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Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum (original 1991; edition 2007)

by Kevin Henkes, Kevin Henkes (Illustrator)

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3,3652061,615 (4.4)7
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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Chrysanthemum thinks her name is absolutely perfect. That is, until she goes to school and the teasing begins. Will Chrysanthemum learn to ignore the bullies and find the beauty in her name again?

Kevin Henkes scores with this adorable tale of acceptance and self-esteem. A great choice for the "first day of school." ( )
  lbblackwell | Jul 12, 2014 |
Chrysanthemum is a book about a young girl learning to love how unique her name is. When she gets to school she is made fun of by her peers for how long her name is, for her name being a flower, and for other things, so Chrysanthemum begins to think her name is the worst. Her mother continually tells her that she has the most beautiful name in the world, the students continue to tease her and tease her. It isn't until Mrs. Twinkle tells the students that her first name is too, a flower, that the children teasing Chrysanthemum wish that they had a beautiful name like hers. ( )
  bblender | Jun 11, 2014 |
This was a great story. Chrysanthemum loves her name in every way, whether that is writing it down or hearing it said by her parents, but when she gets to school, the other kids tease her because she is "named after a flower." This brings up the theme of bullying, and how kids will find anything they can to pick on. Instead of ignoring her classmates and holding her head high, Chrysanthemum "wilts" and starts thinking that maybe they are right. This brings up peer pressure in a way that the young audience can understand it; instead of being confident about her own name and not caring what other people think, Chrysanthemum succumbs to her classmates' peer pressure and begins to dislike her name. However, in the end, she regains that confidence about her name when she finds someone she can relate to, and the other kids learn that making fun of her isn't the right thing to do. There are a lot of life lessons packed into this book. ( )
1 vote parejess | Jun 3, 2014 |
Chrysanthemum is about a girl who loves her name but is teased for it at school. She slowly starts hating her name but the adults in her life cheer her up and remind her of why her name is perfect.

This is a great book to have in the classroom because some students will be made fun of for their names just like Chrysanthemum was in the story. The characters develop and change over the course of the story. The plot is imaginative and the setting is rich in details so that the reader can visualize the story. The theme of this story is discovered rather than taught. Chrysanthemum’s theme is to stay true to yourself and be proud of who you are. This is so important to teach to children because bullying is such a problem in schools.

Reading Level: K-3
Genre: Fantasy
1 vote rdg301library | May 27, 2014 |
In my opinion, this is an excellent book that teaches a valuable lesson to young children. There is a repetition of the main character’s name, “Chrysanthemum, chrysanthemum, chrysanthemum,” which is helpful for readers who are pronouncing this complex word. Some advanced vocabulary terms are used in the book. This is great way to get readers introduced to new “wow” words. The illustrations are gorgeous and filled with detail and vibrant colors. The plot of the story is Chrysanthemum loved her name and thought it was beautiful and perfect. But then her new classmates make fun of how the name is long and silly. Chrysanthemum then thought her name was “absolutely dreadful.” The language makes the reader feel sympathy for poor Chrysanthemum. Fortunately, Mrs. Twinkle reveals she also has a flower name that is very long. She loves flower names and wants to name her new baby Chrysanthemum. All the students are then jealous of the name and Chrysanthemum realizes her name truly is “absolutely perfect.” The character of Chrysanthemum is relatable and believable. Some readers understand the pain of classmates making fun of them. The book pushes readers to think about bullying and how this negative behavior affects other individuals. The big idea of the story is to be proud of who you are and realize that your unique qualities are what make you special. ( )
1 vote jgiann2 | May 8, 2014 |
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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 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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