Tuesday, February 5, 2008



By Kevin Henkes

Link to where you can purchase book:



Chrysanthemum loves her name — until she starts kindergarten, which is an unfamiliar world full of short names like Sue, Bill, Max, Sam, and Joe. But it's Victoria who really makes Chrysanthemum wilt, offering that she was named after her grandmother, which is much more important than being named after a flower. Not only that, but who has ever heard of a name 13 letters long? "That's half the letters in the alphabet!" Victoria points out indignantly. Though Chrysanthemum's parents try to soothe her wounded soul with "hugs, kisses, and Parcheesi," it's not easy to find solace (and regain lost self-esteem) with all the girls on the playground threatening to "pluck" and "smell" you. Then the children meet their music teacher, charismatic Mrs. Twinkle. Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle, that is. When Mrs. Twinkle announces that she wants to name her baby the prettiest name she has ever heard, and that that name is Chrysanthemum, all the kids wish they had flower names, too. For her part, Chrysanthemum blooms once again. In this award-winning picture book, favorite author/illustrator Henkes once again demonstrates his talent for capturing the difficult dramas of childhood in simple text and cartoon-like illustrations. His mouse characters — depicted in energetic pen-and-ink and watercolor pictures — have all the depth and dimension of real kids (and parents). Especially appropriate for any child with a difficult or unusual name, this perceptive picture book will charm a wider audience with its wit and wisdom.Reflection:

This was a great book because ti shows how people can appreciate and learn to appreciate their names, how they got their names, the uniqueness of names, and the history of their names. It also teaches people to accept others for not being exactly like them.

Book Use/Activities/Curricular Units:

This book lends itself easily into discussion about how you got your name, why you were named that, if you were named after someone and the importance of you name. You could also integrate this into math and count the number of letters in your name. You could create art projects around your name as well.


Domain of Social Justice Education:

1) Self Love and Acceptance- Chrysanthemum learns to love her name and appreciate her unique name.

2.) Respect for Others- Strengthens intercultural competence. The students in the class learn to appreciate Chrysanthemum's name and the other students soon wanted to have names like chrysanthemum.

5.) Taking Social Action- Students explore their own context and develop tools to work for change. The teacher tells students that she has a flower name also, soon the students want to take action and change their names to flower names and appreciatea Chrysanthemum unique name.

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