Monday, January 28, 2008

Kevin Henkes Week: Day Four

Remember back in July when I started Kevin Henkes Week and then fell off the face of the earth? That is no way to treat your tribute to your favorite picture book author! Six months later I am making good on my promise to finish the week. Here we go...

Today's book is Chrysanthemum. Another of Henkes' sweet little mice, Chrysanthemum adores her unique name. "(She) loved the way her name looked when it was written with ink on an envelope. She loved the way it looked when it was written with icing on her birthday cake. And she loved the way it looked when she wrote it herself with her fat orange crayon." But then, she started school. Of course all the other mice have names like Tom, Sam, and Jo. And of course they all tease her that her name scarcely fits on her name tag, and--in the author's brilliant words--"Chrysanthemum wilted." And so the story goes. Every day at school the children tease her about her long flower name, and every evening at home her parents try to cheer her up. Says her darling father, "(Your name is) precious and priceless and fascinating and winsome." Though her parents help her feel better about herself, Chrysanthemum is still heartbroken by the ridicule of her peers. Until the day they meet the music teacher who happens to be named after a flower herself. Delphinium Twinkle. (This is why I love Kevin Henkes. Does it get more clever or charming?!) And of course Mrs. Twinkle is "an indescribable wonder" to all of her little mice students. And suddenly Chrysanthemum doesn't seem like a silly name after all...

This is quite possibly my favorite Henkes title. Clever and moralistic (but without being in your face) as always. Read it, read it, read it!

5 comments:

liz said...

My boys love this book. Does it almost make you want to name your first girl Chrysanthemum?

The Innkeeper said...

We got this at the library - thanks for the recommendation. We love it!

kate said...

Hi.

Can't wait to read this to Charlie!

lori said...

oh yes. we love chrysanthemum.

jeanine said...

such a cute book... do you have any good recommendations for valentines books?