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African Animal Tales


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This is the story of why Crafty Chameleon changes colour and hides when he hears you coming.

About the Author

Author: Bruce Hobson is the author of seven other books in this series and lives in South Africa on a farm. Illustrator: Adrienne Kennaway moved from Kenya to London when she was 15 to study at the Ealing School of Art. Later she attended L'Academia de Belle Arte in Rome. It was on her return to Kenya that she began illustrating the picture books that have made her well known.


PreS-Gr 2 Hadithi and Kennaway (Greedy Zebra and Hot Hippo both Little, 1986) have once again merged their considerable talents. The resulting effort is a double treat, for Crafty Chameleon is a pleasure to both the ear and the eye. Hadithi is a gifted storyteller, bringing together a lyrical use of language and a fine sense of cadence in the tradition of the world's greatest folk tales; his story of how the cunning chameleon outwits two bullies of the African bush, Leopard and Crocodile, calls to mind the wondrous talents of Kipling and Aardema. What Hadithi does with words, Kennaway does with visual images. Her watercolors evoke the natural palette of the bush and are at once both bold and subtle. She captures perfectly the humiliation, anger, and inventiveness of Chameleon while portraying Leopard and Crocodile as haughty, swaggering, and eventually defeated brutes. Crafty Chameleon is that rare and joyous balance of story and picture that so enriches children's literature. Laura McCutcheon, St. Catherine's School, Richmond, Va.

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