Chrysanthemum Big Book Book Summary

by Kevin Henkes26


A heartwarming story about a young mouse named Chrysanthemum who learns to love her unique name despite the teasing of her classmates.

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What is Chrysanthemum Big Book about

Chrysanthemum Big Book by Kevin Henkes tells the story of a young mouse named Chrysanthemum who adores her unique name until she faces ridicule from her classmates on her first day of school. As she endures teasing from her peers, her confidence wanes, leaving her sad and defeated. However, through heartwarming events and supportive characters, Chrysanthemum learns that her unique name is a beautiful part of who she is, and she begins to embrace her individuality once more. This book is a terrific read-aloud story for classrooms and libraries, offering a timeless lesson on self-acceptance and the impact of kind and unkind words.

Chrysanthemum Big Book 4 Key Takeaways


The primary theme is self-acceptance. Chrysanthemum learns to embrace her unique name and individuality despite the teasing she endures.


Chrysanthemum, the protagonist, is a young mouse who loves her name. Her classmates Jo, Rita, and Victoria serve as her tormentors, highlighting the impact of bullying.

Moral Lesson

The story emphasizes the importance of self-love and teaches children that what makes them different also makes them special.


The book is enriched with delightful and expressive illustrations that capture the emotions and experiences of the characters, enhancing the storytelling.

Chrysanthemum Big Book Best Reviews

  • "Kevin Henkes has written a wonderful and charming story that speaks to the hearts of both children and adults. Chrysanthemum's journey is beautifully illustrated and carries an invaluable message of self-acceptance." - Publishers Weekly

Top Chrysanthemum Big Book Quotes

  • "She was a perfect baby, and she had a perfect name. Chrysanthemum."
  • "Her name scarcely fit on her name tag."
  • "Chrysanthemum wilted."

Who should read Chrysanthemum Big Book?

Chrysanthemum Big Book is ideal for young readers aged 2-6 years, particularly those in preschool through third grade. The book offers valuable lessons in self-acceptance and the impact of words, making it perfect for classroom and library read-alouds.

About the Author

Kevin Henkes is an acclaimed author and illustrator of children's books. Known for his ability to capture the emotions and experiences of young readers, Henkes has written and illustrated numerous beloved titles, including 'Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse' and 'Kitten's First Full Moon,' which won the Caldecott Medal. His works often explore themes of self-discovery, acceptance, and the importance of kindness.

Chrysanthemum Big Book FAQs

What grade level is Chrysanthemum Big Book suitable for?

The book is suitable for children in preschool through third grade, with a reading age of 2-6 years.

What is the main message of Chrysanthemum Big Book?

The main message is the importance of self-acceptance and loving oneself despite others' opinions. It also highlights the emotional impact of bullying.

Who are the main characters in Chrysanthemum Big Book?

The main characters include Chrysanthemum, the young mouse protagonist, and her classmates Jo, Rita, and Victoria, who tease her about her name.