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(Mouse Books)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  53,687 ratings  ·  1,967 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 September 20th 1996 by Greenwillow Books (first published September 16th 1991)
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Average rating 4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  53,687 ratings  ·  1,967 reviews

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Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: overcoming bullying
I do love the name Chrysanthemum, but it is long. It's unique and you could nick name them ChrysAnn. Anyway,

This book is an interesting study of identity and how our peers can affect us. It can also be a nice book about being a little different at school and having to deal with that. It's a little longer story. I wasn't really taken by the artwork, but it told the story just fine and had plenty of fun details.

Chrysanthemum loved her special name for 5 years and then she goes to school and is tea
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really and for all intents and purposes do much love Kevin Henkes' Chrysanthemum and on an intensely personal and emotional level at that, and firmly believe that it is a story to which especially those of us (and really both children and adults) who have unusual, foreign sounding or simply imaginative first names can easily and readily relate (like me, for example, with a given name like Gundula).

And first and foremost, Chrysanthemum is therefore and even simply a sweet and evocative story a

“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
Mar 29, 2009 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. ...more
Dec 01, 2007 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
Nov 05, 2009 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.
Crystal Marcos
Sep 04, 2010 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
Sep 14, 2010 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 k ...more
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
Sep 11, 2007 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.
Emily Briano
Aug 29, 2007 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 C ...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
Feb 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Little Chrysanthemum adores her unique name, until she starts school, and other kids make fun of it.

Henkes' books are always a delight, and this is one of his best.

Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Cute story with a wonderful message. I use it to teach kindness, that it is okay to be different, and to love who you are no matter what others say.
Latanya (Crafty Scribbles)
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
Great lesson on self-acceptance and anti-bullying.
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children Feeling Insecure About Their Names / Readers Looking for Children's Stories About Bullying
"The day she was born was the happiest day in her parents' lives" begins Kevin Henkes' charming picture-book, Chrysanthemum, which addresses itself to the question of identity and difference, and how it feels to be the object of classroom ridicule. Having always loved her name, and believed it to be "absolutely perfect," Chrysanthemum is shocked and dismayed to discover, on the first day of school, that her classmates do not feel the same. Soon the object of a schoolyard taunting campaign, Chrys ...more
Mary Jo
Jan 16, 2014 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 th ...more
Mar 01, 2013 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 pre ...more
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Many authors enjoy using different techniques to make the important moments stand out. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes teaches that everyone has something special about them, no matter what. I know this because of Mrs.Twinkles modeling, Chrysanthemums wonderful achievement, and Chrysanthemums parents encouragement. Now, that I know this I can think about what’s the special thing that I have, because Chrysanthemum sure found hers!
Brittany Sammons
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book because of what it stands for and the honest conversation it sparks. Henkes does a wonderful job at using a real life situation for kids to relate to, while having a mouse be the main character. The lessons of being true to who you are, being made fun of for being different and struggling with emotions are constantly revisited in this story. It examines what it looks like to be influenced by peers and the harsh truth that not everyone is kind.

For my classroom, I would use thi
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A little white mouse named Chrysanthemum LOVES her moniker, that is until she begins school. That is until an adored teacher named Delphinium helps her and her classmates think of her name in a flattering way.

This story is a little long for pre-school age children and perhaps a little out of their experience but it is wonderful for K - 3.
Samantha (The Biblophage)
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Looking back on books that I read as a child, this was definitely one that made me the reader I am now. I made my mom read this to me over and over again because I loved the story so much. Definitely one of the books that reminds me why I want to work in publishing so badly.
Mar 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Caroline by: Somebody I now hate
Henkes's repetition of entire sentences every few pages is extremely irritating. The only thing I think is good about this book are the illustrations. ...more
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If a children's book can be described fairly as "perfect," this is the one. ...more
Maggie Dore
Sep 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really cute book! Its one of the only books that i enjoy reading to my one year old sister!
*sigh of pleasure*
I love this book! A must read for all children
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Awww such a cute story, so very relatable.
And the epilogue, even more adorable <3
Akshara Gopi
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Usually in books, authors write a lot about how people get bullied. This is also shown in the book ´´Chrysanthemum´´ by Kevin Henkes. It’s about how a little girl named Chrysanthemum gets made fun of and doesn't stand up for herself when the girls Jo, Rita, and Victoria make fun of her. This text taught me that I should stand up for myself.

Chrysanthemum taught me to be confident and tell people what I think. Three girls named Jo, Rita, and Victoria don't care about how Chrysanthemum really fee
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chrysanthemum loves her name until she starts school where her classmates tease her.

"'Your name is beautiful.' 'And precious and priceless and fascinating and winsome.' 'It's everything you are.' 'Absolutely perfect.'"

Chrysanthemum loves her name. She and her parents think it's perfect. Then she starts school, and her classmates find it funny and strange.

"Chrysanthemum wilted."

A trio of other girls make fun of Chrysanthemum's name at every opportunity, making her school life miserable. But the
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
Nicole Andaloro
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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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.

Other books in the series

Mouse Books (1 - 10 of 18 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
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