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The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle

The Mixed-Up Chameleon (edition 1988)

by Eric Carle, Eric Carle (Illustrator)

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1,742684,053 (3.95)5
Title:The Mixed-Up Chameleon
Authors:Eric Carle
Other authors:Eric Carle (Illustrator)
Info:HarperCollins (1988), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 40 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Picture book, being yourself, animals, self-acceptance, colors, fiction

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The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle



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Eric Carle's "The Mixed-Up Chameleon" tells the story of a little chameleon who hates the fact that he changes color to match his surroundings. He notices a zoo and all the wonderful and distinctive animals there. He begins to wish for (and receives) various elements from the animals ("I wish I was tall, like a giraffe" is one). The chameleon ends up as an assemblage of parts which look great on the original animals, but don't do very well all together. The rub comes when the hungry chameleon cannot reach the fly to eat it. He wishes to be himself again and regains his true form.
Kids will love this book, not only for the beautiful artwork, but also because as each page is turned, the new animal whose feature the chameleon takes is shown, so at the end, all the animals are shown at the edge of the page. I like the message that being yourself is always the best, and that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. The illustrations are vivid as usual in Eric Carle's books and provide kids with non-fiction text features. ( )
  eoertl1 | Dec 3, 2014 |
The mixed up chameleon changes color as normal chameleon's do but one day at the zoo he begins to wish that he had characteristics of all the other animals. He goes on changing and changing until he gets hungry and sees a juicy fly... and ends up changing back into himself! So what we thought would make us happy may not actually make us happy at all.
  ecm014 | Dec 1, 2014 |

This children’s picture book is about a ‘mixed-up chameleon’ who isn’t happy with himself. He thinks he leads a boring life and one day visits the zoo and sees all sorts of animals that he would rather be. He wishes he could be all of the animals and eventually becomes an unknown creature all mixed up with different animal body parts. When he sees a fly buzz by, he isn’t able to catch it because he doesn’t have his chameleon head or tongue anymore. He is saddened and has one final wish. He wishes he could be himself again and turns back into a regular chameleon.

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This is one of my favorite Eric Carle children’s books. I love the simple illustrations of the chameleon and how over time as he gains different animal body parts how goofy and funny he ends up looking. I can just see children having so much fun with the images and trying to predict what might come next. I also really like that the book incorporates little pictures of each animal on the page where he gains there body part as a reminder to the child and the color tabs that are incorporated as well. I also like how the book has cut outs on those pages so it’s an easy way to grab and turn back the pages for children’s small hands. This book is also wonderful for its underlying message that I think is very relatable to children as they grow up. Because the chameleon doesn’t like himself and wishes he were other animals, he begins to realize that he actually liked who he was very much. I think this is great because it will teach children about their own uniqueness and individuality. It will show them that its OK to be yourself! ( )
  BrookeMattingly | Oct 15, 2014 |
The mixed up chameleon carries a powerful message to young students in a creative, inventive, and silly way: it is important to be yourself and to enjoy just being yourself. It follows a chameleon as it tries to take on characteristics of other zoo animals, only to find that taking on those characteristics comes at a cost. Eric Carle’s signature beautiful collage illustrations make the added characteristics fun. I could see myself using this book in several ways in a classroom. I am strongly considering creating an Eric Carle based writing unit for my kindergarten class during student teaching this year. However, if I were looking for a way to incorporate just this book with younger students I think it would be fun to read this book and then have students create collages of mixed up animals. The mixed up chameleon seems like a book that students would greatly enjoy.
  cseiger | May 29, 2014 |
I loved this book! The first reason I loved this book was for the die-cut pages in the middle of the story. As the chameleon wished more and more to become like another animal, the pages began to have a piece of the page missing starting at the top of the page. On the left page, a picture of the previous animal the chameleon wished to be like was placed small under the cut out of the page, and on the right page, symmetrical to the previous animal, was a color that was associated with the animal. For example, after the chameleon wished to be like a turtle, the next two-page spread had a turtle added to the left side of the page and the color green added to the right side of the page. At the end, all the colors came together to form a rainbow. This made the book very different than a conventional picture book in that the die-cut pages added a tactile and visual dimension to reading. Another reason I liked this book was for the crazy illustrations. As the chameleon wished to become like another animal, a part of that animal was added to his body. For example, when he wished to become more like a giraffe to “see things far away,” his body changed to have a long giraffe neck. As the story went on, and more body parts were added and the end result looked crazy with fins, antlers, and wings all on the same body. This visually reiterated the moral of the big idea of the story as well, which is that even though you may wish to be like someone else, being like them can make you lose what you enjoy in life, which for the chameleon was eating flies! ( )
  mspisa1 | Mar 4, 2014 |
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Book description
The chameleon's life was not very exciting until the day it discovered it could change not only its color but its shape and size,too. When it saw the wonderful animals in the zoo, it immediately wanted to be like them — and ended up like all of them at once — with hilarious results.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0064431622, Paperback)

The chameleon's life was not very exciting until the day it discovered it could change not only its color but its shape and size,too. When it saw the wonderful animals in the zoo, it immediately wanted to be like them -- and ended up like all of them at once -- with hilarious results.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:53 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

A bored chameleon wishes it could be more like all the other animals it sees, but soon decides it would rather just be itself. Cutouts along the edges of the pages display various animals and colors.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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