Chrysanthemum

Written by Kevin Henkes
Illustrated by Kevin Henkes

Reviewed by Jeanette I. (age 10)

When Chrysanthemum was born it was the best day of her parents' lives. As she got older, she learned to love her name. One day she wore her sunniest dress and ran all the way to school. When the teacher was taking attendance, everyone giggled when they heard Chrysanthemum's name. They said that it was too long and it couldn't fit on her nametag. Victoria, a girl in her class, told Chrysanthemum that she was named after a flower! Chrysanthemum gets very sad. She did not think that her name was perfect. Throughout the whole day she was very sad. Then she goes home and tells her parents. Her parents told her that she had a beautiful name. This makes her feel a little better. That night she dreamed that her name was Jane. It was pleasant dream. She goes back to school the next day but they still make fun of her name. Does Chrysanthemum ever feel good about her name?

My favorite part of the book was when the class went to Mrs. Twinkle, the music teacher. In music class, Victoria started making fun of Chrysanthemum's name again. Mrs. Twinkle said that her name was long too! And she was named after a flower too! Mrs. Twinkle's name was Delphinium Twinkle! I liked this book because Chrysanthemum's parents gave her encouragement when other kids were making fun of her name. I liked Chrysanthemum, her parents and Mrs. Twinkle. I liked these characters because Chrysanthemum felt better about her name after hearing her parents' encouragement and after finding someone like Mrs. Twinkle that had a name just like her.

I would like to recommend this book to people who don't like their names. If people are making fun of your name you should tell someone about it. It is not nice to make fun of other people. People that make fun of other people would learn a valuable lesson.

Jeanette I. is a member in The Technology and Learning Center @ the Armory's PAL/CSD 6 Summer Camp III (1999-2000)