Instead of wearing his heart on his sleeve, a chameleon wears his thoughts on his skin in this brightly colored picture book.
The arc of this story will feel immediately familiar to anyone who’s read more than a couple stories for children. The main character (a chameleon named Quincy) is different from his peers in some obvious way (his “worst subject was camouflage”). His social life suffers until one caring person (his art teacher, Mrs. Lin) encourages him to embrace his difference, and by the end he’s accepted by his peers. If this sounds like the plot of countless other books, it’s because it is following a worthy but well-trod path. The illustrations are amusing and interesting, as Quincy’s different thoughts are displayed on his skin, from arithmetic to rainbows. These images may be the most appealing part; a toilet-and–toilet-paper scene is sure to draw a laugh from young audiences. An author’s note offers further information about chameleons, their modes of defense, and their color-changing abilities.
The story follows the standard rules of storytelling for children successfully enough, and this fills the bill of different-but-that’s-OK as well as many others. (Picture book. 3-7)