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Wrinkled Heart

Kevin Hickes’ book, Chrysanthemum, is a story about a young mouse who loves her name until some of her classmates start to make fun of it. In the end, with some help from her parents and a caring teacher, she learns that her name is perfect. While reading the book aloud, ask students to take turns crumpling up a large paper heart each time a character in the book says something hurtful about Chrysanthemum’s name. Towards the end of the book, when characters start saying kind things about Chrysanthemum’s name, students try to smooth out the crinkled heart. The wrinkles will not disappear. Students can write a kind word of encouragement on a bandaid to place on the wrinkled heart but it is important to understand that unkind actions have lasting impact on others.

A Wrinkled Heart

by Tracy Hoexter

At breakfast, Elliot is scolded for spilling some milk, and his heart wrinkles a little bit. At school, he encounters some friends who hurt his feelings and his heart wrinkles even more… until it’s all wrinkled up! Later, his friends and family apologize for their hurtful words and try to take the wrinkles out. Elliott feels better, but some wrinkles get left behind. He decides to always be careful with his words so he doesn’t wrinkle anyone’s heart. Readers learn the importance of kindness, friendship and the Golden Rule.


by Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum thinks her name is absolutely perfect—until her first day of school. “You’re named after a flower!” teases Victoria. “Let’s smell her,” says Jo. Chrysanthemum wilts. What will it take to make her blossom again?

Words and Your Heart

by Kate Jane Neal

This book is about your heart. The words we listen to can affect how we feel. Some words can do amazing things and make us happy. And some words can really hurt us (we all know what sort of words those are). Our words have power, and we can choose to use them to make the world a better place.