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by Kevin Henkes

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. 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.

6, 7, 5
Interest Level
Grades K - 2
Grade Level Equivalent
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading
Tandem Library
Book Type
Read-Aloud Book
Number of Pages
Comedy and Humor

About the Author

Kevin Henkes Kevin Henkes has written and illustrated more than 15 picture books that have won him a devoted audience as well as considerable critical acclaim. Owen was named a Caldecott Honor Book, one of many awards and citations Henkes has received.

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