Kevin Henkes (1991), Greenwillow Books

Chrysanthemum’s parents named her after a beautiful flower, and she has always loved her name – up until the day she goes to school. The other kids in her class make fun of her, and Chrysanthemum goes from thinking that her name is absolutely perfect to absolutely dreadful. When the music teacher shares that she also is named after a flower, everyone becomes jealous and wants a flower name too. Chrysanthemum finally sees the beauty in her unique name.

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Talk with a child about this book

At the beginning of the story, Chrysanthemum loves her name, all the different ways other people say it, and the different ways she can write it. What is something about yourself that you love?

The other kids in the story made fun of Chrysanthemum because her name was so long and so different from theirs. Do you think Chrysanthemum should have listened to them? What is something that she could have said or done instead?

After her first day at school, Chrysanthemum wants to change her name to be like everyone else. Do you think she should have gone ahead and done that?

Chrysanthemum’s parents tell her that her name is beautiful, precious, priceless, fascinating, and winsome. What is another word you could use to describe Chrysanthemum or her name?

Sometimes when you feel left out, it helps to find someone else like you. In this story, Chrysanthemum found out her music teacher is also named after a flower. Can you think of a time when you or someone you know felt left out? Thinking back, who could you have gone to or what could you have done for that person to make them feel more included?