Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Yes, another book by Kevin Henkes has made the book blog. His well illustrated stories are wonderful for children and the problems they face. He has a gift for choosing the perfect words for his stories and building the vocabulary of children with words they may not normally encounter.

Published in 1991, Chrysanthemum is the story of a little mouse who loves her name, which is Chrysanthemum. Her parents think it is the perfect most beautiful name, but when she starts school, the other children tease and torment her about her name.

"'Chrysanthemum's a daisy! Chrysanthemum's a daisy!' Jo, Rita, and Victoria chanted, thinking it was wildly funny."

"Chrysanthemum wilted. She did not think her name was absolutely perfect. She thought it was absolutely dreadful."

The teasing goes on, but their teacher doesn't address the hurtful words. One day a music teacher comes to class, and she is also named after a flower - Delphinium. She helps Chrysanthemum find the beauty of her name once again.

Henkes portrays so much emotion in his art. Any child who has been teased will be able to relate to Chrysanthemum. This book would work well to show kids what bullying looks like and that words can hurt.

Read to a child today even if that child is you.

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