Shannon, D. (1998). A bad case of stripes. New York: The Blue Sky Press.
A Bad Case of Stripes involves Camilla, the main character, and many other flat characters such as Dr. Bumble, Camilla's parents Mr. and Mrs. Cream, Mr. Harms, the school principal, Dr. Grop, Dr. Cricket, and quite a few others.The setting of this story is at Camilla's school and home Camilla Cream was a little girl who loved lima beans, but she wouldn't eat them because she wanted to fit in with friends at school, and other children did not like lima beans. As Camilla was deciding on an outfit for the first day of school, she discovered that she covered in stripes! The stripes did not cause Camilla to feel bad at all so she went on to school. School turned out to be a nightmare! As songs were sung and people said things, Camilla would turn into anything that was said. Someone yelled "Checkerboard!" and all of a sudden, she looked like a human game board! Many professionals and doctors tried to figure out how to cure Camilla of this crazy disease, but no one had any luck. The pills that were prescribed to her turned her into a human pill. At the end of the story, someone comes along who things she has a cure for this "stripes disease." I wonder who that is and what she thinks she can do to help Camilla?
The illustrations made the book even more enjoyable. The pictures show the reader exactly what Camilla looks like everytime her skin changes. The illustrator used an abstract style of art that was surrealistic. Many of the pictures are images of things that are not realistic. The pictures of Camilla with her skin all kinds of different colors and designs is an example, as well as the picture of Camilla becoming the walls of her bedroom.
A Bad Case of Stripes has two different types of conflict. Camilla experiences person-against-self when she is battling her feelings and her disease. Person-against-person is also seen in this story because Camilla faces problems with her friends and others in the community. In regard to prose, I feel that the sentences in this book flow very easily. I also saw many types of figurative language in this story such as alliteration. Alliteration is seen at the beginning of the book when the main character is introduced. Her name is "Camilla Cream," with the letter c repeated. Alliteration is used again when Camilla goes to school and gets called the name "Camilla Crayon," with the letter c being repeated again. A simile is used in the story in the line "She looked like a rainbow." Hyperboles are seen throughout the entire story. When Camilla changes in the story, everything is explained in a very exaggerated way. When the specialists work on her in the story, they "squeeze, jab, tap, and test her." Another example of this is when the students kept changing her skin. One child said, "Let's see some purple polka dots!" Her skin turned all purple polka-dotty. The author used a lot of imagery and figurative language.
The title and the illustration on the front cover of the book drew my attention. I really wanted to know what happened to make this little girl become striped.
BIG questions - Why did Camilla's body become striped? How would you feel and what would you do if you or a friend got "a bad case of stripes?"