Parents' Guide to


By Sally Snyder, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Cute story about the perils of an unusual name.

Book Kevin Henkes School 1999
Chrysanthemum Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 10+


age 3+


Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (6):

Children will feel Chrysanthemum's despair, and her hope that each day will be better, and author Kevin Henkes takes care that the teasing students are won over, not put down. Parents and perceptive children will enjoy Henkes' wordplay. Her father is a walking thesaurus, sprinkling synonyms that follow her mother's adjectives: When her mother says, "Your name is beautiful," he follows with, "And precious and priceless and fascinating and winsome."

Watercolor-and-ink illustrations capture Chrysanthemum's moods and the superior attitude of the other mice children at school. One page contains 16 portraits and the names of each of the students written in their individual handwriting. Another shows the worried father surreptitiously reading a book titled The Inner Mouse, Volume One: Childhood Anxiety.

Book Details

  • Author: Kevin Henkes
  • Illustrator: Kevin Henkes
  • Genre: School
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Publication date: January 1, 1999
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 4 - 7
  • Number of pages: 30
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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