A Board Book Every Week
Week-by-week I’m building a stimulating and diverse library of baby books. So No. 3 is…
Chameleon – Emily Gravett (Macmillan Children’s Books 2010)
Three weeks old is a bit early to start learning colours, but this is such a witty and original take on the familiar theme that I cannot resist featuring it. It’s also one of those “I’ve got no friends, oh yes, after trial and error I finally have” stories that seem pretty common in young children’s books these days. (You can substitute Mummy, hug, or hat for friends.)
Chameleon is blue because it’s lonely, so it approaches a number of creatures – and objects – doing what chameleons do best: changing colour. This one also changes shape to mimic its potential new friends. But none of these approaches work and Chameleon – “I give up” – turns as grey as the rock it flops down on. Until a gloriously starry, spotty, stripy, multi-coloured chameleon turns up!
I love all of Emily Gravett’s books that I’ve seen. She seems to be down at child- and dog-, cat- and creature-level. The illustrations are uncluttered but not without detail. And there’s the implicit humour which is what keeps adults going when a book is visited many, many times.
P.S. Chameleon is neither a boy nor a girl. The way the text is written leaves this completely open. I had to change all my default ‘he’s to ‘it’s in my second paragraph: I fell into the trap of assuming without thinking about it that fictional animals are male, something I posted about ages ago – Shock Horror! All animals are boys!!