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The Mixed-Up Chameleon

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  16,825 Ratings  ·  375 Reviews
From Eric Carle, the New York Times bestselling author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Grouchy Ladybug, comes a colorful and inventive book about a changing chameleon that wants to be a little bit of everything.

There once was a small green chameleon that wished to be handsome like a flamingo, smart like a fox, and funny like a seal. But with each transformation in s
Board Book, 32 pages
Published February 5th 1998 by HarperFestival (first published 1975)
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Dani - Perspective of a Writer
Check out more Picture book reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

The mixed up chameleon is unhappy with himself and when he visits a zoo wishes to be other animals... as his wish comes true he realizes he wants to be simply... himself.

My nephew was quite puzzled at this book and frankly so was I! We read it together but couldn't seem to understand why it was cobbling other animals onto itself. I had to hit reviews and the afterward to finally understand what was happening. Normally the cut outs a
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: week-8
Text-to-Text Connection

The Mixed up Chameleon becomes bored with his daily routine until one day he sees the zoo. As he begins to admire characteristics about the other animals he wishes he could be anything but himself. I would compare The Mixed up Chameleon to the book A Color of His Own, which is also about a chameleon. However, the chameleon in A Color of His Own is simply looking for a color of his own instead of always camouflaging with objects in his environment. A great response activity
Amy Bruestle
All of Eric Carle's books are PERFECT reads for all kids!!!!!!!!
It’s great to be me! Loved this one.
This book was good, but I didn't really understand it until I read the Author Bio at the end, after the story. It was only upon reading about Eric Carle's process (or inspiration?) for writing this book that I understood why the chameleon ended up with parts of all the animals he had seen on him.

So this was a fun story, but it just seemed fun - without point - until after I read the Author Bio. :-(
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle

"The Mixed-Up Chameleon" is a story about a chameleon who is just like every other chameleon. It changes colors to match the things it is around. The chameleon sits around eating flies all day long. Then, one day, the chameleon goes to the zoo. It is amazed by all of the different animals it sees and with every animal it thinks about, wishes that it was like each animal in some way. Somehow, the chameleon's wish comes true! Eventually the chameleon has a part of every animal it saw in the zoo.
Mar 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This is a great story; as usual Eric Carle's illustrations just jump off the page, making everything seem alive. This story was a good follow up for the kids discussion on chameleons today. It reinforced what they learned about chameleons changing colors. A few pictures also supported the fact that a chameleon's eyes are independent of each other and can look two ways at once, I never knew this before so that was interesting. If I hadn't seen my cooperating teacher mention this to the class I wo ...more
Jasmine Lambert
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tch-lrn-307
Another of Eric Carle's colorful bold short stories with the main character a mixed up chameleon. This chameleon lives a not so exciting life until one day he visits a zoo and sees a variety of animals he dreams he could be just like. The chameleon then notices he can change his color and features to match the animal he was interested in, when in front of the goldfish he turns orange and grows fins like a goldfish. And when the chameleon is observing the pretty pink flamingo he turns bright pink ...more
Rachel Manak
Feb 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
The book is written in a portrait orientation. The end pages are textured like leaves or a fern which fits with the subject of the story which is about a chameleon. The colors are very bright and colorful. The illustrations are done in a collage with paper cut into shapes and made into the animals. If there is a ground in the illustration, it is full bleed whereas most of the illustrations are done on a white background. The text is very simple. The illustrations are very unrealistic with a lot ...more
James Vickery
Jan 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: be-yourself
This book is a great addition to any Elementary classroom. This book hits many learning points such as the recognition and labeling of colors and the characteristics of a Chameleon species. The story goes on to reveal that being your self is usually the best choice. The story conveys that it might seem like other people have important qualities that are of greater importance than you’re your own, but embracing your own qualities as being unique and important is key. This story has illustrations ...more
Alison Steffel
Dec 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a funny book about a chameleon who is usually the same boring colors most of the time, until he goes to the zoo. He changes to conform to many different animals, and in the end transforms back to himself to capture a fly to eat. This is a very good illustrative book and has lots of great colorful pictures for young kids. This could be used to inform students about chameleons and other animals and prepare them if they are going on a school field trip to the zoo.
Mar 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-2015
A chameleon becomes bored with his life after seeing all the unique animals at the zoo. He discovers he can change his size and shape as well as his color.

It was fun to teach my son about chameleons; how they can change colors and their eyes move independently (which was portrayed correctly in the book). As always, Eric Carle's illustrations are beautiful and the story was a sweet one, too.
Holly Sandefer
Chameleon felt he lived a boring life. One day he noticed all the animals at the zoo and he wished he could have the attributes of the animals. His wish came true with each animal. The results prove to be rather entertaining. Be yourself and be happy with who you are, are the morals of this story.
Maryam Fiaz
This book is similar to a colour of his own by Leo Leonni. The story follows a chameleon who doesn't appreciate his own qualities and wishes to be like others, until he realises being himself is the only way he feels right. The illustrations are done in the same style as the hungry caterpillar and so seem familiar. Overall a great book for children in key stage 1 and foundation stage.
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I hate to admit I haven't read a lot of Eric Carle books, but the ones I have read I have enjoyed! I love the color the texture and the premise. Who doesn't wish they were a giraffe, or a bear, ...but in the end, being ourselves is just right!
Petra X
Aug 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book as much as everyone's Eric Carle favourite - the Very Hungry Caterpillar. The face of the chameleon who never quite matches his surroundings is precious. Highly recommended to anyone looking for a book to entertain them as much as their child.
Alex Ward
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Imbalanced text-to-illustration ratio, and Carle's abstract style doesn't lend itself perfectly well to what the book is trying to do (chameleon tries to look like a bunch of different zoo animals), but it's a fun book to use for talking about animals and colors.
Jan 09, 2010 rated it liked it
Not really sure why a chameleon is taking on the shapes of different animals, rather than their colors, but the illustrations are Carle's signature work with colored and textured paper. Excellent for teaching animal features.
Stacy Hait
Apr 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Eric Carle is fabulous. My daughter and I love all his books!!!
Megan Knippenberg
Aug 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Love Eric Carle's style... he creates quite the hybrid animal in this book!
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a perfect representation of the inner workings of a master criminal. It is nice to see the author and the universe going into darker directions and different genres like crime thrillers. The book is insanely violent and sad because we realize that the chameleon was the one who started this whole universe, by using his skill to force the caterpillar to eat all of the food, so that he would die and the chameleon would take the throne as the ruler of this world. As we all know however the c ...more
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: eric-carle
This chameleon is like any other chameleon, he changes colors to match his surroundings and keep a low profile from his predators. One day, the chameleon saw a sign to the zoo and decided to go around and visit all the beautiful animals. The chameleon wished that he could be smart as a fox, swim like a fish, strong like an elephant and more- when he made these wishes he began to change and become these different animals. The chameleon became hungry but since he was all mixed up in the form of th ...more
Matt Murray
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: eric-carle
This book is about a chameleon who goes to a zoo and sees all of the other unique animals and wishes it could have all of the other characteristics that the animals have. The chameleon receives features of every animal that he likes, but ends up not being too mixed up and wishes to be himself again.

A lot of staples that are found in books by Carle can be found in this one. He uses repetition to progress the evolution of the chameleon, while using cutouts of the animals on the left-side of the p
Elizabeth Guzman
Have you ever wished to be like someone else? Be able to look different? Be able to do different things? Well this little chameleon did. He lived a simple life and he got bored. One day he came across a zoo of animals. He saw how different they were and wanted to be just like them. He wished to be like a polar bear, a flamingo, a fox, a fish, a deer, a giraffe, a turtle, and elephant, a seal and even like the humans! This made him change into some crazy mix of animals. When a fly comes by he can ...more
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Genre- Fantasy
Awards Won- None
Illustrations- The pictures look like watercolor, maybe it could be regular paint. The work of Eric Carle is very distinctive and the same in most of his work. The colors are bright but the work itself is simple. The pages are not filled, white space is provided.
Summary- The chameleon came upon a zoo, he saw all these wonderful animals and was amazed at all of their strengths. The chameleon wish he was like all these different animals and soon enough he was unrecog
Micaela Varela
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
As the story progresses, it gets more outrageous as you see the different parts of animals on the chameleon's body. It was interesting to learn that Eric Carle uses collages to create the illustrations in this book. I thought it was cool to learn how a book that I read as a child was made. I liked that illustrations mostly just had the white space around them. I think it would've been a little too much if there were a lot of extensive backgrounds and it also helps you focus on the combination of ...more
Jasmine Stocker
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
The chameleon's life was not very exciting until the day it discovered it could change not only its color but its shape and size, too. When it saw all the wonderful animals in the zoo, the chameleon wanted to be just like them. It's a funny book that, in the end, explains that it's okay to be different or yourself in a world of unique and beautiful things. I love Eric Carle's beautiful illustrations and his interesting books. In this one, the pages were cut on the side and showed the color and a ...more
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book when coupled with the right props. Mr. Carle does a wonderful job of engaging young children through his words teaching them to simply be happy with who you are. The is a great story to introduce the concept of self-confidence and building your self-esteem. Beautiful art projects can be created in a classroom based off of the illustrations in the book and the overall message taps into various domains to spark creativity and expression for young children.

Shelby Miller
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-book
The idea that stood out to me from this text was that you will be more successful when you are being yourself. However, the text does take on an imaginative role with each animal feature the chameleon begins to possess. The illustrations in this book also complement the text.
Topics: imagination, creativity, being yourself, colors, animals, zoo, characteristics of animals, change, transformation, wishes/wants.
Moore, Maureen
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book “The Mixed-Up Chameleon” by Eric Carle is classified as juvenile fiction; targeting ages 3 to 7. This book is a good social/emotional selection for teaching about being happy with one’s own personal identity and that getting everything one ask for may not pave the way to happiness. The pictures are colorfully bold; the story has a message behind it: “your unique qualities may not be perfect but they are perfect for you”.
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Eric Carle (born June 25, 1929) is a children's book author and illustrator, most famous for his book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which has been translated into over 30 languages. Since The Very Hungry Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than seventy books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote, and more than 71 million copies of his books have sold around ...more