A young African girl learns to love more than just her favorite color with the help of a chameleon in this series opener.
Kiki lives in the small fishing village of Kribi, Cameroon. One beautiful day, she requests her favorite red dress, which she wears almost all the time. When Kiki plucks fruit from the cacao tree, one of them feels strange. It’s no fruit—it’s a chameleon. Kiki shows her mother and a friend, and each time she looks for the chameleon, she discovers it has changed color to blend in with its surroundings. When she and her friend expose the chameleon to a rainbow, Kiki decides that she should love all the colors, not just red. Through simple, somewhat lengthy text and the brightly colored, uncredited, digital cartoon images, readers encounter Kiki as an irrepressible young girl. In this picture book, Leclercq (Snow Flower and the Panther, 2018, etc.) introduces elements of daily life in Kribi naturally, giving readers an insider’s view of Kiki’s experiences. The story is accompanied by a fanciful description of how rainbows form: “Mist and sun / Mix up in the sky. / Makes a pretty rainbow / As colors pass by.” Though the tale has a distinct and vivid setting that may be new to many readers, Kiki’s adventures and choices will resonate.
A cheerful, slice-of-life Cameroon story with tidbits of science and vibrant digital illustrations.