David Shannon pushes the limits in this story, with great results. Who else can make us believe a girl can catch stripes? What could be a complex topic becomes simple in Shannon’s story: Sometimes we cover up differences in order to be accepted, but not being true to ourselves can cause bigger problems. It’s easy to relate to Camilla, and readers love to tell her to eat the lima beans, because we always know how to solve other peoples’ problems.
Ask some good questions after this book: What do you do to fit in? Have you ever laughed at someone else for being different from you and your friends? Students may want to journal privately for these questions.
A Bad Case of Stripes also has some great vocabulary. Search for all of the diagnosis words. List the verbs, adverbs and adjectives in columns and make new sentences with them. Compare Camilla to other David Shannon characters like David or Alice. Venn Diagrams work well for this. Compare David Shannon’s illustration style in this book to his other books’ illustrations.