Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 127

Picture Book: Chrysanthemum

Authors & Illustrator: Kevin Henkes

Summary: When she is born, Chrysanthemum’s parents take great care in giving her a unique and perfect name, just like her. Chrysanthemum loves her name until she enters school and is teased because it is unusual, very long, and a flower. When she complains and confesses that “school is not for her,” her parents praise her name, saying “It’s everything you are. Absolutely perfect.” At school the teasing continues. She responds with worries and bad dreams. When they meet the new music teacher, they all adore her. The teacher overhears Chrysanthemum being taunted so the teacher explains that her name is also very long and she too is named after a flower, Delphinium. In fact, she is considering naming her new baby Chrysanthemum. Suddenly, the girls ask to be called flower names and Chrysanthemum beams, knowing her name is absolutely perfect.

Hanna’s Comments: Identity issues are a constant for children and some periods are particularly problematic such as when starting a new school. For many children, being a part of a loving religious community can help with these struggles. In these communities, they find identity in common, practices & stories that reinforce their identity, and a sense of being lovingly created by God. Use this story to reinforce your children’s unique value and while you are at it, talk about the hurtful consequences of teasing.    

Publisher & Date of Publication: Greenwillow Books, 1991

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Yes

Formats other than Book: Tablet, Video, Audible, Audio cassette

PBT Category: Pre 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: affirmation, anxiety/worry, beginnings/morning, belonging, bullying/martyrs/persecution/oppression, depression/despair/sadness/sorry, differences, diversity, doubt, education/learning/school, emotions/feelings, encouragement, identity/names, individuality/uniqueness, joy, judgment/judges/judging, loneliness, mentors/teachers, new school, nurturing, parents/parental love, pride, reassurance, reflection, renewal/restoration, respect, satisfaction, self-acceptance/self-image/self-esteem  

Scripture Connections: We are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27); I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139); before I formed you in the womb, I knew you (Jeremiah 1:5); let no corrupting talk come out of your mouth but only such as is good for building

Idea(s) for Application: Use this book to talk to children about the evil of teasing and bullying and the long-term effects it can have on a person. 

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