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A Color of His Own Hardcover – June 13, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Every animal has a color of its own. "Parrots are green, elephants are gray, pigs are pink." But chameleons change color wherever they go. "On lemons they are yellow. In the heather they are purple." One chameleon is not pleased with his changeable appearance. He thinks, "If I remain on a leaf, I shall be green forever, and so I too will have a color of my own." Of course, what he doesn't take into account is the changes wrought by autumn, and soon the green chameleon is yellow, then red, and then tumbled to the ground for the long black winter night. It isn't until he befriends another older, wiser chameleon that our hero begins to find inner peace, even as his outer surface is transformed again and again.

Leo Lionni, children's book creator extraordinaire, author of such beloved picture books as Frederick, Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse, Swimmy, and Inch by Inch, all Caldecott Honor winners, introduces color concepts in an exquisite and touching story. This small board book edition of the classic tale of self-acceptance and friendship will be a favorite for toddlers and parents alike. (Baby to preschool) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to the Board book edition.

From School Library Journal

Toddler-PreS—The classic picture book is now available for the smallest hands to hold in this beautiful bilingual board book edition. Children will follow a little chameleon's story in English and Spanish and learn about colors and the chameleon's ability to camouflage and change colors to match his surroundings. Wonderfully translated, this title will also allow young readers to understand the chameleon's desire for a color of his own, as well as the value of having a friend. Pair this with Eric Carle's El camaleón camaleónico (Lectorum, 2009) for a bilingual, chameleon-themed storytime. VERDICT Recommended for all bilingual early learning collections.—Selenia Paz, Helen Hall Library, League City, TX --This text refers to the Board book edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Lexile Measure: 0640 (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (June 13, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375836977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375836978
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.2 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As a library clerk for the past two years, I have loved this book for a long time, and it's absolutely my favorite. Aside from the fact that Lionni was a giften writer and illustrator (who will be sadly missed), I love this book because it's a story about being accepted, and learning to accept yourself. As if any of us know what color we are, literally or metaphorically. The most we can hope for is to find someone with whom we can share all our different colors.
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Format: Board book
A Color of His Own is a wonderful beginning book for young children that teaches children colors. This book also stresses the importance of being and individual and does so in a way that young children can understand. In this book, a young chameleon searches high and low for his own color. He decides to stay on a leaf so he will be green forever. Soon, fall comes, the leaves change, and so does he. Sadly, he leaves his leaf and runs into another older and wiser chameleon. He tells the chameleon about his troubles, and the older comforts him and suggests that the two stay together. "We will still change color wherever we go," says the wiser chameleon, "but you and I will always be alike."
The objects and animals in this book are presented very clearly with uncluttered illustrations. Each object or animal is clearly identified by its color on each particular page. Lionni does a great job of using clear, simple language to introduce each color. The artwork is unique and catches the attention of young children.
Overall, A Color of His Own, is a great book to use to teach young children the concept of colors. Lionni's simple language and inventive style of illustrations make this book the success it is. This book serves as a great teaching tool to use with young children.
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Format: Board book
Join this charming chameleon on the road to discovery where he searches for a "color of his own." He learns to adapt to different "colored" environments while feeling left out, and along the way befriends a fellow chameleon and gains lasting companionship and happiness. This delightful board book captures babies attention with simple content and colorful illustrations, while teaching young children about feelings of belonging, friendship, compassion, and the most obvious - colors: green, red, gray, pink, yellow, and purple. This is a terrific tale! One-year and up.
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Format: Hardcover
First, let me say I love the message of the story. There is a chameleon who wants "A Color Of His Own", because other animals and things have their own colors. Later, he finds another chameleon and they always stick together, so they are always the same.

Here is my issue with the book: the illustrations. While I like the style of the art, the colors themselves make me scratch my head. The goldfish is red (even the text says a goldfish is red), and the lemon is pretty green. (A classroom of preschoolers today yelled "GREEN!" for what color the chameleon turned when standing on a lemon).

Again, very cute, and I like the story, but I'm not sure if I'd want to read it to a classroom or to my own kids over and over, clarifying each time that the colors are a little off. Of course I don't think a child would grow up thinking things are the wrong colors, but kids who "get it" will ask every time or point it out every time which of course affects the flow of the reading.
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Format: Board book
I got this for my son because I had read good reviews about it. Well, it is one of the best books for children. It teaches to be yourself and love yourself. The chameleon wants to be just one color, but of course it isn't possible. In the end he makes a friend with another chameleon who teaches him to accept himself. I recommend this book for all who have children. I think too many people grow up not feeling good about themselves and this book is a good teaching tool.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
A board book perfect for toddlers that brings together pretty illustrations with a story about individuality and togetherness. You and your child will love "A Color of his own."

This is a story about self-acceptance, self-worth, and touches on our desire to connect with others and the value of friendship. Its also bright, colorful, and a fantastic page-turner for kiddos.
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Format: Board book
My daughter is not quite a year, and she laughed at the colorful pictures.

The pictures are really well done, and the story is wonderful. The chameleon is searching for permanence. He tries to stay on a leaf and remain the same color forever, but he changes with the color of the leaf in the autumn, and he goes through the dark winter.

But then he meets another chameleon! His need for something unchanging could not be met by denying his nature and remaining the same color all the time. Instead, his need was met by his new companion.

This is a really good lesson. We can't be perfect. We can't have "ideal" lives. We can't remain young forever. But it's our close relationships that help us go through life. I hope my daughter finds friends who will be there through life's changing colors.
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Verified Purchase
There are wonderful teacher outlines on various sites (search for lesson plans or specific books) using this book to incorporate various learning activities. One of my favorite is cutting the inside out of a copy of a chameleon and then moving the outside copy over different items to show how the chameleon changes color to match what it is up against. Kids love this!
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