Kelly's Reviews > Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
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's review
Mar 07, 15

bookshelves: children-s-literature, friendship-and-social-negotiations
Read in May, 2011

This is one of my favorite read-alouds.

Often I read it at the beginning of the school year when the kiddos, like Chrysanthemum, are showing up to a new school and trying to navigate adjusting. This year we waited and read the book alongside many others that address issues of teasing and bullying. This particular book makes it easy to talk about the power of tone for impacting how our words are received. (I can say, "Her name is so long" as a kind, non-judgmental statement of fact or as a mean-hearted accusation. The way I speak the words matters.) This can be a helpful lesson for students who 'sound mean' in their conversations with others without necessarily using unkind words. It also offers an opportunity for me to supply my students with specific scripts to help others be aware of when their language utilizes a hurtful tone.

Anyway, there are elements of the story to which each of my students (and I) connect. The ending is definitely a "happy" ending with a they-got-theirs kind of resolution (which is not always the best when my students -- especially those who feel they are teased frequently -- never have the type of resolution Chrysanthemum does).

I reference this text so often with my students and am so happy to have it in our classroom collection.

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