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A Bad Case of Stripes (Scholastic Bookshelf) Paperback – June 1, 2004


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A Bad Case of Stripes (Scholastic Bookshelf) + Chrysanthemum + First Day Jitters (Mrs. Hartwell's Class Adventures)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Series: Scholastic Bookshelf
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic; Reprint edition (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439598389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439598385
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.8 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (213 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers 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 troubling?especially 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 secret?she loves lima beans?she 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 finale?with Camilla restored to her bean-eating self?brings 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.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2?A 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
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

DAVID SHANNON is the illustrator of many successful picture books, including How I Became a Pirate. His numerous awards include a Caldecott Honor for No, David! He lives in Burbank, California.

Customer Reviews

I love this book, and so does my five year old daughter.
Amy R. Hartke
You can pause after each page in the book to give you time to ask the children questions as you read.
J.Marie
Also the illustrations are very colorful and the story well written.
Liana Mainzer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 15, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a great read aloud for any age. I read it to my sixth graders and my third graders and both classes loved this book. David Shannon has done it again. In this book he teaches a lesson of knowing who we are and not following the crowd. The main character, Camilla Cream is worried about what to wear the first day of school, as she has so many friends to impress. After trying on forty-two outfits she looks in the mirror and screams. She has broken out with a bad case of stripes. This is a hillarious story of what Camilla has to go through with her case of stripes. Davis Shannon's illustrations add so much to the story. The cover itself will attract readers. I have decided that David Shannon is my new favorite author and illustrator. I highly recommend this book.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It's the first day of school, and pre-pubescent Camille wants dearly to fit in with her schoolmates. She's so concerned, in fact, that she dare not tell them that she actually enjoys eating the ubiquitously hated lima bean--bane of the no-green-foods set. So you can imagine how conformity minded Camille feels when, for unknown reasons, her skin turns into a rainbow of striped colors extending from forehead to toes. If you can't imagine, author David Shannon informs us that her mother screams, and Camille is so afraid of what people will say that she is glad her mom is keeping her home from school. Aha, but not so fast! The aptly named Dr. Bumble, attuned only to physical symptoms and psychologically inept, OKs Camille for school.

As if stripes were bad enough, Camille discovers that her skin color responds to voice commands from the other kids, who color her in unusual patterns and colors. So much for blending in with the crowd! Worse yet, when a collection of similarly unsympathetic "expert" doctors prescribe medicine and describe bacteria and viruses, Camille's head turns into a gumball machine of pills, and giant, colored worm-like bugs attach themselves to her. She looks fascinatingly grotesque, morphing into a colorful but mostly unrecognizable collage of bacteria, roots, berries, feathers, abstract designs, feathers, and even a tail. Eventually, her whole face is relocated into various parts of her bedroom (hung pictures are her eyes; the couch is her mouth).

So, what's the point of this Dali-esque imagery, and who's going to like it? First, let's look at the resolution: A winking elderly woman feeds Camille some lima beans through her couch-mouth, and Camille's acceptance of her secret food love returns her to her pre-striped self.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Annette Autrata on August 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book has passed the kids-test with flying colors in our household. My three children 4-7 pick it out of the hundreds of books they own or borrow time and time again. The illustration is colorful and funny. The story has enough realism to anchor it into a child's world but plenty of fantasy to make it adventurous and interesting. Best of all, the morale of the story, (that a child can be herself and doesn't need to suppress personality traits, likes and dislikes just to fit in) is conveyed in a compassionate and not at all preachy voice. It comes across even for a child in the targeted age range. A wonderful children's book.
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40 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Megan's Mommy on May 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
Here on Amazon it says the age range for this book is 4-8 but I would strongly reconsider giving this book to a four year old. They read this book in my daughter's preschool, and she cried for an hour at home because she was so scared. She is almost five. The illustrations are very graphic, and looked a little creepy. I'm sure the overall message is good, and apparently other kids love it, but we won't be buying this one in our house!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Misha on December 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Well, I was cruising through the library stacks, looking for the author of "No, David!" (another outstanding book) when I came across this piece of magic. The illustrations are works of art, the writing is tight and lyrical, the dialogue is beyond what you would expect to find in writing for "mere children." Cross "Madeline" with Roald Dahl and you've got an idea of what you're in store for!
The story, if you haven't gleaned it from other reviews, is that Camilla has decided to be untrue to herself by denying herself her one great love in life - lima beans by the steaming plateful. As a result of the obvious internal angst over her leguminous desire and her need to do what she perceives as cool, her body rebels and does the most uncool thing of all - it covers itself in a rainbow of stripes. Things get worse when Camilla is allowed by the family doctor to go to school - the stripes start shifting colors and shapes at the whim of the other students. Eventually, she is forced to stay home, thanks to the voiced concerns of frightened parents. The final showdown comes as pandemonium erupts when the local television stations discover this oddity in their town.
This book will charm children of all ages - my ten-year-old couldn't believe what she was hearing from her sister's bedroom as I read it aloud before bedtime. Grab this book and embrace it as the treasure it is.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Minnesota Mom on November 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The grown-ups at our house love this book as much as the kids do. The concept (see editorial reviews) is funny enough, add the great illistrations and you just can't beat it. Plus the cure for the stripes is to stop following the crowd and be yourself. Perfect book for lower elementary age, with appeal for all ages.
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