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Chamelia and the New Kid in Class    by Ethan Long order for
Chamelia and the New Kid in Class
by Ethan Long
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2013 (2013)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Chamelia is very used to being the star at school. She works very hard at standing out and making sure she is the focus of attention. Alas, that all changes one day when a new student arrives in the classroom. Cooper not only makes friends quickly but he is also an excellent artist, excels at playground games, and, without even trying, he manages to trump Chamelia in everything they do at school.

Needless to say, Chamelia is not a happy camper. In fact, on show and tell day, she decides to distract Cooper when he is up before the class and ruin his presentation. The spiteful Chamelia is so successful that her class nemesis begins to lose his confidence and makes a mess of explaining his rock collection.

Now Chamelia feels so bad that she changes her game plan totally and begins to encourage Cooper. What comes of this strange reversal? Cooper and Chamelia end up sharing the limelight; thus, a firm friendship is created.

Not only are there good lessons here about both the harmful effects of jealousy and the importance of learning to accept those who may have similar talents, but Ethan Long's vibrant illustrations make this a visually appealing story as well.

Children four years of age and older will enjoy this picture book and its delightful characters. Mom and dad will appreciate the message about sharing the limelight that the story sends and should use the book as a way to discuss that concept in greater detail.

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