Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Chrysanthemum” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Chrysanthemum (Mouse Books)

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  34,260 ratings  ·  994 reviews
Written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes, the nationally bestselling and celebrated creator of Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, Owen, and Kitten's First Full Moon, Chrysanthemum is a funny and honest school story about teasing, self-esteem, and acceptance to share all year round.

Chrysanthemum thinks her name is absolutely perfect—until her first day of school. "You're named af
Paperback, 32 pages
Published December 30th 2008 by Greenwillow Books (first published January 1st 1991)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussGoodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Best Children's Books
71st out of 3,145 books — 4,698 voters
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleCharlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Best children's books EVER
62nd out of 1,032 books — 1,284 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details

“Chrysanthemum” is a cute tale from Kevin Henkes about how a young girl mouse named Chrysanthemum tries to appreciate her long and unusual name when she goes to school and is teased by her classmates. “Chrysanthemum” is a truly heartwarming story that children will easily enjoy for many years.

Kevin Henkes has done an excellent job at both writing and illustrating this book. Kevin Henkes’ story about how Chrysanthemum starts to loathe her name because some kids teased her about her name is easil
Forgive me one, forgive me all, I'm about to do what the school librarian, my teachers and my guardians told me never to do. I'm about to break one of the chief cardinal rules of the internet - I'm going to tell you all my real name.


Hello all, my name is Acacia. It's a romanization of a hellenization of what most scholars probably agree upon was an old Egyptian word, but it may go back farther than that. It's also a type of tree with the best, most delicious looking buttery yellow flowers
This is just a darling book. Having saddled my eldest with a somewhat unusual name, I used to read this book to him frequently in the hopes that he would absorb the message that an unusual name is something you can be proud of. I can't say for sure whether this story made a difference, but he likes his name and has never let anyone's teasing change his mind.
Chrysanthemum is so much fun to read. I do wish that the epilogue was just a little different. The last page has the mean girl making a mis
Mar 29, 2009 R. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to R. by: NICHOLE
Shelves: 2009
I loved the subplot, told only in the pictures, wherein the father consults archaic psychological texts in order to understand his daughter's distress.
Impulse grab while visiting the charming library in McDermitt, NV. I see other reviewers have slightly divergent reactions to this. I must say, it worked for me. I don't think I'd ever be brave enough to be so creative with my child's name, but if you are, get this book, then go for it.
Crystal Marcos
I enjoyed this book and reading the discussion about it. I liked the attention to detail in the illustrations. For example, the books Dad was reading or the chalkboard with words. I also smiled at the little mice sleeping, some of them with their arms strait up in the air. Too funny! I got a kick out of the students names listed on the page seeing Kay and Max next to each other. I will have to share this book with Kaylee and her cousin Max when they are old enough to read.

As for the story itsel
Lisa Vegan
Sep 11, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: very young kids (ages 3-6) who either have unusual names or who know others with unusual names
For a basically sweet book, I think it’s a tad too mean at the end, unnecessarily so. But, it can be a helpful book for young kids who have unusual names or get teased for their names, or teased for any other reason. Good also for kids who tease others or those who have witnessed other kids being teased. In other words, just about every young child.
Very cute illustrations and a sweet portrayal of a loving, happy family soften a realistic portrayal of how mean and xenophobic children can be, and how easily a child can be excluded and made to feel abnormal.
Mary Jo
Chrysanthemum is an award-winning picture book written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes. The story is based on a little girl’s journey of dealing with her very unique name. She starts loving her name, until she is teased about it at school. Eventually with the help of her teacher, Chrysanthemum is able proudly love her name again. Chrysanthemum falls into the realistic fiction category, because it is believable and relate-able. This a great book to introduce to a classroom because the emotions th ...more
Chrysanthemum loves her name, her parents picked just the right one...that is, until she goes to school and all the kids laugh at her name and tease her. "She's named after a flower...her name doesn't fit on a nametag...", etc. Chrysanthemum is depressed and disappointed when she gets home from school, but her parents bolster up her self-esteem.

The other kids don't see the light, though, until a very thoughtful, insightful teacher comes to her rescue and saves the day! Chrysanthemum is a great
Poor Chrysanthemum! As a parent, I can surely relate to the teasing that children can dish out. My son was much like Chysanthemum, confident in himself and excited about going to school. But he had to deal with being teased too - as son many kids are. What I liked about the book was that it showed how much power grown-ups have to deal with this sort of thing. Mrs. Chud ignored it, but dear Mrs. Twinkle lifted Chysanthemum up as a child who should be envied, not made fun of. And soon, the other k ...more
Amy Ballard
For my read-aloud book, I chose Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes, I think it’s a perfect book to be read aloud. I would choose it mostly for lower levels such as first or second. Chrysanthemum is a small mouse whose parents wanted to have the perfect name for their new child. They wanted a name as perfect as their little girl already was. Growing up Chrysanthemum loved her name, loved the way it looked, sounded, and written. This is changed when school started and everyone else in her class whose ...more
I vividly remember reading this picture storybook as a small girl, so when I saw it on the list I knew I wanted to track it down to re-read it at an older age. Chrysanthemum was such a fun name to say and I never quite understood why she ever need to feel self-conscious about it. The pictures were just as bright and cheery as I remembered and I loved seeing what creative activity she would be doing. I really enjoyed watching Chrysanthemum age through the use of nine cleverly depicted images. I t ...more
Jackie O'Neil
I would use this book to introduce the meaning of bullying to my classroom. It teaches us that words can hurt people's feelings. Children can learn to acknowledge and reconsider their comments before they express them to the group or to a classmate. However, I truly believe this book could have been better if her parents engaged a conversation with Chrysanthemum about her feelings. They did not encourage her to speak up to them or to her classmates about how she felt. Her mother said to her that ...more
Kimberly B.
I'm not in the habit of rating the dozens and dozens of children's books I read to my kids, but I had to review this one. This is a terrible book and I can't figure out why the heck everyone thinks it's so wonderful! Basically, it's about a girl named Chrysanthemum who doesn't like her name, because she gets teased and bullied for it (her friends have 'normal' names). Then, one of her teachers tells Chrysanthemum how much she loves her name and that she wants to name her baby (the teacher is pre ...more
This is a very good picture book, dealing subtly with several issues--identity, ego, bullying, ineffective parenting/teaching--all around how a girl feels about herself and her name before she goes to school, and then after she goes to school and discovers that the rosy world view presented by her parents does not conform to reality, when her classmates mock her for her odd name--and the teacher is ineffective in dealing with it, and the parents simply deal with it by feeding her bomoides that n ...more
Shakeema Gabriel
I can relate to this book. When I was growing up I really didn't like my name. I first heard this book at my kindergarten placement. We were doing a compare and contrast chart between this book and Wemberly. This is a good book to show kids it's okay to be you and love yourself. You should not care what nobody thinks that we all are unique and special.
Chrysanthemum is a wonderful book about learning to find happiness within one's unique identity. Filled with colorful illustrations, this book is a delightful tale about a young girl who loves her unusual name until her peers at school begin to make fun of her. Throughout the story, Chrysanthemum's parents encourage her to embrace her identity and be happy with herself, but Chrysanthemum is miserable until a teacher gives her the highest compliment. Not only does she like Chrysanthemum's name, b ...more
Alyssa Sherry
Chrysanthemum is the story of a cute and confident young mouse who adores her name. That is, until she starts school and begins to be bullied and made fun of for her long and complicated name. Through the support of her parents and music teacher, Mrs. Twinkle, she is able to love her name again and stand up for herself.

As always, Kevin Henkes never fails to provide fun, colorful, and well-done artwork. He also adds repetition and challenging vocabulary to this book, like many of his others. Fo
Julia Stevens
I remember being teased when I was younger because I have a "boys" middle name. I connect with this book and think it is so sweet. It would be great for the beginning of the school year to model that every ones name is special to them.
Angela Bailey
Title / Author / Publication Date:
Chrysanthemum. / Kevin Henkes. / 1991.

Genre: Fiction.

Format: Picturebook - print.

Plot summary:
"Chrysanthemum loves her name, until she starts going to school and the other children make fun of it" (NoveList).

Considerations or precautions for readers advisory:
self-esteem, unusual names, bullying

Review citation:
“this sensitive story will strike a chord with young children, particularly those who also have difficult or unfamiliar names” (Joan McGrath in School L
I loved this book as a child :) I'd actually completely forgotten about it until it came up on here. Thank you, Goodreads!!
Ashley Melton
"Chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum..."

Oh me. I remember identifying with Chrsanthemum when I was in 3rd grade. Not becuase I had a funny name (obviously), but because I connected with the need Chrysanthemum experienced of being validated and confirmed. Especially at that time when you are SO insecure of who you are. "Yes, Ashley, you are of great worth." Validation is something every human being needs; something we need to ensure is present in our classrooms.

This book is just the read
Feb 14, 2009 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Interesting story about a young girl with an unusual, but beautiful name. It was a little long, but our girls enjoyed it. We've read this book a couple of times.

This book was featured as one of the selections for the September 2010: Back-to-School reads at the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books group here at Goodreads.
Leah Jackman
Chrysanthemum is a young girl who was named after a flower because her parents believed it was perfect just like she was. While growing up she loved her name and thought it was “absolutely perfect”, she enjoyed the way it sounded when her parents said it, the way it looked when spelled out on a cake and when she wrote it out herself. However that all changed on her first day of school. When her classmates heard her name for the first time they all laughed. They said things like “its so long”, “i ...more
Aaron Siclovan
In the book, Chrysanthemum is a little girl mouse who got her name because her parents thought that it was a perfect name. As she grew older, Chrysanthemum loved her name more and more; how it sounded, looked, and was written on a cake. She was thrilled with her name, but when Mrs. Chud, her Kindergarten teacher, called the children's names and came to Chrysanthemum's name, the children giggled and several of the little girls made fun of Chrysanthemum's name. Though Chrysanthemum cried and her p ...more
Kellie Callahan
Chrysanthemum is a heartwarming tale of a mouse who is absolutely perfect, with an absolutely perfect name. She loved the way it sounded when her mother woke her up in the morning, and she loved the way it sounded when she whispered it to herself. However, when Chrysanthemum starts school, she is made fun of because of her name. All the other people in her class make fun of her name, which leads her to believe that it is absolutely dreadful. When she gets home, her parents make her feel absolute ...more
Muhuawu wu
Chrysanthemum loves her name, until her start going to school and other children make fun of it. The very first time I read this story is in my children literature class. My
Professor read it to us in the class. It is an amazing story. Chrysanthemum is a happy mouse before she went to school. Her classmates teased her name is too long and she became unhappy every day until Mrs. Twinkle said she will name her baby Chrysanthemum, too. I so like Kevin’s illustration of baby mouse. It is so cute. I
Paige Cook
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes is about a young girl that everyone makes fun of because of her name. Everyone makes fun of her name because of her long, flower name. They all made fun of her until the music teacher said she liked it and then everybody decided they liked it too. Others stop teasing her and she ends up liking her name! The music teacher names her baby Chrysanthemum. There is no foreshadowing in the story. The ending brings satisfaction and closure. There is a closed ending. The cha ...more
Jenna Kennedy
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes begins with a baby mouse whose parents think must be perfect. She grew and grew and grew. The white pages are full pastel, rounded images of the young mouse. As Chrysanthemum grew up, she learned to love her name. She loves the way it sounds and looks, and she thinks her name is absolutely perfect. Playful pinks and warm gold tones cover each page, animated facial expressions on the mouse’s face to enhance the emotions shown in the text. She loves her name until the ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
read aloud 4 43 Sep 24, 2014 08:17AM  
  • My Name Is Yoon
  • Mini Mia and Her Darling Uncle
  • Fred Stays With Me!
  • Big Red Lollipop
  • Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
  • The Princess and the Pig
  • Thank You, Mr. Falker
  • The Sandwich Swap
  • First Day Jitters
  • Here Comes the Garbage Barge!
  • Blackout
  • The Dot
  • The Greedy Triangle
  • Leo the Late Bloomer
  • Tacky the Penguin
  • Officer Buckle & Gloria
  • Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge
  • The Relatives Came
Kevin Henkes became an author/illustrator when he was nineteen years old, working on a card table in his bedroom.
Today he's the author of many award-winning picture books and novels.
More about Kevin Henkes...

Other Books in the Series

Mouse Books (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • A Weekend with Wendell
  • Sheila Rae, the Brave
  • Chester's Way
  • Julius, the Baby of the World
  • Owen
  • Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse
  • Wemberly Worried
  • Lilly's Big Day
  • Penny and Her Doll
  • Penny and Her Song
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse Kitten's First Full Moon Owen Wemberly Worried Olive's Ocean

Share This Book