A Bad Case of Stripes

A Bad Case of Stripes

4.2 40
by David Shannon
     
 

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An award-winning author/illustrator presents a humorous story about the importance of being yourself. On the first day of school, Camilla discovers that she is covered from head to toe in stripes, then polka dots, and any other pattern spoken aloud. With a little help, she learns the secret of accepting her true self, in spite of her peculiar ailment. Full color. 32… See more details below

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Overview

An award-winning author/illustrator presents a humorous story about the importance of being yourself. On the first day of school, Camilla discovers that she is covered from head to toe in stripes, then polka dots, and any other pattern spoken aloud. With a little help, she learns the secret of accepting her true self, in spite of her peculiar ailment. Full color. 32 pp. Ages 5-9. Pub: 3/98.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
On this disturbing book's striking dust jacket, a miserable Betty-Boop-like girl, completely covered with bright bands of color, lies in bed with a thermometer dangling from her mouth. The rainbow-hued victim is Camilla Cream, sent home from school after some startling transformations: "when her class said the Pledge of Allegiance, she turned red, white, and blue, and she broke out in stars!" Scientists and healers cannot help her, for after visits from "an old medicine man, a guru, and even a veterinarian... she sprouted roots and berries and crystals and feathers and a long furry tail." The paintings are technically superb but viscerally troublingespecially this image of her sitting in front of the TV with twigs and spots and fur protruding from her. The doe-eyed girl changes her stripes at anyone's command, and only nonconformity can save her. When she finally admits her unspeakable secretshe loves lima beansshe is cured. Shannon (How Georgie Radbourn Saved Baseball) juggles dark humor and an anti-peer-pressure message. As her condition worsens, Camilla becomes monstrous, ultimately merging with the walls of her room. The hallucinatory images are eye-popping but oppressive, and the finalewith Camilla restored to her bean-eating selfbrings a sigh of relief. However, the grotesque images of an ill Camilla may continue to haunt children long after the cover is closed. Ages 5-9. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - C. Dennette Michaels
"Camilla Cream loved Lima beans. But she never ate any of them. All of her friends hated lima beans and she wanted to fit in." Before her mirror, while trying on number 42 of the possible outfits for the first day of a new school year, Camilla develops a striped skin. When a doctor summoned finds no "illness," she returns to school. There, on succeeding days, she become polka-dotted, an American flag variant, and sprouts vines. Physicians come, and go. School finally says, "Too much". One day, "a woman who called herself an Environmental Therapist came with promise of a cure-Lima beans, of course." Camilla rejects them at first, until she realizes that being laughed at is nothing to compared to her dehumanizing experiences. "Wait!" she cries. "The truth is, I really love lima beans." Happy ending and point made. This charming morality tale could, and I think will, became entrenched in the literary folklore of any family fortunate enough to make it part of their picture book experience.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Young Camilla Cream loves lima beans but never eats them. "All of her friends hated lima beans, and she wanted to fit in. Camilla was always worried about what other people thought of her." From the first page, the ending is predictable. It is a rollicking, uproarious journey getting there. Camilla comes down with stripes which spread to spots. Before long every peer, expert and specialist adds another oddity to her appearance. At the story's end, an old woman offers her lima beans and she witnesses Camilla's transformation with, "I knew the real you was in there somewhere." Camilla is a silly antidote for children who live in fear of being different. She allows them to laugh and be heartened by her changes. Read this to children to show them characters who are different but want to be who they are and act in ways they believe to be right even if their choices are doubted by many.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2A highly original moral tale acquires mythic proportions when Camilla Cream worries too much about what others think of her and tries desperately to please everyone. First stripes, then stars and stripes, and finally anything anyone suggests (including tree limbs, feathers, and a tail) appear vividly all over her body. The solution: lima beans, loved by Camilla, but disdained for fear they'll promote unpopularity with her classmates. Shannon's exaggerated, surreal, full-color illustrations take advantage of shadow, light, and shifting perspective to show the girl's plight. Bordered pages barely contain the energy of the artwork; close-ups emphasize the remarkable characters that inhabit the tale. Sly humor lurks in the pictures, too. For example, in one double-page spread the Creams are besieged by the media including a crew from station WCKO. Despite probing by doctors and experts, it takes "an old woman who was just as plump and sweet as a strawberry" to help Camilla discover her true colors. Set in middle-class America, this very funny tale speaks to the challenge many kids face in choosing to act independently.Carolyn Noah, Central Mass. Regional Library System, Worcester, MA
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
...[A] delicious visual metaphor for the disease of caring too much about what others think of you. -- The New York Times

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545254175
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
06/15/2010
Product dimensions:
7.70(w) x 10.70(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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