Author: Leo Lionni

24 to 35 Months Storybooks

Join the adventures of an unhappy chameleon as he searches for a color of his own. This book’s simple illustrations make it fun to watch the chameleon change color. A Color of His Own can be used to engage your child in conversations on a variety of topics, especially feelings and friendship.

Before, During and After Reading

Oral Language

Introduce the word chameleon, a lizard that can change the color of its skin.    

Invite your child to touch a color he recognizes and perhaps tell you what part of the chameleon it is.  You might say:

This chameleon has lots of colors on him. I see red like your shirt. Can you touch something red on the chameleon?  Yes, the top of his head is red and so is his foot. How about the color blue, like this pillow? Yes, his foot is blue and so is that spot on his tummy!

Sweep under the words with your finger as you read the title of the book.  Encourage your child to tell you what he thinks the book might be about.   

Phonological Awareness

Use the animal names to practice syllable awareness. First, say the animal name fast and have your child say it with you. Then, say the word very slowly so that he can clearly hear how the word is segmented. For added fun, create a motion to emphasize the word parts and keep him engaged. You might say:

Listen, I can say the names of the animals fast and slow…ly.  You can say them with me! 

Let’s say it fast, parrot! Now let’s say it slow…ly, par…rot.  We can move our arms up and down as we say it slowly - par…rot. 

Let’s try another one.  Say it fast, elephant!  Now let’s say it slow…ly, e…le…phant. We can stomp our feet as we say it slowly - e…le…phant.

Let’s say it fast, chameleon!  Now let’s say it slow…ly, cha…me…le…on. We can clap it slowly -cha…me…le…on.

Oral Language

Ask your child how he thinks the chameleon is feeling at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the story. Ask your child to tell you some things that make him feel sad or happy. Demonstrate to him that you are listening and interested in his thoughts and feelings.

Letter Knowledge

Gather four different colored items (pieces of paper, boxes or bowls) to play a color letter sorting game.  Gather some magnetic alphabet letters in the same colors as your sorting pieces and invite your child to sort the letters by color.  As he sorts, remind him of the letter name, letter sound and talk about the letter shape.

Beginning Writing

Invite your child to create his own colorful chameleon.  See the At-Home Activity Color Squeeze for a fun way to explore and mix colors. As your child explores color mixing, remember to ask him questions to engage in conversation. If he starts telling a story, offer to write the words he is saying and read them back to him. Display for all to admire and encourage him to retell his story. 

Explore more recommended children's books for two-year-olds, or find an at-home activity to help build important pre-reading skills