Monday, January 23, 2012

Book #23: Blue Chameleon by Emily Gravett

Image from
Today is cause for much celebration! First, it's the Lunar New Year (Gung Hay Fat Choy!) and it's also my cousin Ethan's birthday! I’ve heard he recently got a pet chameleon, so today’s book is all about that multi-colored creature.  Happy birthday Ethan!

This book is about a very lonely chameleon. He tries to change himself to look like other animals and even objects (my favorite is the cowboy boot), until finally he finds another chameleon, decked out in all the colors of the rainbow!

Each 2 page spread features two words. A color or pattern on the left hand page and a noun on the right hand page. The illustrations, done in colored pencil on rough watercolor paper, show the chameleon’s attempts to look like his potential friends. The watercolor paper lends texture to the illustrations. Even better the page featuring the color white includes a nearly invisible chameleon embossed on the paper. You may think the page is empty, but run your fingers over the page and you’ll find him hiding. The very simple text and large pictures make it perfect for toddlers.  Although older kid will get a kick out of the way the chameleon nearly ties himself in knots trying to mimic others.

Image from the Book Besotted Librarian blog
I like that the chameleon finds a friend who will accept him as he is, however it does make me sad that the other animals aren’t able to accept him (I’ve exempted the objects, they’re inanimate after all.). That said, I think the book is less about making friends and more about exploring colors, patterns, and shapes.

I’ve recently become intrigued with incorporating yoga into storytime and I think this book presents fabulous opportunities. Try the Grasshopper, ½ Grasshopper (at least that’s what it looks like me, skip the corny animation at the beginning of the video), the Fish (this video has some nice modifications for the less flexible), or Rolling Like a Ball (ok, this one is technically a Pilates move, but still fun for kids). Then see if you can copy some of the other shapes in the book.

Craft wise, Disney has a template for a 3D paper chameleon based on Pascal from Tangled.  I also think these little pipe cleaner guys are just darn cute. 

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