The mixed-up chameleon

by Eric Carle

Paper Book, 1984



Call number




New York : Scholastic Inc., 1989, c1984.


A bored chameleon wishes it could be more like all the other animals it sees, but soon decides it would rather just be itself. Cutouts along the edges of the pages display various animals and colors.

User reviews

LibraryThing member PammieJR
My friend bought me this book when I had a chameleon as a pet. Maybe seeing it for the first time as an adult is not a good thing?

I don't know, maybe I just had WAY too fond of childhood memories of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" is no hungry caterpillar.

Definitely cute, though!
LibraryThing member Tien.Nguyen
A chameleon turns from green to gray and dull. The chameleon has a long tongue to shot out and caught the fly. When chameleon came to the zoo, the animals were colorful. Chameleon wished like all these animals. But finally, chameleon wanted to be chameleon-self. Because chameleon has a hard time
Show More
catching the fly with mixed up mouth.This book helps children draw their own pictures with different colors. It is happy to be who you are, not be someone else.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Orpgirl1
Eric Carle's classic color teaching book The Mixed-Up Chameleon is a perfect representation of his unique illustrating form. By layering colors and mediums in a one dimensional collage format, Carle is able to bring the animals that help children learn the colors of the rainbow to vivid life. The
Show More
story focuses on a chameleon that desires to look like other animals he sees in a zoo. By using this inherently interesting animal as a model, Carle begins adding on other parts of animal's to the chameleon's body. By the end Carle has created an animal so fantastic and unreal that only the imagination of a child could understand its possibilities (Carle states that it was with the help of thousands of school children that he was able to write this book). The end moral of this story is the importance of the chameleon being himself, doing the job he was made to do, not wasting his life with wishing he was someone else. This moral, when coupled with the fantastic colors and bizarre images of Carle's artistry, combine to form a truly classic children's picture book.
Show Less
LibraryThing member aecrozier
This book is about a Chameleon who is bored with his life so he goes to the Zoo and decides he wants to be a different kind of animal. He gets long legs like a flamingo, white skin like a polar bear, a bushy tail like a fox and much more! After he has adopted a lot of traits from different animals,
Show More
he becomes very mixed-up. Soon he realizes that being himself is better than being any other animal. I loved this book because it teaches a wonderful lesson, that is that it is better to be yourself. It shows children to be happy in their own skin.
Show Less
LibraryThing member rlhopper
This book begins with a chameleon that is able to change his color to whatever is around him. Well, one day he saw something that he had never seen before, a zoo. He saw all the different animals and wished that he could be like them. He wished that he could swin like a fish, run like a deer, and
Show More
be as handsome as a flamingo. After all his different wishes came true, he was one big messed up animal. He has fins like a fish and a tail like a fox. Finally, he discovers that all he truly wanted was to be himself. He wished to be himself and his wish came true. I like this book because I think it can really show children that they should like themselves for who they are and that they should not wish to be anyone else.
Show Less
LibraryThing member JRFyock
I would recommend this book to teachers who are teaching an animal unit. The chameleon in this story wants to be like all of the other animals and his wish comes true. When he realizes that he can't do the things he did before, he wishes to be himself again. This is a good book to read to children
Show More
if they are having self-esteem problems.
Show Less
LibraryThing member srfox
This book tells of a chameleon who wants to change his colors. He sees many different sized and colored animals at the zoo. He wants to be like every other animal that he sees! In the end, the chameleon learns that he likes himself just as he always was.
LibraryThing member Lakapp
“The Mixed-Up Chameleon” written by Eric Carle is a wonderful story for young elementary students. In this story, the main character is a chameleon; the chameleon’s distinguishing characteristics are described, as well as his daily routine. Then the chameleon saw a zoo and wished he could be
Show More
like all the other animals. He wished he could be a polar bear, flamingo, fish, giraffe, and many other animals; he was not satisfied with himself. Finally, at the end of the story, the chameleon decided he loved who he was and did not want to be like any of the other animals. This story is best suited for Kindergarten or first grade students.
Show Less
LibraryThing member krsmith
The chameleon is bored with the way he looks, so he decides to change his appearance. He wants a long neck like a giraffe, and the head of an elephant. By the time he is done changing little things about himself, nothing from his own body is there, and he cannot even eat a fly! He realizes that
Show More
being a chameleon is just fine.
Show Less
LibraryThing member esharden
This book was very cute and somewhat funny. The moral of the story that I gathered was that we should be happy who we are and what we look like and not want to be anything or anyone else. The Chameleon saw a zoo for the first time and wished he was everything like the other animals. Once he was
Show More
like all the other animals, he couldn't even do what he wanted to do which was to catch the fly. After he had characteristics of all the other animals, he was too mixed up to catch it. In the end, he just wanted to be himself so he could catch the fly.
Show Less
LibraryThing member analexander1
I would like to use this book to describe animals and their characteristics. This is a good book to teach colors and familiarize ELL students with words they may not know in English, but are familiar with in their language.
LibraryThing member ztasara
This book is about a chameleon who one day wishes he was like everybody else. He goes through the book becoming many different animals, and at the end realizes that he just wants to be himself. It has a good point about teacing children to be themselves and everybody being unique is what makes up a
Show More
community of learners.
Show Less
LibraryThing member roryblythe
This story is about a chameleon who wishes he had characteristics of other animals. At the beginning of the story, we learn that the chameleon changes colors in order to blend in with his surroundings, and that he uses his long, sticky tongue to eat flies. One day the chameleon wanders into a zoo.
Show More
He sees all kinds of animals and wishes he had characteristics of each of those animals. Each wish is granted, and he gains certain qualities of each animal. At the end of the story, he sees a fly. He tries to catch the fly with his tongue, but he no longer has that ability because he is made up of too many other animals. He finally wishes that he could be himself again. His wish is granted, and he gets to eat the fly. I rate this book 5/5. The story is a great way to introduce students to the very basic qualities of some wild animals, and it has wonderful illustrations. Additionally, it implicitly reminds students that they should always be themselves, and never try to be anything or anyone else.
Show Less
LibraryThing member dbhutch
There was a chameleon that saw zoo and wished he could be like other animals then he wanted to be like people a when he e was hungry a fly went by and he wanted to be himself again
LibraryThing member Jourdon
Eric Carle’s The Mixed Up Chameleon looks hungry and deflated with a gray marble color in the opening scene. Bored with the life of predictably changing color, little chameleon decides to visit the zoo where his wish are miraculously granted. With repetitive text, the series of transformations
Show More
becomes hilarious as the chameleon accumulates a tails, fins, and a rainbow of colors in a collage of illustrations. The transformations add bold colors, textures, and shapes to little chameleon. The simple text has a smooth flowing repetition that helps young readers recognize repetitious words. The illustrations vary in color and are heavy lined, with a crisp appeal. The end of the story results in self reflection and encourages individual strengths rather than changing to be like others. With a great moral, catchy tone, and bright illustrations, this is a great book for beginning readers.
Show Less
LibraryThing member MKHowell
This book is a great lesson for students to see that it is ok to be yourself. The chameleon sees so many different things that it wants to be. He starts adding different body parts to himself. Eventually he doesn't make any sense and he wishes to just be himself.
LibraryThing member kagetzfred
This book starts off with a chameleon who is tired of his outside image and wants to change. He visits a zoo and wishes to have some of the traits that the various other animals have. Each of the animals' best attributes are added onto his body as he asks for more with each animal, but soon he
Show More
realizes that he is just as happy being a chameleon when he tries to eat a fly and is unable to do so. This book has wonderful illustrations that can be incoporated into a classroom lesson. It also is great for talking about various animals, and shows how each one is special. Lastly, this book can be used to talk about how it is good to be yourself and to celebrate what is unique about you.
Show Less
LibraryThing member wdjeffus
This story is about a chameleon who is not happy with who he is. Throughout the book he wants to become different animals and his wish comes true. In the end he realizes it is better to be himself rather than anyone else.
LibraryThing member ShopALot
"The Mixed Up Chameleon" is a story about a chameleon that doesn’t really like life. He doesn’t like changing colors or catching flies. He comes to a zoo where he wishes that he could be each animal that he comes in contact with. As he makes these wishes a piece of that animal becomes part of
Show More
the chameleon. He ends up becoming a mixed up chameleon which makes it to wear he can’t catch flies to eat. The chameleon then decides to wish that he was himself again.

I love this book! I read it to my daughter’s class and they really liked trying to find where the chameleon was at the beginning when he was blending into things. When it came to the part at the zoo where the chameleon was taking on other animal parts they laughed. At the end they all new that he would go back to being himself so that he could eat again.

For an extension to the story we sat the children around the carpet and talked about the sequencing of the book and the different colors that he changed into. We then talked about the point of the story being that everyone is different but that everyone is also special. Each child then took a turn telling what is special about them.
Show Less
LibraryThing member aab018
A chameleon is not happy about how he looks. So he wishes that he is a bunch of different animals, Like a Elephant, a Flamingo, A seal,etc. He gets the wish and turn into all these animals. But all of the sudden he sees a fly and try to grabe it but he is all tangled up. He then figures out that
Show More
his real self his all he needs, so he wishes to be himself.
This is to teach a lesson that be happy of who you are, and you are unique .
Show Less
LibraryThing member rxs008
good book, a chameleon wanting to be like other animals and their characteristics that makes them unique and special. ends up finding that he is special just the way he is.
LibraryThing member cakebaker
A chameleon becomes bored with his simple life. He can change colors, yes, but he always appears invisible. So, he starts wishing to be like other animals. Amazingly his wishes come true, but they do not make him happy. He eventually realizes that he would rather be himself than a combination of
Show More
other things.
Show Less
LibraryThing member caitlinbennison
A young chameleon wishes he could be all kinds of animals, until he realizes that being himself is the best for him.
LibraryThing member ahernandez91
A chameleon is not happy with his life. He doesn't like changing colors or eating flies. He goes to zoo and wishes he was all sorts of different animals such as an elephant, flamingo, deer, turtle, and many more other animals at the zoo! After wishing to change into so many different animals he
Show More
became all mixed up and he couldn't eat when he was hungry. He transformed back into his original self and realized being himself is best of all. This can teach students that each child is unique in his/her very own way and can teach students that they should appreciate that they are different.
Show Less
LibraryThing member crashingwaves38
I thought this book was ok. It talks about a chameleon who learns he can change his size and shape as well as his colors. He changes and becomes a conglomeration of a lot of different animals but then isn't happy; when he goes back to himself, he is happy. It's a good message--that we are happiest
Show More
when we are ourselves--but the book didn't really excite me or my daughter. It's still a cute little book, though.
Show Less


Original publication date



0590421433 / 9780590421430
Page: 0.9092 seconds