Emily Gravett is twice winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Nestle Children's Book Prize Bronze Award for her debut picture book WOLVES (978-1-4050-5362-3) and LITTLE MOUSE'S BIG BOOK OF FEARS (978-0-230-01619-4). An author/illustrator of unique talent and tremendous skill she has a host other of award-winning and critically acclaimed books to her name, including: ORANGE PEAR APPLE BEAR (978-1-4050-9022-9) MONKEY AND ME (978-0-230-01583-8) and THE ODD EGG (978-0-230-53135-2). Emily lives in Brighton with her partner, daughter and the family dogs.
This lonely chameleon won't be blue for long!
Emily Gravett has twice won both the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Nestle Children's Book Prize Bronze Award, in 2005 for her debut picture book WOLVES and again in 2007 for Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears. An author-illustrator of exceptional talent and skill she has a host other of award-winning and critically acclaimed books to her name, including Orange Pear, Apple Bear, Monkey and Me, The Odd Egg, Dogs, Spells, Wolf Won't Bite and The Rabbit Problem, all published by Macmillan. Emily lives in Brighton with her partner, daughter and the family dogs.
In this small-scale but lively diversion, Greenaway Medalist Gravett (Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears) explores the possibilities of chameleon friendship-or even love. "I'm lonely," a blue chameleon says, knobby elbows scrunched sadly on knobby knees. If a chameleon is blue, whom does he woo? "Hi," says the chameleon on the left-hand page to a banana on the right; he's curved his body and changed his skin to match the banana. "Hello Hello Hello," he says to an unimpressed pink cockatoo, turning pink and angling his arms to duplicate her wings. A "swirly" snail, a brown boot, a "stripy" sock (the book also functions as a light primer on colors and patterns)-the chameleon can make himself look like anything. He can even turn white and disappear into the page (a white varnished outline shows him lying along the foot of the spread). Worry not: a happy ending is in store. As always, Gravett's art charms; colored pencil lines on rough paper give the pages warmth, and the chameleon's "disguises" repay attention as readers spot similarities to and differences from the things the chameleon mimics. Ages 2-6. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
PreS-K-A clever concept book with emotional punch and magnificent art is a rare treat. In Gravett's latest triumph, readers meet a despondent chameleon on the front endpapers. He searches for a companion, transforming himself to mirror the objects he finds: a yellow banana, a pink cockatoo, a swirly snail. Each spread sports only two words, plus the chameleon's speech bubble. "Howdy," he says to the cowboy boot. For "Gold fish," he contorts his body into a fishy shape, stares plaintively at the fish across the page, and speaks in empty air bubbles. No one will return his greeting, and finally he crawls onto a gray rock and gives up. The next page is completely white, save for the embossed outline of the chameleon. But what's that reaching from the next page and tapping the chameleon on the tail? The page turn reveals a new friend, and the two chameleons-now rainbow hued from joy-walk off the endpapers together. Libraries may choose to remove the dust jacket rather than tape over the story's ending. While the simple text is appropriate for toddlers, the book is clever enough for older children to enjoy. Gravett's design and art are exceptional, from the masterful use of white space down to the concrete poem of a chameleon created with the copyright and publication information.-Suzanne Myers Harold, Multnomah County Library System, Portland, OR (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.