Bold, bright and fun: an interactive picture book with a strong educational element.
Leon is a chameleon. But he’s unusual. The other chameleons can change colour to match wherever they go. They turn green in the jungle and yellow in the sandy desert. They’re grey in the rocky mountains and the colour of the dark sky at night. Leon, however, is stuck being the same colour all of the time: a bright neon orange. Can he find somewhere he fits in? Somewhere – or someone – he matches?
I really enjoyed reading Leap Frog by Jane Clarke and Britta Teckentrup and was, therefore, pleased to have the opportunity to review one of their other picture books. Both books are unusual in the way they directly address the reader and expect them to participate in the story. In this book, for example, you are asked to guess what colour the chameleons are going to change into next and tell Leon what he should do. You’re even encouraged to say your guesses louder so there’s no risk he doesn’t hear you! On other pages, you’re asked to smile, clap and count to ten.
This all makes for a fun and educational experience. (Although it is worth noting that the book is aimed at the younger end of the market and older children, even some 5 year olds, may consider the story babyish). It does, however, require an adult who is willing to join in and help the child reader fully participate. Fortunately, the book contains everything the adult reader needs to make the most of the book, with clear instructions. It even puts key words in bold typeface.
The story itself is simple but there’s still a satisfying resolution and a heart-warming conclusion about finding a friend and fitting in.
The pictures are highly stylised, very bright and flat with nice use of textured patterns. Indeed, as I mentioned in my review of Leap Frog, they remind me of the classic pictures by Eric Carle in the internationally acclaimed The Very Hungry Caterpillar or, less well-known, The Bad-Tempered Ladybird.
If you enjoyed this, you should grab yourself a copy of Leap Frog by Jane Clarke and Britta Teckentrup. Alternatively, why not try an interactive story from another author: I adored This book just stole my cat! by Richard Byrne.
Date: February 2020
Publisher: Nosy Crow