Friday, June 21, 2013

Blue Chameleon - Book Review

"Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book."
                                    ~Author Unknown

TItle:  Blue Chameleon
Author and Illustrator:  Emily Gravett
Ages:  2-5


This lonely little chameleon is blue inside (from lack of friends) and blue on the outside too.  He wants desperately to have a friend to talk to, to play with and to like him, but has no one.  He goes off and tries to fit in with those he meets on his journey.  He has the ability to turn himself into any colour and blend in with those he encounters.  He changes into a rainbow of colours, even goes spotty and stripy but has no luck with being chosen as a friend.

He finally adjusts himself to the colour "grey" like the rock he is on and totally frustrated he exclaims, "I give up."  Then a wonderful thing transpires that changes everything in his world.  What miraculous event could transpire that would bring this blue little guy into a radiant splash of colour and cause him to smile and be so happy both inside and out?

Throughout the book there is subtle, witty interplay between the words and illustrations making this a perfect book to use as the introduction of colours and shapes (and chameleons) to kids.  Each two page spread features two words:  a colour or pattern on the left and a noun on the right hand page.  The illustrations are coloured pencil and watercolours.  The colour white page is exceptional as it includes a nearly invisible chameleon embossed on the paper.  You may think the page is empty but if you run your fingers over the page you will find him hiding there.  The book is perfect for toddlers as the text is simple and the pictures are large.  There is excellent use of colour, expression and symmetry.  The take away is: be true to yourself, be who you were created to be and your friends will seek you out.

You can check out Emily Gravett on YouTube in her studio as she is gives a demonstration of her illustration techniques. It is nice to see how an artist goes about doing this.

Book Review Rating:   8  (Fantastic!)

Read on and read always!

I dedicate this blog space to my dear chameleon who passed away this week. His name was Uriah.  He was a very great pet and loved to hiss and pretend he was grumpy, but secretly loved to come out of his cage and be carried around.  He put on spectacular "eating shows" displaying his amazing tongue action as he snapped at a horn worm or a cricket from half way across his cage.  He was the after dinner entertainment and would get ooohs and ahhhs after his nightly performance.  He will be greatly missed.  RIP dear Uriah.

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