A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni – Children’s Book Recommendation #5

Parrots are green. Goldfish are red. Elephants are gray. Pigs are pink. What about our protagonist in this story, this little chameleon? Why can’t he just remain the same colour at all times? What is his true colour?

He keeps on changing colours as he moves around. He wants to have a color of his own so badly. Being dismal that he doesn’t have a colour of his own, the little chameleon searched for an answer to his problem.

A color of his own storybook 

A Classic Favourite

‘A Color of His Own’ is simple in message and storyline. It is a recommended book to read to the children when introducing them to the concepts of colour, chameleons as an animal, characteristics of different animals, animal adaptation in its environment, friendships and even seasons.

With the white backgrounds and watercolour-styled of illustrations, the book brings that subtleness, yet powerful impression of the story. It depicts the emotions of the story using the right amount of vibrancy, dullness, and white-space that the reader can connect with.

The simplistic language used to convey the problems, emotions, and importance of friendship makes it easy to follow even for the young ones. It holds so much potentials topics for the older ones to look into and discuss with.

Leo Lionni chameleon

Identity and Individuality

The lonely chameleon discovers he does not have a colour of his own, unlike other animals. This makes him different from everyone else and feels like he does not fit in.

Finding his identity and a place where he feels belonged are the highlight of the story. It is not easy and is taking some times until the chameleon understands that it is okay to be different and instead of despising, he embraces that.


Problem Solving, Failure and Friendship

There is a train of problems presented in the story. It started with the chameleon feeling upset about the fact that he is changing colours all the time following the objects around him. He uses his thinking hat and decides to stay on a leaf so he can stay green forever. However, when the leaf changes colour, the chameleon again is challenged with the unsolved problem.

He eventually finds it very lonely as no one is there to relate to.

children storybook chameleon children storybook reccomendation

When he meets the other chameleon, who was older and wiser, he shares his sorrow and gets a piece of advice to keep the constant despite the changing-colours. This friend helps him accept that they would never have a colour of their own and they remain side by side together.

The story portrays a happy, fairy-tale-like ending where they live happily ever after.

Leo Lionni a color of his own

Indeed, happiness and contentment set in when one accepts who they are and experiences a sense of belonging 🙂

Do check out our children’s book recommendation which covers a story by Peter H. Reynolds: Happy Dreamers.


Happy Reading,


Capella Preschool Team