Review of The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon: New Beginnings

The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon (New Beginnnings, #1)The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon by Ellen L. Buikema
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reviewed By Barbara Fanson for Readers’ Favorite

The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon: New Beginnings is a very imaginative story about a chameleon and his family. He even has a pet fish — a fish that gets seasick! Author Ellen Buikema is a very creative writer. Who else would have put a water-helmet on a fish so he can jump up and down on a bed? But, I don’t think I want to join them for breakfast; they’re eating waxworm cereal. When Charlie learns that his father has a new job in another town and they will have to move, he is not too happy. He doesn’t want to move away from his best friend Tamika the turtle, his school, or his soccer team.

Buikema does an excellent job describing the characters and the scenery. The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon even includes a recipe for the Berry Smoothies that Charlie and Tamika drank. The book also includes an email with a secret code activity for readers to solve. Charlie makes friends with Gary Gecko, who wears glasses, and the two play spaceships and astronauts together. They’re even in the same class. I think everyone can relate to Buikema’s lovable characters.

It was nice to see a spaceship activity sheet with instructions on how to build a spaceship, but I wish there was an illustration of the spaceship. Elizabeth Engel’s well-drawn illustrations are helpful and fit the junior grade novel. It’s a short, but captivating read that will keep you spellbound with problems and solutions confronting Charlie daily. And now I’m yearning to read the sequel.

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  1. “The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon: New Beginnings” was a delight to read! Although I purchased it for my 9 yr. old granddaughter, I was pulled in after reading the first pg! The fun spaceship building activity, decoding messages, and unique recipe added to the excitement of the story. Ellen has a gift that will be appreciated by children of all ages!!

    • Thank you for the wonderful review! I am so glad you’ve enjoyed the first of the Charlie books. I hope your granddaughter has fun reading the story and working on the activities.

    • Marsha, did I ever ask you to put this review into Amazon and/or Good Reads? I am not allowed to place it there myself. You may have done so already. The wonderful words you used here are not on Amazon. A lot more people will be able to see the review there. I hope your granddaughter has a lot of fun with the Charlie book!

  2. Ellen came to our school and spoke to the 3rd graders. The students were very interested in all that Ellen had to say. Their teachers were impressed with the informative presentation illustrations in a story. I am the librarian and have been reading Charlie Chameleon to the same 3rd graders. They love this story because it contains examples of real life problems kids have and how Charlie took chances and ended up happy. Charie is a lovable character and the story is creative and fun to read.

    • Pattie thank you so much for your super review! If you can put this same review on Amazon and possibly Good Reads a lot more people will see it. I loved talking with the 3rd graders! They had such great questions for me. A librarian in a Phoenix school tells me that the first Charlie book is rarely in the library as it is always being taken out by both boys and girls in many different grades. I’m curious to know if that is happening at you school.

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