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donnaodonnellfigurski.com - CAMILLA CHAMELEON
Camilla Chameleon
									written by Colleen Sydor
									illustrated by Pascale Constantin
Camilla Chameleon
written by Colleen Sydor
illustrated by Pascale Constantin
written by Colleen Sydor
illustrated by Pascale Constantin
Kids Can Press
ISBN: 1553374827
Ages 4 – 8

Cream of Tomato Soup, Cream of Broccoli Soup. . . Yum! Yum! M-a-a-a-ay-b-e Cream of Leek Soup, BUT, come on! Cream of Chameleon Soup or Cream of Pterodactyl Soup? You’ve got to be kidding. That’s a stretch . . . a playful stretch, a delightful stretch, a weird and wacky stretch. Yes, Camilla Chameleon written by Colleen Sydor and illustrated by Pascale Constantin is a fanciful stretch all the way to Camilla’s long . . . very, long hopscotch-playing tongue to her favorite soft drink, Fizzy Fizzy Make Ya Dizzy Rootin’ Tootin’ Root Beer.

What Kiddle wouldn’t give their best lucky marble or their favorite hairclip or cherry lip gloss . . . or anything, for that matter to have Camilla’s characteristics . . . even for a day? I know I would have loved to be Camilla when my Mom called me to clean my brother’s room. YUCK! “Hmm, where’d Donna go?” my mother’d ask. “She was here a moment ago.” “Ha! Still am, Mom!” and I’d stifle a giggle. OR being Camilla would have been really cool on the nights my Dad announced we were having Stew, Bugs, and Onions for dinner. Double YUCK! We never did, but he always threatened. I wonder what kind of bugs he was going to cook. Poor bugs! Poor me!

Anyway, this book should be a warning to any Kiddle whose mother is going to have a baby. Beware! Keep an eye on the soup cans and . . . maybe add a little influence, if you can. Check the corner store. Look on the bottom shelf way, way in the back and maybe, just maybe, you might find Cream of Teddy Bear Soup or Cream of Kitty Soup or Cream of Whatever Soup. But, if you EVER find Cream of Frog Soup, please let me know. That’s my favorite. You can even see a collection of my favorite frogs at my website under tag label Phrogs FROGS Phrogs index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=18&Itemid=16

This review can also be seen on: SmartWriters
FROM the MOUTHS of KIDDLE CRITers: a critique group

“In the beginning Mrs. McNilly had a craving for Cream of Chameleon Soup, “said Ethan. “Cream of Chameleon Soup! Whoever heard of that?”

“Yeah,” said Jane. “Then Mr. and Mrs. McNilly had a baby.”

“Only trouble was all of the Cream of Chameleon Soup she ate affected the birth,” said Ethan.

“Yeah, it was strange how the baby was a chameleon,” said Philippe.

Ethan scratched his head. “The McNillys gave birth to a chameleon,” he said. “And . . . seeing nothing wrong with it, they kept her as their child.” He rolled his eyes AND scratched his head again.

Timmy seemed okay with the idea. “Parents think their kids are perfect,” he said.

“If my kid was a chameleon, I would notice right away,” said Ethan.
Uh . . . she does seem a little strange with one eye that goes this way and one that goes that way and her tongue is so, so long?” he quipped.

“My mom would think I am perfect even if I was a pterodactyl or a chameleon,” said Timmy with a laugh.

“Then they named her Camilla,” said Pritka.

“And Camilla can camouflage,” said Becky.

“Blending in with your surroundings would be a useful quality,” said Ethan.

“If I could camouflage, I would camouflage at my bedtime,” said Jane.

“I would turn invisible if my mom made orzo,” said Melia, “or said to clean my room.”

“I would camouflage when my mom called me to go to the dentist because I don’t want to get braces,” said Philippe.

“Camilla uses her powers at just the right moment,” said Pritka. “If I had this power of blending in, I would use it when I get into trouble.”

“Camilla is a smart kid!” said Ethan.

“She is a talented girl!” agreed Sarit.

“Anyone is smart who would disappear when your parents are serving liver,” said Jake. He scrunched up his nose.

“It’s disgusting,” said Anya.

“Is it even legal?” asked Jake. Everyone laughed.

“Not long after, Mrs. McNilly had another baby,” said Nina.

“Yeah,” said Jewel, “It was cool when Camilla became a big sister.”

“BUT, her mom had a baby pterodactyl,” said Jane with a giggle.

“ . . . because she ate pterodactyl soup,” said Nina laughing along with Jessica.

“Well, if my mother ate any kind of soup, I would like her to eat cream of swan soup,” said Anya looking very swan-like with her arms outstretched.

“If my mom ate Cream of Dog Soup, that would make my day,” said Ethan with a devilish grin. (He has a lot of those.) “I always wanted a dog,” he continued. “Then I could walk my own brother. THAT WOULD BE COOL!”

Warning by Pritka:
‘If you are between the ages of 26 to 35, I recommend that you never eat anything!!!!”

LEAPING LIZARDS Language Arts/Science

Camilla Chameleon, Terry Pterodactyl, Al Alligator . . . the list can go on and on—at least from A to Z.
Kiddles will enjoy making a Leaping Lizard book including a variety of animals and matching animal names. They won’t even realize they are practicing their consonant and vowel sounds. Once they understand the concept, this is great independent work.

1. Prepare books.
2. Use two sheets of 3” x 9” colored construction paper for the book covers.
3. Use thirteen sheets of 3” x 9” manila paper for the inside pages.
4. Staple together and set aside until the writing part of this project is completed.

Use the following example for demonstration purposes ONLY: Kiddles should create their own animals and animal names.

On chart paper or on the board, write an alphabetical list. Have Kiddles take turns suggesting an animal and then an animal name beginning with the same letter. Ex.:

A . . . . . . . . . Alvin . . . . Alligator
B . . . . . . . . . Betty . . . .Bumblebee
C . . . . . . . . . Cathy . . . Camel

Website suggestion for difficult animal names:

1. Then give each Kiddle a paper with the alphabet listed vertically. Set up like the chart above.
2. Kiddles will fill in each letter with an animal and a name using their best developmental/temporary spelling.
3. When they have completed this project, type their selections into the computer and give them the page.
4. They then cut apart each selection and paste it on a separate page in alphabetical order.
5. When all of the letters are glued down, then they may illustrate their book. Encourage Kiddles to use unusual animals and unusual names. Encourage beautiful illustrations.

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS . . . ? Language Arts/

Chameleons have the unusual quality of being able to disappear whenever they feel like it or camouflage into their surroundings. Most folk think that chameleons blend into their surroundings to protect themselves, and they might, too, but many scientists are finding that they really change color because they are affected by temperature and light, and their color also changes to reflect their mood. In any case, wouldn’t it be fun to disappear when things weren’t going exactly like you wanted them to . . . like Camilla did when Ms. Floxbottom asked her to write the homework answers on the board; or in my case . . . when my dad said,” DONNA MARIE!” in that certain tone of his, “Ohhhh, I wish I could have disappeared then.” The KIDDLE CRITers had fun making up reasons to disappear and so will your class. Start with the following sentence starter.

“I would disappear when . . .

List the Kiddles answers on chart paper for later reading practice. Okay, I’ll start . . .

“I would disappear when my father announces STEW, BUGS, and ONIONS for dinner.” I know I said that already, but I REALLY mean it. May you NEVER have to eat stew, bugs or onions!

(Although I examined these websites and found them to be very helpful, please use them at your own discretion.)

Kids and Chameleons
Chameleons Online
(Nice Photo Gallery)
National Geographic Explorer


Gideon by Francesca Greco
A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni
Leon the Chameleon by Melanie Watt
Flying Giants of Dinosaur Time by Don Lessen, illustrated by John Bindon
Gator Gumbo by Candace Fleming illustrated by Sally Anne Lambert
On the Go with Mr. And Mrs. Green by Keith Baker
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