Napoleon, a colorful, “spiffy” chameleon, lives on an equally “spiffy” tree limb and blends in so well with his surroundings the other jungle residents cannot see him.
With his charming personality, Napoleon tries to entice and engage Polly, a squawking parrot, and Mike, a screeching monkey, by waving his arms, weaving a welcome mat, and making funny faces. Much to their fright and distress, the parrot and monkey see only a talking tree. In his final attempt to be recognized, Napoleon stands on his head and eventually slips and falls, so he’s forced to use his sticky tongue to flick and grab hold of the limb. Suddenly everyone is able to see him hanging by his tongue. Polly is impressed by his colors, and Mike admires his swinging. The three become friends through daily visits and games of hide-and-seek. Detailed, vibrant paintings in boldly verdant colors give Napoleon’s rain-forest environment a surrealistic twist. Curved shapes echo the lizard’s bulging eyes, rounded body, bumpy skin, and curling tail, melding kaleidoscopically with his ever changing colors. The well-designed layout draws children into the paintings to search for Polly, Mike, and, of course, Napoleon in each amid abundant insects, mushrooms, ferns, and fungus living and growing on the tree limb.
An attractive complement to Eric Carle’s The Mixed-Up Chameleon. (Picture book. 4-6)