Written by: Martin Jenkins
Illustrated by: Sue Shields
Published in 1997
Grade Level: K-3
Summary: Chameleons Are Cool was written by Martin Jenkins, a conservation biologist who first encountered wild chameleons while in Madagascar. The book talks about chameleons and their traits, describing them as “pocket-sized, bad-tempered, color-changing, swivel-eyed, snail-paced, long-tongued sharpshooters.”
I have to say, I’m rather impressed by the animal-based nonfiction books I got from the library this time around. 100 Things You Should Know About Nocturnal Animals was a great read, and Chameleons Are Cool followed in it’s footsteps. I might have to change my opinion about nonfiction books at this rate!
So obviously I loved this book. The tidbits of information and facts were really interesting to read about and captured my attention from the beginning. I learned quite a bit while reading this book, such as the fact that a chameleon’s eye is mostly covered by skin, with one tiny peephole for it to see through. I also learned that chameleons change their color for lots of reasons such as sickness, temperature, and anger, but not to match their surroundings!
Even without all of the fascinating information, I would probably still love this book just for the illustrations. The watercolor pictures are gorgeous, and show off the many different forms that chameleons can take.
Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a great experience from cover to cover. I would love to have this book in my classroom, and I can see children of various ages reading and loving it.
I give Chameleons Are Cool five stars.