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Chamelia Hardcover – May 3, 2011

3.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ethan Long is the author of the Tickle the Duck! books, and has illustrated a number of other children's books. He based the character of Chamelia on his wife; she likes to dress-up too. Ethan lives with his wife, three children, and many pets in Orlando. His website is www.ethanlong.com.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 440 (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316086126
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316086127
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.5 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,074,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As a school counselor, I'm always on the lookout for "Be Yourself" books. This one had a little bit of a twist on it. I have a feeling it's going to get mixed reviews from some folks. Here's my thoughts.......

First off, I love the reference to chameleons and how they try and blend in with everything. Those darn conformists! But here we have Chamelia who will do nothing of the sort. She is her own person and no apologies about it. She is pretty extreme to the point where she stands out maybe more than she really wants to. She has a very unique sense of style (like wearing high heels during soccer). Her standing out eventually leaves her feeling left out. Some people are going to get freaked out by this message because there will be an uproar that she should just be herself end of story ....happily ever after. Well, the real world doesn't always work that way. Kids have a desire to feel included and fit in. Chamelia wonders if there's a way to join in without giving up who she is. She ends up toning it down while still figuring out how to let parts of herself shine and feeling like she belongs.

So how will I translate this message to the kids? I want kids to know they can still find ways to be different and fit in at the same time. I know there are children in my school who feel like Chamelia. And guess what - they have a lot of gifts kids are missing out on because they end up isolating themselves. It's also important I challenge the other kids on how to support the Chamelia's of the world. Be smart in how you translate the message of Chamelia.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was given to my daughter as a gift. When I started reading it to her I thought, "this is great! A book about how being yourself and standing out is ok!"

Then we read a bit further to the part about how her outfits weren't quite right. And "wait" I thought "Is this an illustration of other kids pointing and laughing at the girl who stands out? Hmm. How will this be addressed?"

Well, lo! to my surprise, it was not. Chamelia's parents convince her to essentially stand out less and join in. Clearly Chamelia's wants to join in. But she isn't conforming to the other chamelian's expectations so she is laughed at and shunned and convinced by her parents that people will only like her if she only stands out a little bit.

Lame message. IMO.
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Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book because I thought the art was cute. And it is. The hardcover and endpaper design is stunning, too. Ethan Long's cartoon, Tasty Time with ZeFronk is even a favorite in my household.

But I just can't get over the message of this book. Rather than consoling Chamelia when she's upset for feeling excluded, her parents encourage her to stop trying to stand out and join in. This is not the message I want to teach my child. In fact, this book won't even make it to my child's hands. It's going straight back to be exchanged for a book with a more positive moral.

So if you like aesthetically appealing kid's books, buy Chamelia, but if you have issues with encouraging your impressionable child to conform then pass on this one.
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Format: Hardcover
I like children's books. They appeal to the eternal child in me which I cherish and hope I never loose. I read a lot of children's books simply because I enjoy them, (My wife still continually asks me what I want to be when I grow up), but also because they are a part of my current job.

Every so often I come across a work that simply pops out at me; sort of catches be off guard and simply put...delights me. This current offering by Ethan Long is one of those books! Wow, what a wonderful read for the younger set; those between the ages of four and six. (I note that the target age on the product page here tops out at eight...I personally feel that eight is pushing it a bit for this particular work). This book is truly a classy piece of work.

As the first couple of pages of this simply written story tells us: "Most chameleons like to blend in, but not Chamelia." Chamelia of course is a little girl chameleon and like a lot of children her age, she wants attention; wants to stand out from the pack. Our little lizard girl will try all kinds of ploys to do so, especially when it comes to dress and appearances. I suppose the best example of this is represented by the plate (and it is one that just cracked me up) that shows Chamelia in the school play in the part of Goldilocks and the three bears are quite startled to find or little girl dressed as Cleopatra lounging on Baby Bears bed. This is followed by a page showing that "And apparently sequins and soccer don't mix."

Ah, but Chamelia discovers to her great concern that often times "standing out" is not such a good thing and that this can cause rejection rather than acceptance...it all depends upon how it is done.
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