A couple of chameleons literally fall in love.
Cyrus’ eponymous chameleon returns with his friends Mike and Polly in this follow-up to Invisible Lizard (2017). Napoleon is happy with his lot. The branch he calls home in the tropical forest—lushly illustrated here by Atkins with vines, moss, ferns, and fungi—bounces and rings with their play. But when Mike and Polly find mates to spend their time with, Napoleon is soon all alone. He carves a big, lonely heart into his branch, which weakens the limb, and it snaps. Down falls Napoleon to a lower branch, where there happens to be another chameleon, Josephine. “Yikes!” says Napoleon. “A girl!” Their relationship starts out a little rocky—she accuses him of imitating her, and he responds, “Well, excuse me for being a chameleon”—but they eventually meet each other halfway, and they spend a lovely evening together under the stars. Despite a couple new words for readers’ vocabularies (“warty lumpstool”; “whiffle blister bud”), not much new ground is turned by the story, but the artwork is an eyeful. The forest is richly colored, and the chameleons change suit to match, with their independently rotating eyeballs taking everything in. Josephine even turns into a starry night to mimic their evening under the sky.
Love conquers all, including a pair of initially snippy chameleons. (Picture book. 4-8)