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Chrysanthemum Big Book Paperback – October 2, 2007


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books (October 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061119741
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061119743
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 18.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #653,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.

More About the Author

Kevin Henkes is the author and illustrator of close to fifty critically acclaimed and award-winning picture books, beginning readers, and novels. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon in 2005. Kevin Henkes is also the creator of a number of picture books featuring his mouse characters, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Lilly's Big Day and Wemberly Worried, the Caldecott Honor Book Owen, and the beloved Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. His most recent mouse character, Penny, was introduced in Penny and Her Song (2012); her story continued in Penny and Her Doll and Penny and Her Marble (a Geisel Honor Book). Bruce Handy, in a New York Times Book Review piece about A Good Day, wrote, "It should be said: Kevin Henkes is a genius." Kevin Henkes received two Newbery Honors for novels--one for his newest novel for young readers, The Year of Billy Miller, and the other for Olive's Ocean. Also among his fiction for older readers are the novels Junonia, Bird Lake Moon, The Birthday Room, and Sun & Spoon. He lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin. You can visit him online at www.kevinhenkes.com.

Customer Reviews

I love reading this to my three year old daughter.
Amazon Customer
It helps to teach a great lesson on teasing, but also about how unique each person is, and the beauty in the differences.
Bridget Egan
I am an elementary school teacher and this book is great to read to the kids within the first few weeks of school.
Ashlee Lindley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 6, 2004
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.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Adrienne Lloyd on December 2, 1999
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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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
Chrysantmum loves her name but when she started school she thought her name was dreadful! Her name was spelled with thirteen letters,and she was named after a flower.The wicked Victoria even said she looked liked a flower . After the class was introduced to Mrs Twinkle,everyone thought her name was perfect! Chrsantmum was happy.I think this book is good for 3~8 years old readers,it is very interesting and has special names.I am 8 years old and I like to read story books to my 3 years old sister.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Do you like flowers? Well Chrysanthemum is a little girl who is named after a flower. She loved her name until she went to school.Chrysanthemum is the main character. Chrysanthemum has a problem with her classmates. They hate her name. But that's not the end of the book. And I won't tell you the end. But I will tell you that it's a great book. Also it's a 3.9 reading level and it is worth 0.5 points on accelerated reader. I made a 100% on the test and you'll love it. So don't come crying to me if you don't meet your reading goal. Because you're missing out on a great book. Go to your school library and check the book out.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By S. Hill on January 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
I think that this story is one that will inspire children. It deals with the elements of peer pressure that all children will face at one point or another and shows how easily views are swayed. This story also does a good job of demonstrating that everyone has ups and downs. I would recommend reading this story to your child or class at the beginning of the school year as a model for inappropriate behavior and ways to handle bullies. I would also recommend other stories by this author because they include good use of voice as well as life situations with which almost all children can relate.
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