is a happy
little mouse who is so excited to finally start school. But from the
very first day, some of the other students begin teasing Chrysanthemum
for her long and flowery name. She used to love her
name, but not any
more. Her parents
try to comfort her, but each new day brings more
criticisms and more sadness for Chrysanthemum. Then one day, the
school's popular music teacher tells the class that her first name is
long too--Delphinium--and even announces
that she is going to name her soon- to-arrive
baby the prettiest name she's ever heard-- Chrysanthemum!
Chrysanthemum is thrilled, and the rest of the students--even the ones
had been critical before--suddenly want long and pretty names too, just
love this adorable story and its sweet message of loving yourself and
what makes you different and special. The story also does an excellent
job of showing how much unkind words can hurt the recipient. Henkes
the book with a happy and self-assured Chrysanthemum, but half
through the book, the repeated criticisms from the other students have
left Chrysanthemum sad and defeated. She has clearly lost her spark,
your students will not only feel for the little mouse, they'll also
see the harmful effects that even just a few critical or uncaring words
can in have.
This is a great book to read during the first week
of school, whenever you are experiencing bullying behaviors in your
classroom, or even during a unit on emotions, as "the range of
expression and emotion" that Henkes imbues in each character is "absolutely perfect." (SLJ)
This is one of our favorite all time
books--one we think belongs in every early grades classroom!
Great for self esteem,
the first week of school
Awards & Rating ALA
Notable Children's Book
Horn Book Fanfare Children's Book Award
Average Amazon Rating: (93
Peek Inside At right is my favorite
page from this book. It shows little Chrysanthemum growing up, from a
baby to a toddler to a 'big girl' ready for her first day of school.
The picture in the middle with little Chrysanthemum in star glasses
makes me laugh whenever I see it.
Kevin Henkes' characters are always so full of personality! Maybe
that's why we love his book so much!
The spread below talks about how Chrysanthemum loves to see her name
written on envelopes, birthday cakes...even when written in her own
writing. She "thought her name was absolutely perfect. And then she
started school." That's when the teasing began and she began
to question the name she had loved for so long.