Friday, December 28, 2012

A Bad Case of Stripes

by David Shannon
Blue Sky Press, 1998

My daughter had me read this book to her, and I'm not sure who whether I liked it more than her or the reverse.

The story is about Camilla Cream, a girl all too nervous what others will think about her. She refuses to eat lima bean, for though she loves them, her friends hate them. She chooses to conform.

The day before school starts, Camilla tries on 42 outfits, trying to find one that is perfect and will impress her friends. The next morning, she wakes up and finds herself afflicted with a mysterious case of stripes. That's right, in horizontal stripes across her body she's decorated with all the colors of the rainbow.

As the story progresses, you find that Camilla's stripes are open to suggestion. As people mention other colors and designs, her stripes rearrange themselves to match the suggested pattern.

Things get progressively more bizarre until a mysterious woman appears on the scene and urges Camilla to eat lima beans. The very thing that Camillia refuses to eat due to peer pressure is what this odd old lady suggests as the cure to Camilla's stripes. As you've probably guessed, when Camilla eats the lima beans, her mysterious color changes are ended, and she returns to being an average and happy girl, but one who's a little bit more at ease with what she likes and less interested in what other people want her to be.

This is a light-hearted and entertaining look at peer pressure. It offers a moral without being preachy. A six year (and her dad) would enjoy this book a lot.  

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