A Bad Case of the Stripes

A Bad Case of Stripes - David Shannon

A Bad Case of the Stripes, by David Shannon, is about a little girl named Camilla who wants to fit in with her friends.  She loves lima beans - but they don't - so she doesn't eat them. One day while getting ready for school, Camilla discoveres she's covered in rainbow colored stripes.  Her parents and the doctor can't figure out what is causing the stripes or make them go away.  At school Camilla is teased terribly and changes into all kinds of colors and patterns.  The principal sends Camilla home from school because she is such a distraction. Camilla continues to change colors and to have other weird symptoms, but no one can help her.  Finally, a woman shows up with the cure - lima beans!  Camilla is cured and realizes that she is going to be herself, no matter what the other kids think or say and never has stripes again.


A Bad Case of the Stripes is a fun book for lower and upper elementary grades.  It teaches the lesson that it's good to be yourself, no matter what other people think.  It would be good to use if a teacher is having issues with teasing or if some of the children are struggling with conformity issues.  The illustrations are bright and fun to look at and could lead to interesting discussions and opportunities for the kids to create their own bright, colorful, unique artwork.