Monday, April 4, 2011

Blue Chameleon

Blue ChameleonTitle: Blue Chameleon     
Author: Emily Gravett 
Illustrator: Emily Gravett 
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 2010 
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book 
Summary: A lonely chameleon tries to find where he can fit in.  He tries to make himself look like other animals and objects, until he finally finds out he is happiest being himself. 
What I Think: Sometimes the simplest books can convey strong meanings and this book is definitely an example of a book like that.  The subject of fitting in and figuring out who you are is relevant to anyone.  I’m finding that I’m still learning who I am even as an adult.  Chameleons are such interesting animals to begin with in the fact that they can change colors to match their surroundings.  It works perfectly that the author uses a chameleon as a symbol for how we as people might change to fit in with different people or in different situations. 
While this book does tackle a serious topic, the illustrations make the book simple to understand and so funny.  I love laughing at how closely the chameleon can make himself look like a boot or a banana.  He really does try his best, but he just doesn’t look quiet like any of these things.  The most exciting part is getting to the end and seeing him so excited to realize where he really can fit in.
Because I work with students who are deaf or hard of hearing and sometimes also learning English as a second language, I’m usually looking for books that can develop their language skills or vocabulary.  While the text in this book is very simple and consisting of an adjective and a noun on every page, it does make a great example of nouns and word that describe them.  Most of the adjectives are colors but the author does include, “swirly”, “stripy”, “spotty”, and “colorful”.  I’m always on the lookout for $100 words and this book can introduce the idea.  Kids can come up with their own adjectives even!
Read Together: Pre-K - 12 
Read Alone: 1 - 12 
Read With: Art & Max by David Weisner; Unlovable by Dan Yaccarino, One by Kathryn Otoshi
Snatch of Text:  

“Pink cockatoo

Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Inferences, Making Predictions
Writing Strategies to Practice: Personal Narrative, Expository 
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you didn’t feel like you fit in; what did you do to try and fit in? Write about something that makes you unique.  Research more about chameleons and write about what you learned about chameleons. 
Topics Covered: Integration – Science, Animals, Chameleons, Parts of Speech, Adjectives, $100 Words 
Translated to Spanish: No, but this is such a simple text that you could translate it. In fact, I think this would be a great way to show the difference between how adjectives are used before the noun in English but after the noun in Spanish.

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