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Chrysanthemum Paperback – Sep 20 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow (Sept. 20 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688147321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688147327
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 19.7 x 24.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #25,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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Until Chrysanthemum started kindergarten, she believed her parents when they said her name was perfect. But on the first day of school, Chrysanthemum begins to suspect that her name is far less than perfect, especially when her class dissolves into giggles upon hearing her name read aloud. That evening, Chrysanthemum's parents try to piece her self-esteem back together again with comfort food and a night filled "with hugs, kisses, and Parcheesi." But the next day Victoria, a particularly observant and mean-spirited classmate, announces that Chrysanthemum's name takes up 13 letters. "That's half the letters in the alphabet!" she adds. Chrysanthemum wilts. Pretty soon the girls are making playground threats to "pluck" Chrysanthemum and "smell her."

Kevin Henkes has great compassion for the victims of childhood teasing and cruelties--using fresh language, endearing pen-and-ink mouse characters, and realistic dialogue to portray real-life vulnerability. He also has great compassion for parents, offering several adult-humor jokes for anxious mommies and daddies. On the surface, the finale is overly tidy and the coincidences unbelievable. But in the end, what sustains Chrysanthemum, as well as this story, is the steadfast love and support of her family. And because of this, the closure is ultimately convincing and utterly comforting. ALA Notable Book, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Horn Book Fanfare Honor List. (Ages 4 to 8) --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-- She was a perfect baby, and her doting parents chose a name to match, Chrysanthemum. She is proud of her musical name until kindergarten, when she finds herself in a world of strange new names such as Sue, Bill, Max, Sam, and Joe--in short ( really short) a world of ordinary monikers. That wouldn't be so bad if the others--like Victoria--hadn't made a mean-spirited game of tormenting her, sending her home in tears to be comforted with cuddles and Parcheesi. Wisely, Chrysanthemum's concerned and loving parents try not to interfere, but what can't be put right by them is dealt with by lucky chance. The class learns that their popular music teacher not only has a whopper of a name herself--Delphinium--but also plans to name her expected baby by the prettiest name she has heard, Chrysanthemum. The charming mouse with her delicate little face seems just right for her name. The range of expression and emotion Henkes conveys in his pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations are "absolutely perfect." The impressionistic floral backdrops and patterning reinforce the story's lighthearted, yet tender theme. This sensitive story will strike a chord with young children, particularly those who also have difficult or unfamiliar names. --Joan McGrath, Education Centre Library, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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The day she was born was the happiest day in her parents' lives. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
If you were to single out the one picture book author that most successfully puts their finger on the pulse of children's hopes and fears, the award for Greatest Long-Distance Therapist would go to none other than Kevin Henkes. I am a huge fan of "Lily's Purple Plastic Purse" and I found a great deal of enjoyment in "Owen" (though I feel it's not his strongest work). Even "Wemberly Worried" covers a lot of ground by directly confronting the fears of worrywarts everywhere. With "Chrysanthemum", Henkes discusses originality and how being different (even if you're different in name alone) can single you out in both good and bad ways. As a Henkes fan, I consider this book to be amongst his strongest.

Chrysanthemum feels that her name is absolutely perfect. She likes how it looks and she likes how it sounds and she likes that it is her name alone. Everything's going great until Chrysanthemum starts school. Suddenly everyone's making fun of her name. She has a class full of Sams and Eves and Victorias. There doesn't seem to be a place for a girl with as wildly original a name as Chrysanthemum. One student in particular, Victoria, makes it her goal to continually ridicule poor little Chrysanthemum day in and day out. Talking about it with her parents helps a little, but the next day the same thing occurs. It seems that Chrysanthemum is doomed to be unhappy until she meets the music teacher Mrs. Twinkle. Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle. And suddenly everything in Chrysanthemum's life is a whole lot better.

I liked the moral of this lesson and the way in which Chrysanthemum learns that it's okay to be original. I also liked the epilogue in this tale wherein the leader of Chrysanthemum's tormentors abruptly forgets her lines in the school play and our little heroine is vindicated.
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Format: Paperback
Kevin Henkes' Chrysanthemum is about a young mouse who is made fun of because of her name. She overcomes her hatred towards her name and is treated kindly by the other mice because of a teacher who tells them of how beautiful her name is. Henkes does a good job of relating Chrysanthemum's experience to real-life experiences for most young children who are different somehow. In addition, Henkes allows children to identify with Chrysanthemum's situation and therefore, the audience becomes more interested in the book. For example, a child who has a learning disability may have a different learning strategy and can compare to Chrysanthemum situation. He also teaches that it is alright to be different and that difference can be very good. He also does a good job of incorporating education and parental support in the book. Henkes message through this book can be considered credible because of the multiple children's books he has had published. Although the illustrations in this book are very simple, they are effective in allowing the audience to understand the plot line. The illustrations are also very colorful and attractive to the audience. Henkes not only provides interesting reading material for young children, but also makes children feel better about what they may think is different about themselves.
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Format: Paperback
Due to her parents, Chrysanthemum belives that her name is the most perfect name in the world. She later realizes this is not the case when she gets to school. She is constantly ridiculed by her peers, but her parents continualy cheer her up, regardless she is ridiculed again the following day. Due to the surprise ending of this exhilerating book, we cannot tell you what happens in the end.
Chrysanthemum's father is reading books in a few of the pictures that seem to give away the moral of the story. These book titles give parents some relief from the childish nature of the story.
The bright colors of the book make it fun and inviting for children looking for books to read. This makes Chrysanthemum a good book for parents and children to read together. Henkes uses repitition in this story well, so little kids will easily grasp the concepts. The message of this book helps parents as well as their children. It teaches parents to embrace their kids' differences and be loving and attentive. It seems odd, however, that Henkes would use such a freakish image for a character that is so positive in the story. The music teahcer looks like she could swallow all the students with her gigantic belly.
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Format: Paperback
When Chrysanthemum was born, her parents thought that she was absolutely perfect and felt that her name must fit that. Chrysanthemum loved her name until she went to school and all her classmates teased her about it. One day, by the help of a teacher, Chrysanthemum and her classmates realize that her name is not all that bad. The text and illustrations in Chrysanthemum blend together to form a delightful book for both kids and adults. The story also explains a valuable lesson, and that is, to be nice to others, no matter how different they are. The language is simple, but also involves some complex adjectives: "precious", "priceless", "fascinating" and "winsome". Repeated verses in the text can also be found throughout the story. "She did not think her name was absolutely perfect. She thought it was absolutely dreadful." This sentence is repeated several times and is like the chorus to a song. The repeated lines provide consistency throughout the book. Another repeated line is "Chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum." The repetition of this line aids in the concordance of the story. Kevin Henkes also makes the print of the story life-like at one point. "Chrysanthemum grew and grew and grew." As the font grows larger, it grabs the attention of the reader. This is a singled out event, which makes it even more memorable. Another instance of language playing an important part in this story is when Chrysanthemum is teased. Her reaction is the same every time; "Chrysanthemum wilted." This is a brilliant metaphor for a children's book. It gives a human flower-like characteristics. In addition, the illustrations fit well with the text.Read more ›
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