This picture book is a playful exploration of colours and shapes by award winning author/illustrator, Emily Gravett. Cleverly using the chameleon’s talent for transformation, the pencil drawings tell the story of the lonely (blue) creature finally finding friendship after a number of unsuccessful attempts. There’s a lot to talk about in the subtle illustrations in describing the different characters and sharing times that make us sad as well as what makes us happy.
Share the story
Read aloud Before reading the story, encourage children to look at the cover and to talk about how they think the chameleon is feeling. Do they know what’s special about chameleons? Then read through the story, pausing to talk about the pictures and what the chameleon is searching for. What would they like to happen in the end?
Join in As you read and reread the book, encourage children to join in where they can. Their confidence and enjoyment will build as you revisit the book together and children become more familiar with the story and story language.
Talk about the story Talk together about which part of the story children like best and why. Why do they think the chameleon wanted a friend? What do they notice about the two chameleons? Are they identical? What do children like about their friends?
Tell the story Using the pictures in the book, children can retell the story in their own words.
Things to make and do
Act it out Take it in turns to turn into something else by changing your body shape and way of moving. You can start with animals and then move on to objects such as a teapot, lamp or tree, for example. See if you can guess what it is!
Draw a chameleon Using coloured pencils or crayons, children can draw their own chameleon and ask you to guess how it’s feeling, using its talent for changing colour to match its mood.
Write a new ending Children can make up their own ending to the story. You can help them write down what happened to the chameleons after the end of this story and they can draw more pictures if they’d like to. When it’s finished, you can read it aloud together.
Make a chart You can help children to find out more about animals that use camouflage and the different reasons why, using information books or the internet. Fold a piece of paper into four sections. Children can draw and colour a different creature in each section and then add a caption and any interesting information such as why the animal uses camouflage.
Make a model Using plasticine or playdough, children can create their own chameleon to live in their bedroom. They can play with their chameleon and make up more adventures. It will help them to look carefully at the illustrations in the book or images on the website: click here
Find out more
Read more books by author/illustrator Emily Gravett here.
* Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears
* Monkey and Me
* The Odd Egg
The Rabbit Problem
* See more lovemybooks ideas
Find out more about chameleons
Read Chameleons Are Cool, Martin Jenkins and Sue Shields. Read and Discover series, Walker Books
See images of other creatures that use camouflage here.