it all her life until she came to school. Every made fun of her name because it was so long and different. Then she started to hate her namea nd wish she never had it. Then, a new teacher came to school who everyone loved and she had a unique flower name as well and said that she loved the name Chrysanthemum. Everyone was shocked and then they started to love her name too and wish there names were more unique. The moral of the story was to not care what other people think. If you like something, but other people don't, it's okay to be different. The story was so cute and easy to read. the pictures were adorable. I think young readers will really like this book. ( )
  evandy1 | Mar 12, 2015 |
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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.
Haiku summary

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:43 -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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