Hello, all! Just popping back in to share this month's For the Love of Books pick. It is written for children ages four to eight; but it's bright, happy, watercolor illustrations, not to mention transcendent subject matter, are sure to attract the love and attention of young and old alike.
Chrysanthemum, written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes, tells the story of a little, white mouse who is loved and adored by her mother and father and given a name worthy of how absolutely perfect she is, Chrysanthemum. She loved the way her name sounded, and she loved the way her name looked... until the first day of school. The other children criticized her for having a name half the length of the entire alphabet and for being named after a flower. Each night, when she got home from school, she felt so much better after hugs and kisses, plates of her favorite home fixings, and games of Parcheesi; but she always woke up dreading her return to school. Then, one day, the students were introduced to and immediately smitten with the music teacher, Mrs. Twinkle; but when she gave Chrysanthemum the role of a daisy in the class musicale, the laughter began once again. Can Mrs. Twinkle, Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle, put an end to their relentless taunting and help Chrysanthemum learn to love her name again?
I love this book for so many reasons but especially as a way of discussing the topic of bullying and how it affects those who are being bullied, as well as those doing the bullying, with children. Childhood dramas are an inevitable part of growing up, but if our children can be empowered with appropriate responses to bullies; are taught to have the courage to stand up for others when they have become a bully's muse; and feel loved enough not to become bullies themselves, our world would undoubtedly be a better place. If you're interested in learning more, Focus on the Family has an excellent series on bullying.
Thanks so much for reading! Have a terrific Tuesday! Hugs!