Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What's in a Name? Chrysanthemum

Lately my daughters and I have been having a lot of conversations about teasing and bullying. There are a lot of great books out there that deal with this topic. One my girls really like is Chrysanthemum (HarperCollins Publishers, Sept 1996), written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes.

Chrysanthemum loves her name until she starts school and a group of her female classmates start teasing her about it. What is it about some girls?? The girls laugh at Chrysanthemum, making fun of her because she's named after a flower and, besides, it's a name that's much too long. This leads Chrysanthemum to start having nightmares and she soon dreads going to school. While her parents try to console her, it isn't until she meets her new music teacher that Chrysanthemum really starts to feel confident about herself once more. Mrs. Twinkle is loved by all the students. When they learn she is also named after a flower, she has an equally long name and she happens to think Chrysanthemum's name is perfect Chrysanthemum realises it doesn't matter what the other girls think.

This book is great for teaching girls about self confidence as well as feelings (both in ourselves and in empathy for others). If you like this one, Henkes has written several other books we've also enjoyed reading. Many of his books, like this one, feature mice as the main characters and all deal with important issues in childhood, such as learning to be brave and having a new sibling.

1 comment:

  1. Henkes is one of ADP's favorite children's authors! We love this book too.