Thursday, April 4, 2013

Book and Art: The Hoppameleon by Paul Geraghty

photo of: Creating Children's Art in Response to Picture Books by 'The Usual Mayhem' at PreK+K Sharing

Recently, I was browsing through the shelves at our local library when I came across this great book.

(note: the image below is an amazon link in case you want to find the book)

It opens in a "sleepy, slurpy swamp" as a strange creature emerges and goes in search of a friend like him. He meets many creatures along the way, each of whom points out that he must be like them because of a trait they share. He agrees with the logic and adds their name, until at the end he is a "babylizzyparroturtlehoppameleon" who finds a friend just like him.

Besides the funny story, which had the kids giggling all the way through, the illustrations are just fantastic! We returned to look at them time and time again, and finally we decided that we had to try to capture the feel of one picture in particular.  We loved the shadowed plants and creatures in front of the sunset.

To make this, we first mixed yellow, red, and some pink together in different combinations to capture the glowing colours of sunset. We started with yellow along one side and then moved across, deepening the colour as we went.

Next, we added a little white to our leftover yellow paint and added the setting sun. Then we set this aside to dry. 

While the other part was drying, we grabbed pencils and drew plants and other shapes onto another piece of paper. I encouraged the kids to draw shapes that weren't too complicated...some listened, some got more ambitious. We then flipped the paper over and painted it black with a little red at one end.

When this was dry, I helped to cut out the shapes from the black paper, and the kids glued them onto the sunset page. The finishing touch was a frog shape made with a scrapbook stamper I had in my stash, for the kids who hadn't drawn one.

Beautiful, aren't they?

Extend the activity:

-Make a taxonomy and add other names for the hoppameleon that might work. Now try it with yourselves.... you can swing from a tree like a monkey, so you could be a humanmonkey....and so on.
-play Animal Mixup on Wikispaces!
-Check out my Frogs and Amphibians Pinterest Board for more hands-on activities
-Learn 5 Green Frogs and print some puppets to go along with it at Picklebums
-print and play a frog counting game at Owens Family blog

-written by Erin from The Usual Mayhem

Disclaimer: This post has an amazon link to the book we used.


  1. These look so great Erin and really capture the essence of the picture in the book.

    1. Thanks, Kierna! We loved the images in the book so much that we're working on another art project with a different illustration this week!

  2. Oh wow, he did a fantastic job!

  3. Gorgeous artwork! You tied it in with the book beautifully!

  4. Pinned to my wonderful art ideas board on Pinterest. Nice ideas. I appreciate the photos and step by step information so I can replicate. Thanks!


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