If You Played Hide and Seek with a Chameleon
Dawn Publications (2019)
Reviewed by Lydia Dehning (age 6) for Reader Views Kids (10/19)
In “If You Played Hide and Seek with a Chameleon” by Bill Wise, you get to learn about animals’ strengths in a fun way. When you start reading the book, you see that some kids are at the Animal Fair and will be playing games with animals to see if they will win or lose. The first game they play is a pie-eating contest with a hippo. I already know I wouldn’t win this game because I can’t eat very much pie at one time, but I learned that hippos can eat more than fifty pies! The kids in the picture look like they’re having fun though, getting their mouths all dirty from pie.
Then the kids go to a hide and seek fun house and try to find chameleons. Of course, they lose, because chameleons can hide themselves really well. It was even hard for me to find all of them in the picture. Next, the kids play some basketball with a giraffe and lose because the giraffe is really tall and can block all of their shots to the basketball hoop. Then they try long-jumping with a kangaroo, lifting weights with an elephant, wrestling with an anaconda, racing a cheetah, playing twister with an octopus, playing tag with a porcupine, having a staring contest with a shark, playing blind potato race with a bat, and playing tennis with a snail.
The kids lose all the games, except for one, but look like they’re having fun doing each game. I liked watching them try through the pictures and learning more about each animal at the bottom of each page.
A Note from Mom: I love when my kids can learn more about the world around them, and animals are included in that. I like how the author chose the setting to be a carnival – it makes it so fun to view and imagine. In addition to the facts on the bottom of each page that pertain to why each animal would win in their game/race, at the back of the book is also more “fun facts and fascinating feats” about the same animals. The book is also set up so that on each page, if the child is paying attention to the illustrations, they can predict which animal the kids will be playing with on the next page, because the next animal will be somewhere on the page before, also with the animal they had just learned about being on the page after their game, usually adorning a blue ribbon. So along with a fun story, there are lots of interesting facts that should be reinforced with fun pictures to stick with your child for a long time.