Chrysanthemum (book)

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Chrysanthemum (Henkes book).jpg
Paperback cover
AuthorKevin Henkes
SeriesMouse Books
GenrePicture book
PublisherGreenwillow Books
Publication date
September 16, 1991
Preceded by'Julius, the Baby of the World 
Followed by'Owen 

Chrysanthemum is the title of a 1991 children's picture book by the American writer and illustrator Kevin Henkes.[1]

Chrysanthemum was chosen as an ALA Notable Book and the School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, and it is on the Horn Book Fanfare Honor List.[2] Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children."[3] It was one of the "Top 100 Picture Books" of all time in a 2012 poll by School Library Journal.[4]


The plot deals with a young mouse named Chrysanthemum, who loves her long, beautiful name until a girl named Victoria and her friends, Rita and Jo, tease her about it. However, a pregnant music teacher (named Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle) defends her, saying how a lot of people have long names, which makes them envy Chrysanthemum. Chrysanthemum's family comforts her as well. At the end of the story, Mrs. Twinkle gives birth to a girl and decides to name her Chrysanthemum, too.


In 1998 Weston Woods developed an animated story based on the book's illustrations, which was narrated by Meryl Streep. In 2002 it was produced by Newvideo and Scholastic and bundled with 5 other animated stories on a "Scholastic Storybook Treasures" DVD.[5]


  1. ^ Handy, Bruce (May 13, 2007). "Getting Better All the Time". The New York Times.
  2. ^
  3. ^ National Education Association (2007). "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". Retrieved August 19, 2012.
  4. ^ Bird, Elizabeth (July 6, 2012). "Top 100 Picture Books Poll Results". School Library Journal "A Fuse #8 Production" blog. Archived from the original on December 4, 2012. Retrieved August 19, 2012.
  5. ^ Scholastic Inc. (2002). "Scholastic Storybook Treasures Chrysanthemum and More Mouse Mayhem DVD". Retrieved November 2, 2013.