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Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum (original 1991; edition 2007)

by Kevin Henkes, Kevin Henkes (Illustrator)

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4,2592931,164 (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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Chrysanthemum is a good story to share with kids to try and emphasize the importance of an inclusive classroom community. This book teaches children to have confidence and pride in the things that make them different. We should not aim to lower ourselves because people do not appreciate our differences. The lesson of this story comes loud and clear, and is a very positive one. The students I have seen listen to this story seemed to love it. ( )
  MissCogswell | Dec 5, 2016 |
Chrysanthemum is about a mouse who is struggling to love her name. In the beginning of the story, Chrysanthemum is proud of the name that her parents gave her, but after going to school and being teased, Chrysanthemum decides that she hates her name. Chrysanthemum's music teacher hears about the other children making fun of her name and tells Chrysanthemum in front of the whole class that she loves her name because it is beautiful like a flower. After this, the other students stop making fun of Chrysanthemum's name and Chrysanthemum learns to love her name again.

I love this book because of the progression of the story. Many people can relate to being teased for something and then not liking that part of themselves because of the ridicule. It is nice to see Chrysanthemum being supported by her teacher and learning to love her name again by the end of the book, despite the struggles she was having with her classmates before.

This book could be used to teach lessons on empathy to young students. Teachers could have students try to think about how the different characters are feeling throughout different parts of the book and explain how their actions might make others feel. I also think this book is a great example of how teachers can help students feel good about themselves and stop bullying. ( )
  ErinLeary | Nov 20, 2016 |
a book about a little mouse with a lovely name. chrysanthemum goes to school and all the other students think that her name is a bit odd so she wants to change it. her teacher on the other hand lovers her name and is going to name her new baby chrysanthemum
8 books
  TUCC | Nov 11, 2016 |
Chrysanthemum is a story about a young girl who struggles to accept that her name is different when she first begins going to school. Henkes takes us on a journey of love, family, struggle, self esteem, and acceptance. Recommended for young children, especially those experiencing anxiety about beginning a new school. ( )
  BethBaugh | Nov 9, 2016 |
I love Kevin Henkes books and illustrations. The mouse characters are easy for young children to relate to and be able to see themselves in. I love the repetition is this story which makes it predicable for students as you read to them. The book also uses some larger words to increase vocabulary. This story exemplifies the petty and mean things that children can do and say to one another and how it makes the recipient feel. It is a great book for discussion with young readers. Kevin uses some great word choice as Chrysanthemum "wilts" after being teased. ( )
  Chafkins | Nov 6, 2016 |
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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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