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The Mixed-Up Chameleon

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  18,330 ratings  ·  426 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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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  18,330 ratings  ·  426 reviews

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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
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.
Andrea Jeter
Text-to-world connection.

Are we happy with ourselves??? Would we like to be someone else???? This book was a great way to explain the thought process of many people. A lot of people are not happy with who they are. Just like in the book we as people wish we can be something or someone else. Just because someone or something look good doesn’t mean it is good. In my opinion we as people get so wrapped in what we see on the outside and thinking that is all good when it is not. Just like the chame
Ashtyn Baribault
This book is about a chameleon who changes colors depending on his surroundings. The chameleon decides to go to the zoo where there are many animals. The chameleon wishes he could be like all the other animals at the zoom. After wishing he could be all the other animals the chameleon realizes that he needs to be himself in order to be happy, so he wishes to be himself again. This book can teach children how to be happy with themselves. Even though you can like other people or things, in the end ...more
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
It’s great to be me! Loved this one.
Amy Bruestle
All of Eric Carle's books are PERFECT reads for all kids!!!!!!!!
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: storytime, children
Eric Carle is goals
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a wonderful story with a strong message. A book to hug.
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 z
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
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.
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.
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.
Jan 09, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: tom, dan, to-a-child, for-work
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.
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!
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.
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
Alexandra Gardner
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Mixed-Up Chameleon written by Eric Carle is a book about a chameleon that wants to change more than just its colors. The chameleon's life was not very exciting until he visited a zoo and wanted to change himself. The chameleon changes shapes like becoming handsome like a flamingo or smart like a fox and so on. In the end of the story the chameleon is all mixed up and looks nothing like he did before and he was so hungry. The chameleon saw a fly but was not able to catch it so he wished that ...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
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
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
Baylie Warren
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This colorful, creative, and interactive picture book is the perfect book to incorporate into your kindergarten or first grade classroom. Not only does it have all of those wonderful qualities, but it has a meaningful and inspiring message as well. The book is about a chameleon who wants to look like every other animal except for himself. He has an elephant trunk, flamingo legs, and much more. But when he gets hungry and catch a fly with his tongue, he no longer can because of all the other thin ...more
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: author-study-hop
Summary: The chameleon in this story acts just like any other chameleon in the wild. He changes colors to match the background in which he is walking. He takes a trip to the zoo and he wishes that he could become the animals that he sees. His wishes come true and he transforms into those animals. He eventually decides that above all he'd like to stay himself.
Review: I've always loved the messages that are brought up in this story. I think this story is great to teach about self-identity and emb
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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

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