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Chrysanthemum (Mouse Books)

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  42,051 Ratings  ·  1,302 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 1991)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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“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
Dec 01, 2007 Tara rated it it was amazing
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 it was amazing
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.
Crystal Marcos
Sep 04, 2010 Crystal Marcos rated it liked it
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
Mar 02, 2013 Kimberly rated it did not like it
Shelves: childrens, no-dice
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 ...more
Sep 14, 2010 Karol rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Lisa Vegan
Dec 17, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Apr 27, 2012 Miriam rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture, realism
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
Jan 26, 2014 Mary Jo rated it it was amazing
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 ...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
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
Sep 23, 2016 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love reading this book with Catherine. I love the cadence of "Chrysanthemum Chrysanthemum Chrysanthemum" over and over. I love her outfits. I love how she loves her name and is her own person....errr mouse. I love how loving her parents are (and can we talk about her dad's excellent vocabulary and supportive reading habits?) I love how the mean girls get their due in the end and want a little share of Chrysanthemum's unique and magical spirit. Maybe...just maybe I would like to be ...more
I really love Kevin Henkes' Chrysanthemum on an intensely personal and emotional level, and firmly believe this is a story to which many of us who have unusual, foreign sounding or simply imaginative first names can easily and readily relate (like me, for example, with a name like Gundula). First and foremost, Chrysanthemum is thus a picture book about loving one's name, loving oneself, but also very much about bullying and schoolyard, classroom harassment and how this is often neither taken ser ...more
Cleo White
Oct 12, 2015 Cleo White rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
“Her name must be everything she is,” said her mother.
“Her name must be absolutely perfect,” said her father.
And it was.

Told in the fun and humorous language of Kevin Henkes, Chrysanthemum is the story of one special mouse with an equally special name! Henkes tells a heart-warming story with beautifully vibrant illustrations about embracing who you are—even with others have a hard time doing so! Chrysanthemum is a mouse with an eclectic name that she loves. She has no idea how d
Amy Ballard
Feb 09, 2012 Amy Ballard rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-aloud
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
Feb 05, 2013 B rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Jessica B
May 05, 2015 Jessica B rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books

Chrysanthemum has always loved her name. When she goes to school for the first time she starts to feel a little bit differently about it though. The kids at school make fun of her name because it’s different. They tease her because her name won’t fit on the nametag, and taunt her that she is “named after a flower”. Chrysanthemum no longer loves her name the way she did before. With the help of her music teacher though, Chrysanthemum learns to love her name again! The illustrations in this story
Dec 10, 2014 Dominick rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Apr 27, 2010 Mallory rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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, ...more
Alyssa Sherry
Dec 06, 2014 Alyssa Sherry rated it it was amazing
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
Samantha Westall
Cute book about a little mouse with an odd name, and how she learns to embrace it.
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
Ashley Melton
Aug 24, 2010 Ashley Melton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-confidence
"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
Jul 01, 2012 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  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.
Little girls are catty even in Kindergarten. (Well, not these little girls, because they're mice, but still.) Isn't that horrible? But it's true. And these little micey girls have the power to bring even the ever-sunny Chrysanthemum down (if only temporarily).

There is nothing wrong with this book. It's perfect. Read it to your babies and tell them how beautiful they are. And how beautiful their names are, too.
♡ Kristina
Cute story .... and I actually liked it until the epilogue. It had some bullying undertones in the book, and in the end it showed to be nice - but then the epilogue had the main character, Chrysanthemum, laughing at another little girl for making a mistake. ummm - what? this is a kids book, let's not teach making fun of others as okay.
Mar 21, 2016 Asha rated it it was amazing
This is a very beautiful little book that I read countless times when I was a child. My mother bought it for me because, like the book's namesake, I have a very unique name. Reading Chrysanthemum helped me embrace the wonderful rareness of my own name. Also, the illustrations are fabulous. And the ending always makes me smile.
Jan 14, 2011 Amy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, reviewed
My niece really loved and identified with this book. She is at the age where she's starting school, and she's finding out that kids aren't always as nice as the kids on PBS television shows. This story entertained her and helped her to see the beauty in embracing your uniqueness, no matter what others have to say about it. We need to read this one again just for a refresher. :-)
Shakeema Gabriel
Jul 16, 2014 Shakeema Gabriel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animals
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.
Sep 18, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing
I love this book as much as I did when I read it to my first class! Chrysanthemum is embarrassed by her name when she begins attending school. She's teased and made fun of by her classmates. Finally, Mrs. Twinkle tells Chrysanthemum that she loves her name and names her own baby Chrysanthemum too. A great story for the beginning of the school year.
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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...

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