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The Mixed-up Chameleon - Eric Carle

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Genre: Junior Books / Author: Eric Carle / Edition: New Ed / Paperback / 32 Pages / Book is published 1988-03-17 by Puffin Books

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      14.09.2007 18:32
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      Another great book by Eric Carle

      I use this in the classroom during circle time, great for PSE lessons which will become apparant as you read on.........

      The Story

      It's the story of a chameleon who just isn't happy or satisfied with his life or how he looks. He's bored with his life (bet we have all experienced that feeling at one time or another!) and the predictability of changing colour.

      On a visit to the local zoo, the chameleon is charmed and envious of the beauty and talents of the other animals that he sees so he began to wish for different parts or traits of the wonderful animals and his wishes came true.......

      "I wish I could be handsome like a flamingo"
      Thus acquiring flamingo wings and legs.

      "I wish I could swim like a fish"
      Lo and behold he acquires fish fins.

      "I wish I could run like an antler"
      So antlers are grown on his head.

      As the story progresses and all of his wishes are granted the chameleon looks very odd iwth a fox's tail, an elephants trunk and so on.

      But it is only when he can't catch a small fly that flies by as he was "a little bit of this and a little of that", that he wishes that he could be 'myself'. His wish was granted and he caught the fly!!


      Children love the illustrations in this book. The hilarious metamorphoses of the chameleon as his wishes are all granted are depicted brilliantly by Carle.

      All set against a white drop, Carle uses bright, bold colours with a collage effect.


      This book is great for 4 - 6 year olds.

      The repetitive text of "I wish I could be ............" enables children to join in.

      There are 'tabs' cut out on the left hand side of the page to show the sequence of the animals that the chameleon has wished to be like.

      Educational values

      As with most Eric Carle books, there is also an educational element to them asides from just being a story!

      * Helps build up sequencing skills, encouraging children to re-tell the story.
      * It introduces children to a range of animals, including the ability of a chameleon to change colour in order to camouflage itself.
      * Older children can be introduced to similes.
      * It's great for devleoping a strong self of worth in PSE, e.g. To be happy with what you are like as it's not always good or better to have what others have, as the chameleon found out.

      Price & Publishers

      My paperback Puffin ISBN: 0-14-050642-X cost £4.99 a few years ago.

      The book has been published by:
      Harper Trophy
      Hamish Hamilton Ltd

      www.amazon.co.uk prices are as follows:

      Paperback used and new from 25p
      Hardcover used and new from 68p
      Board book used and new from 94p

      But remember to check out www.ebay.co.uk for lots of other bargains!

      Other books by Eric Carle

      Little Cloud
      From Head to Toe
      The very hungry caterpillar
      The very busy spider
      Today is Monday

      To name just a handful! Most are well worth a read.


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