Clever Chameleon

portfolio artwork

Clever Chameleon was my first picture book, which I wrote and illustrated. It was published in 2005 by Barefoot Books in the UK and America, and also as a Korean edition. The story follows Elephant as he tries to find his friends as they play a game of hide and seek - but he finds this tricky as the animals are cleverly camouflaged!

The idea for Clever Chameleon was inspired by a combination of 2 projects that I was working on during the 3rd year of my Degree studies. The first project was themed on Secrets & Magic (in my case I focused on secret disguises and camouflage), and the other was my self-directed dissertation research on Wildlife Art & Conservation. Clever Chameleon evolved from these two themes as I began to think about the secret disguises that creatures use in the wild to hide and blend into their surroundings, alongside the wildlife art and conservation issues which I was researching.

Whilst I was creating artwork based on these projects, I began to write little poems about the unique camouflages of different animals. I have always enjoyed writing poetry, and find it comes naturally to me to write in this way. In all, I worked on the story over a total timescale of about 18 months to 2 years. With Clever Chameleon, the idea of the animals playing hide-and-seek finally linked the poems together within a storyline that I felt young children would enjoy, and I worked closely with Barefoot Books before arriving at the final text. As with almost all of my writing, an educational theme often inspires an idea, and my own growing interest in animals and the environment filters into my work. This particular book includes educational endnotes about chameleons and how they change colour!

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© Ali Lodge 2017