Chrysanthemum

( 108 )

Overview

She was a perfect baby, and she had a perfect name. Chrysanthemum. When she was old enough to appreciate it, Chrysanthemum loved her name. And then she started school. "I'm named after my grandmother," said Victoria. "You're named after a flower." Chrysanthemum wilted. Life at school didn't improve. In fact, it got worse. Then the students were introduced to their music teacher, Mrs. Twinkle. Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle. And suddenly, Chrysanthemum blossomed....

...

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Overview

She was a perfect baby, and she had a perfect name. Chrysanthemum. When she was old enough to appreciate it, Chrysanthemum loved her name. And then she started school. "I'm named after my grandmother," said Victoria. "You're named after a flower." Chrysanthemum wilted. Life at school didn't improve. In fact, it got worse. Then the students were introduced to their music teacher, Mrs. Twinkle. Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle. And suddenly, Chrysanthemum blossomed....

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

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-- She was a perfect baby, and her doting parents chose a name to match, Chrysanthemum. She is proud of her musical name until kindergarten, when she finds herself in a world of strange new names such as Sue, Bill, Max, Sam, and Joe--in short ( really short) a world of ordinary monikers. That wouldn't be so bad if the others--like Victoria--hadn't made a mean-spirited game of tormenting her, sending her home in tears to be comforted with cuddles and Parcheesi. Wisely, Chrysanthemum's concerned and loving parents try not to interfere, but what can't be put right by them is dealt with by lucky chance. The class learns that their popular music teacher not only has a whopper of a name herself--Delphinium--but also plans to name her expected baby by the prettiest name she has heard, Chrysanthemum. The charming mouse with her delicate little face seems just right for her name. The range of expression and emotion Henkes conveys in his pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations are ``absolutely perfect.'' The impressionistic floral backdrops and patterning reinforce the story's lighthearted, yet tender theme. This sensitive story will strike a chord with young children, particularly those who also have difficult or unfamiliar names. --Joan McGrath, Education Centre Library, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688147327
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/28/2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 22,862
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Lexile: 460L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.66 (w) x 6.48 (h) x 0.29 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Henkes

Kevin Henkes is the author and illustrator of close to fifty critically acclaimed and award-winning picture books, beginning readers, and novels. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon in 2005. Kevin Henkes is also the creator of a number of picture books featuring his mouse characters, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Lilly's Big Day and Wemberly Worried, the Caldecott Honor Book Owen, and the beloved Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. His most recent mouse character, Penny, was introduced in Penny and Her Song (2012); her story continued in Penny and Her Doll and Penny and Her Marble (a Geisel Honor Book). Bruce Handy, in a New York Times Book Review piece about A Good Day, wrote, "It should be said: Kevin Henkes is a genius." Kevin Henkes received two Newbery Honors for novels—one for his newest novel for young readers, The Year of Billy Miller, and the other for Olive's Ocean. Also among his fiction for older readers are the novels Junonia, Bird Lake Moon, The Birthday Room, and Sun & Spoon. He lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin.

Kevin Henkes is the author and illustrator of close to fifty critically acclaimed and award-winning picture books, beginning readers, and novels. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon in 2005. Kevin Henkes is also the creator of a number of picture books featuring his mouse characters, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Lilly's Big Day and Wemberly Worried, the Caldecott Honor Book Owen, and the beloved Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. His most recent mouse character, Penny, was introduced in Penny and Her Song (2012); her story continued in Penny and Her Doll and Penny and Her Marble (a Geisel Honor Book). Bruce Handy, in a New York Times Book Review piece about A Good Day, wrote, "It should be said: Kevin Henkes is a genius." Kevin Henkes received two Newbery Honors for novels—one for his newest novel for young readers, The Year of Billy Miller, and the other for Olive's Ocean. Also among his fiction for older readers are the novels Junonia, Bird Lake Moon, The Birthday Room, and Sun & Spoon. He lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin.

Biography

Kevin Henkes still owns some of his favorite books from childhood. "They're brimming with all the telltale signs of true love: dog-eared pages, fingerprints on my favorite illustrations, my name and address inscribed on both front and back covers in inch-high lettering, and the faint smell of stale peanut butter on the bindings," he says in an interview on his web site.

Back in his peanut-butter sandwich days, Henkes dreamed of becoming an artist. By high school, he had combined his love of drawing with a newfound interest in writing, and at age 19, he took his portfolio to New York City in hopes of finding a publisher. Young Henkes returned home from his weeklong trip with a contract from Greenwillow Books, and he's worked as a children's writer and illustrator ever since.

Henkes's style has evolved over the years to include more humor, more whimsy and a lot more mice. Though he began illustrating his picture books with realistic drawings of children, he's since developed a recurring cast of mouse characters rendered in a more cartoon-like style -- though with a range of expressions that make the spirited Lilly, anxious Wemberly, fearless Sheila Rae and sensitive Chrysanthemum into highly believable heroines. Owen, the story of a little mouse who isn't ready to give up his tattered security blanket, won a Caldecott Honor Medal for its winsome watercolor-and-ink illustrations.

Many of Henkes's mouse books deal with such common childhood ordeals as starting school, being teased and getting lost. Chrysanthemum, about a mouse whose new schoolmates tease her about her name, was inspired by Henkes's own feelings when he started school. "The book is about family, and how starting something new and going out into the world can be very hard," he told an interviewer for The Five Owls. "I remember going to kindergarten -- my grandfather had a beautiful rose garden, and he gave me the last roses of the season to bring to the kindergarten teacher the next day. I don't even remember how it happened, but an older kid took these flowers from me on the playground, and I remember coming home, feeling awful." As a grown-up, Henkes is able to translate difficult childhood transitions into stories that are both honest and reassuring. In a review of Chrysanthemum, Kirkus Reviews noted: "Henkes's language and humor are impeccably fresh, his cozy illustrations sensitive and funny, his little asides to adults an unobtrusive delight."

Henkes has also written novels for older children, in which he "explores family relationships with breathtaking tenderness" (Publisher's Weekly). In The Birthday Room, for example, a twelve-year-old boy learns the reason for his mother's long estrangement from her brother, and helps effect a reconciliation. "Refreshingly, Henkes has given us a male protagonist who is reflective, creative and emotionally sensitive," wrote Karen Leggett in The New York Times Book Review. "Ben feels the anguish of his mother's long-simmering bitterness and his uncle's agonizing guilt. Yet at a time when it is almost a fad to blame dysfunctional families for problems, we learn that even though there are never simple answers and not many fairy-tale endings, families can heal."

Though his novels are more complex and serious than his picture books, all Henkes's works suggest an author with deep empathy for the intense emotions of childhood. As a Publisher's Weekly reviewer wrote, "Behind each book is a wide-open heart, one readers can't help but respond to, that makes all of Henkes's books of special value to children."

Good To Know

Henkes's wife, Laura Dronzek, is also an artist. She painted the cover illustration for Henkes' novel Sun and Spoon and illustrated his picture book Oh!.

Henkes has turned down requests to use his mouse characters in a television series, but some of his books are available in video form in Chrysanthemum and More Kevin Henkes Stories. The video's narrators include Meryl Streep, Sarah Jessica Parker and Mary Beth Hurt.

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse has been adapted into a stage play.

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    1. Hometown:
      Madison, Wisconsin
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 27, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Racine, Wisconsin
    1. Education:
      University of Wisconsin, Madison
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 108 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(73)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 109 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2011

    Best book ever!!!

    I love this book I must have read it a hundred times! It is a great book and very amusing for children.

    25 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2011

    great book

    Even my six year old son liked this book. It a nice example on how sometimes kids can be mean and how it doesn't take much to change their minds!

    20 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2007

    Chrysanthemum

    This was my ABSOLUTE favorite book when I was a kid. I read it over and over. I HIGHLY recommend getting this for your child, and if you are a child, READ IT! It's sooo cute & entertaining, but also, I think it teaches a pretty good lesson.

    12 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 13, 2011

    Chrysanthemum

    This book is a sweet read that kids love, while showing teaching them about being different in a simple plot. Kids grasp that Chrysanthemum only dislikes her name because of bullies and that she can do nothing to change her name. This shows the real problem lies in the bullying. Kids easily understand the moral and love the happy ending.

    9 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2005

    Great book!

    I LOVE this book! This is a fantastic read for people of ALL ages, whether your reading level is college, or you cant even read yet and your parents read it to you. Fantastic!

    8 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    Sweet and charming

    I bought this book for my Nook Tablet. After I locked the page configuration, by tilting it and clicking on the on the key lock icon in the bottom corner. Also, you can increase the size of the pages, check the manual for directions.

    It is a charming book about a cute little mouse with a big name. The drawings are really sweet. There are a lot of words and pictures.

    The book has a womderful lesson about loving your name and yourself, regardless of what bullies at school may say. At the end, the young mouse has renewed her self confidence.

    Highly recommend for young children. It is also enjoyable for parents.

    7 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2011

    My 4 Year Old Loves It

    Great Story and worth the 10.99 for how many times my little girl as already listened to it and for how long it is. :)

    7 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2006

    Important lesson and too cute!

    When my six yr old sister got this book in the mail, I fell in love. I love weird names and Chrysanthemum is the best. The book teaches a great lesson on accepting your differences and loving yourself. And it's really cute too! Great for anyone to read.

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 23, 2011

    LOVE THIS BOOK!

    Kevin Henkes is a wonderful story teller! He does beautifuly detailed illustration, also. Need more of his books for Nook. Waiting for Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse on Nook.

    6 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2012

    Great, I loveit!!!

    This was my favorite book when I was liitle because Iwas teased. If your child ismade fun of they need to read this story!

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    Font size unreadable on Nook Tablet

    Cute story however, the version on the Nook Tablet has such a small font size that it's practically unreadable. You cannot change the orientation of the page or the font settings. Okay for the "Read and Play" mode but NOT for the "Read Myself" mode. Disappointed.

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    Love this book

    This book helped me appreciate my middle name (Reanne). I love it now, my dad does too... ha ha

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2011

    I love it

    As a little girl I checked it out at the library every week, even when my parents bought it for me. I know the words by heart.

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 31, 2010

    A great book-

    I really enjoyed this book of a little girl who loves her name until she attends school. This book is the reality of how unkind children can be to each other and the message that you should love who you are no matter what anyone says. The illustrations in this book are adorable and it is a fun book to read over and over. I have read it to my class as well as my children and I love the message that this book sends, especially for girls. I highly recommend this book!

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2007

    Excellent lesson

    The book Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes talks about a mouse who had always loved and appreciated her name, Chrysanthemum, until she goes to school and everyone makes fun of her name. Her parents ensure her that her name is beautiful and special, but students at her school say otherwise. Finally, when they meet their music teacher whose name is a flower name and learn that their teacher¿s baby will be named Chrysanthemum, they stop mocking her and she feels very proud of her name. With this book, the teacher can teach the concepts of self-esteem and acceptance. In addition, the concepts of print, sense of story and sequencing, vocabulary and background knowledge can be taught through this book.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2011

    Great story, teaches kids early that it is O.K. to be different.

    I purchased this read and play eBook specifically for my 4 yr old grandaughter's pleasure and it fit the bill. Whenever she is with me and uses my color nook, she has a great time with this story and loves the interactive features.

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2011

    Chrysanthemum C

    Very cute book my child loved it she keeps asking me for my nook the book is very toching even to me.

    4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2012

    OMG

    I have read this book alot when I was little" Its an all time favorite!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2012

    Great

    I love this book! I recomend it to anyone ages 4

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    Love it!!

    I have loved this book since I was little and I still do! I'm glad my little sister loves it to!

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 109 Customer Reviews

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