Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The One About C - Chrysanthemum

See, I told you today's post would be about an actual book and not a series!  A promise is a promise!

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes.  One of my all-time favorite books.  I love this book and read it multiple times every year.  I'm a huge Kevin Henkes fan and this is by far, in my opinion, his best work.

A little girl with a fascinatingly different name who marches to the beat of her own drummer.  She loves being herself.  That is, until she starts school.  There she finds out that her different name is just that, different.  Little mouse children can be so cruel.  She's crushed.  She begins to lose the joy she has in herself.  She begins to ignore that little drummer that she once marched to.  Until a special teacher saves the day!

Ahhhhh, a valuable lesson is once again learned.  Different is different.  It is not bad.  It is not good.  It is what makes us unique.  God has created us all individually and we have our own personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and abilities that we bring to life.  Can you tell I love this book?  Can you tell how I use it?  

I always bust out Chrysanthemum when my kiddos notice and point out, sometimes not so kindly, their differences.  Whether it be the color of their skin, their hair, their grades, or whatever.  This book gets the point across in an awesome way.

Maybe I was destined to like this book.  I mean, with a name like Dusty, I can certainly empathize with dear little Chrysanthemum.  I've had my share of issues with it.  In fact, it's only been in adulthood that I have actually come to enjoy my name.  So there's my personal connection with the book.

Then there's also the simple fact that the writing, the story, and the illustrations are just so great.  If you have never read Chrysanthemum it is quite obvious that I highly recommend it.  Use it as a gateway into the world of Kevin Henkes.  Many of his books teach great social/moral/emotional lessons in a similar fashion.  Check him out, you will not be disappointed.

So, is Chrysanthemum one of your go-to books to teach about differences?  How else do you enjoy this book in your classroom?  Are you a Kevin Henkes fan?  Hopefully after this post you will be!

Thanks so much for hopping by!


  1. I've never read it but will surely go find it now. I usually like to read anything Tacky for teaching kiddos how to respect and value their differences. Love the frogs!

    1. You should definitely read it! I love frogs, it's my classroom theme! Thanks so much!

  2. this is one of my most favorite books of all time! sigh...