Nicola Grant is a new author to me and the only other book that I can find that she has written is called Don't Be So Nosy, Posy! Her books appear to be aimed at nursery or early school age children and in this one she teams up with illustrator Michael Terry who has provided the pictures for lots of other animal stories, including Here Comes The Crocodile by Kathryn White.
The story starts with an upset Chameleon.
"'Bother!' he said crossly. "I'm sitting on yellow flowers so I should be yellow. But look at me - I'm red!'"
He tries hopping and walking on different surfaces with different colours, but each time he changes to something completely different.
He turns to his friends, Meercat and Monkey for some help and tells them he is worried in case lion comes along and eats him. They start by telling him that if he sits and concentrates on a colour then he might change into that colour but that doesn't work. They then try scaring him into changing the correct colour by shouting that Lion is coming, but Chameleon turns purple in the long green grass. They try this tactic again but nothing seems to work and Chameleon is very worried and sad.
Eventually the big Lion comes along and sees Chameleon immediately. Lion asks him what he is and Chameleon replies that he is a red spotty thing, and then changes his mind as he changes colour to pink and purple before changing once again to red blue and purple.
Lion is obviously confused and quick thinking Chameleon decides to use his strange colours to his advantage. He tells Lion that he has Funny-colouritis and says that if Lion eats him then he will get a bad tummy and end up changing colours too.
This scares Lion off and Monkey and Meercat are extremely happy as they will all be able to live safely from now on.
The pictures in this book are very good with the animals having a tremendous amount of detail on them. You can see every little bit of fur on the monkey and the lion looks very ferocious, as Michael Terry has managed to capture the expressions perfectly. The colours are very bright and really stand out in this amusing story.
This story is very funny and is excellent for any child who is starting to learn about colours. My son knows his colours very well now but still loves to tell me, when asked, what colour Chameleon should be and what he is instead.
The illustrations in this book really stand out as the colours are all so bright and the details are amazingly realistic for a children's storybook. It's not only the animals either that have this attention to detail - the background leaves and flowers are also drawn with remarkable clarity.
The front cover of this book has a picture of Chameleon on it and it has a shiny covering that changes colours as you move the book. This is what instantly attracted my son to this library book from his nursery. At first sight I thought that there would be more bits like this inside the book but on closer inspection I realised that this book doesn't need gimmicks like touch and feel to appeal to young children, or in fact to parents.
Recognition of colours is very important for any child and this book is a different way of learning about them. The story also tells of the friendship between the animals and how they try to help each other when a problem arises. This is another important lesson for young children.
What I really like about this book though, is that it shows that you don't always have to be the biggest one around to deal with a problem. This book shows how important it is to be clever and this is one lesson that I think should be spread around all children.
The lessons in this book have been told in many slightly different forms but this one has a special appeal about it that makes young children want to read it again and again. What more can you ask for in a storybook?
***Price & Availability***
This large paperback sells for £5.99 but it is available at the cheaper price of £4.79 from Amazon. The hardback copy sells for £10.99 but you can get it for only £7.14 from Tesco.
Paperback ISBN No. 1845060156
Hardback ISBN No. 1845060145