Now You See Me, Now You Don’t
Patricia Hegarty and Jonny Lambert
The chameleon narrator of this rhyming story is a trickster and proud so to be. There’s nothing the creature likes better than to use its ability to change colour to have fun at the expense of the other jungle dwelling animals as it teases first elephant, then orang-utan, followed by a pair of toucans and a sloth.
Not only that, but playing the colour switch trick is also a great way to avoid chores, evade bedtime or help yourself to another creature’s tasty meal.
However, Chameleon’s tickling of Sloth triggers a chain reaction that has the potential to end unhappily for Anteater;
but hidden away watching events is Frog.
Instead of the praise Chameleon anticipates from the creature, Frog strikes back
and then hastily merges back into the surroundings leaving Chameleon to show contrition, fess up, apologise to all the other animals and promise to end his mischief.
Peace is restored to the jungle – well most of the time. Perhaps changing one’s colour is less easy than changing one’s ways …
Jonny’s vibrant collage style illustrations set against stark white backgrounds immediately grab the attention drawing the eye into the action and there are myriads of minibeasts to spot too.
Purists might baulk at the inhabitants of the fictional jungle, which hail from both the new and the old worlds. Nevertheless it’s a visual and verbal treat that provides an opportunity to talk about the kind of behaviour Chameleon exhibited.