Introduced with a summary of color changes and how it hunts, Chameleon’s not so exciting life changes with a zoo visit. Chameleon wants to be like the other animals. With each of his wishes, he ends up with more and more features of creatures. He doesn’t realize this is not the best of ideas until he cannot catch a fly when it comes by.
And older book with a similar theme in a longer story is Bill Peet’s Whingdingdilly, my favorite picture book for years. Children will love the pictures of these cobbled together animals.
The Grouchy Ladybug demands another ladybug leave because it wants all the aphids. When a fight is offered, the grouchy ladybug leaves in a huff, claiming the friendly ladybug is not big enough to fight. A yellow jacket, scorpion, elephant and whale are all declared not big enough to fight by the grouchy ladybug. The whale won’t answer. The ladybug talks to different parts of the whale until the tail gives a most definitive answer. Getting smacked by a whale’s tail gives the grouchy ladybug a remarkably better attitude.
Each potential opponent has a flap in the book, with each consecutive creature having a larger one. The flaps also show the time and the position of the sun. I love the perspective difference between the whale and the tiny ladybug. I think it’d be fun to use this book as a stepping board to nonverbal discussion.
Tortoise is sick of being slow so he abandons his shell and hurries out into the world. Without his protection, tortoise must hide from the likes of a hornet, a hungry bird, a fish, and a snake. Tortoise wants some speed and watches goggle-eyed as other animals race by before realizing what weather would do to shell-less him. It is a grateful tortoise that crawls back home into his shell at last.
This book has a lot to say about thinking things through and being prepared. It also could fit in with a young lesson on needs.