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

by Kevin Henkes, Kevin Henkes (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,3972111,589 (4.39)7
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 211 (next | show all)
I LOVED this book!! I've always loved Kevin Henkes' books as a child and just remembered why! One of my favorite books as a child was "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse", which was also written by Kevin Henkes. I love his illustrations and the stories behind his mouse characters. Chrysanthemum was about a little girl who absolutely loved her name, but when she started going to school everyone would make fun of her for it. Until one day when her music teacher (who they all loved) told the class that her name was a type of flower as well. After that, Chrysanthemum became friends with her classmates and loved her name again because the teacher they all looked up to stuck up for her. It's a lovely story because it talks about the fears some children face when going to school. It's a very fun and colorful story, and I love how Kevin Henkes characters are always mice. It brought back a lot of memories for me. The illustrations were realistic and creative because he portrays the mice as real children which characteristics of humans. The plot was also organized, there was enough detail to keep you interested, but the story was simply enough for children as well. ( )
1 vote lgrube4 | Oct 15, 2014 |
This book was adorable. I enjoyed reading it even though at the same time it made me upset Chrysanthemum thought her name was not perfect because of some bullies. I noticed while reading how her clothes became more baggy as she became more uncomfortable and less confident in who she was and about her name. The book really showed the effects bullying has on a person and how one person can make a difference. I loved how supportive the parents were towards Chrysanthemum and her name crisis. The illustrations in the book really showed how she felt and what was going on. The overall message of the book is that your name is perfect for you and do not let others tell you different. Another message could be to not bully others. ( )
  Madison94 | Oct 7, 2014 |
Chrysanthemum loves her name, it's perfect, that is, until she goes to school and all of the children laugh and giggle at her name. It's too long, it scarcely fits on her nametag and she's named after a flower. Throughout all the mean comments and teasing she learns to appreciate just how special and perfect her name is. ( )
  Srwhite | Oct 2, 2014 |
Cute book to teach kids about how different names are special! Kevin Henkes always delivers a good message.
  SRThompson | Oct 2, 2014 |
I liked this book a lot because it expresses emotion from the main character and relays these emotions to the reader. You feel bad for Chrysanthemum when the students are making fun of her and then you feel excitement for her when all the students in the end want to be named flowers. this book is a great read aloud book as well as one to make lessons on synonyms and vocabulary words from. Other topics that could be used for lessons are wellness and character traits.
The vocabulary gets more difficult through out the story, keeping the reader engaged and challenged. I also liked how the line "Chrysanthemum wilted, she did not think her name was absolutely perfect. She thought it was absolutely dreadful" was repeated through out the book. The repetition is good for a read aloud so that the students can read alone with the teacher.
When I was younger, i loved reading this book because my mom would be so proud when I could pronounce each of the difficult words. Reading this book again brought back memories and reminded me of how much i loved this book.
Finally, the epilogue was a great final tough to this book. The reader ends feeling proud of Chrysanthemum and happy that she embraces and loves her name even though every classmate made fun of her for so long.
  lfasce1 | Sep 22, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 211 (next | show all)
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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)

(see all 7 descriptions)

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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