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  • Alternative view 1 of Chamelia
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3.0 1
by Ethan Long

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Meet Chamelia! Chamelia is a chameleon. Most chameleons like to blend in, but Chamelia prefers to stand out. She just loves being the center of attention. But when standing out means being left out, can Chamelia learn to share the spotlight?


Meet Chamelia! Chamelia is a chameleon. Most chameleons like to blend in, but Chamelia prefers to stand out. She just loves being the center of attention. But when standing out means being left out, can Chamelia learn to share the spotlight?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Most chameleons like to blend in. But not Chamelia." With a wardrobe made up entirely of boldly patterned statement pieces, Chamelia definitely rocks the different drummer look. But her fierce individuality proves distracting when collective efforts are the order of the day—as when she dresses up as Cleopatra for a school play about Goldilocks and the Three Bears. With help from her parents, Chamelia learns that teamwork, whether on the soccer field or the choral risers, has its own rewards: "...standing out isn't the only way to feel special. Joining in can be just as fun!" Long (One Drowsy Dragon) puts his finger on an intriguing issue: how does one cope with the simultaneous yet polar pulls of individuality and belonging? Unfortunately, he resorts to tired turns of phrase ("When others zig... Chamelia zags") and forced chirpiness to deliver the story's lessons. His digitally collaged pictures, which are composed along a single, stagelike plane, have comic energy. But even so, Chamelia never emerges as much more than the sum total of her clothing choices. Ages 3–6. (May)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Unlike most chameleons, Chamelia wants to stand out rather than blend into her background. In her boldly patterned, eccentric outfits, she zags when others zig; rolls when others rock. Chamelia takes time to be sure she's in an outstanding outfit "ready for every occasion." But things do not go well, and soon Chamelia "just feels left out" instead of just standing out. Her parents suggest that she join in instead, so she does, but still preserves a way to stand out. The vertical, visually aggressive, patterned stripes of the end pages carry part of the book's message: how appearances affect perception. In the first part of the story Chamelia wears outfits made from pieces of those stripes. She, as well as other characters and objects, are produced by digital collage, but she is colored with much bolder hues. Her dumpy body and large, lizard-like head add to her distinctive appearance. Check out the fabric patterns on the cover and the jaunty Chamelia dancing across the contrasting jacket. There is perhaps a lesson in this tale along with the visual humor. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews
A headstrong little chameleon enjoys bucking the crowd until she learns moderation. Chamelia loves to stand out at school, while all the other chameleons happily blend in. They can't believe her crazy clothes: Who wears a leopard-print pillbox hat to lunch, a sequined shift dress for sports and a feathered helmet on scooter rides? Chamelia's fabulous frocks and cute obliviousness to her sometimes estranging individuality make her an endearing, original character. When self-expression causes Chamelia to let down classmates on the soccer field, in the choir and on the stage, her parents suggest that by working hard both you and your team can shine. Short sentences prompt children to look at facial expressions and illustrative details for plot development and humor. A striated collage of wild fabrics on the endpapers cues readers to look for more photographs of real fabric patterns in Chamelia's wardrobe. This clever incorporation of actual textiles, as busy and vibrant as Chamelia herself, invigorates intentionally muted illustrations—the other chameleons are all rendered in faded pastels, while Chamelia really pops. Readers might remark that Chamelia's immediate willingness to step out of the spotlight seems out of character, but then again, she is one unique lizard. (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
11.10(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Ethan Long is the author of the Tickle the Duck! books, and has illustrated a number of other children's books. He based the character of Chamelia on his wife; she likes to dress-up too. Ethan lives with his wife, three children, and many pets in Orlando. His website is www.ethanlong.com.

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Chamelia 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Jessrocha More than 1 year ago
My daughter just turned 3 and really enjoyed all the colors and illustrations of the book. The story could use a little more detail, but overall it's ok.