Illustrator: David Shannon
Grade Level: K-4th Grade
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Camila Cream really enjoys eating lima beans, but she is afraid of what her friends in school will think because they all hate lima beans. She is afraid of what everything else will think of her and all she really wants is to fit in. One morning, while getting ready for school and constantly worried about what her friends will think about her love for lima beans, her skins is covered with stripes! When she attends school, the students begin making fun of her and her skin begins to change into colors that any student even shouts out! There are no doctors or even experts who can figure out what is happening to Camila! Soon, she begins transforming into a pill and even into a huge bed. Then one day, an old lady comes with a cure. She feeds the transformed Camila lima beans, and at first Camila would not admit she loves lima beans, but as the old lady started walking away, Camila admitted that she loved lima beans. From then on, Camila ate all the lima beans she wanted and she did not care one bit what anyone else thought about her or her love for lima beans.
Element 1: Self-love and Knowledge
A Bad Case of Stripes definitely has a lot pertinent to Self-love and knowledge. Camila is dealing with the common issue of fitting in that a lot of children and even young adults/adults go through. It is important for children to love and enjoy certain things without judgement and without being worried about what other people will think of them. Camila was very worried about what her friends would think of her and she paid the price of suffering through a case of bad stripes. It went on until she admitted and accepted that she loved lima beans, even though her friends did not. She realized that it did not matter and she learned to love and accept it. This is an important element because before students are able to move onto the next element of respect for others, students should be able to respect themselves and that includes respecting what they like and what they do not like.
This book is great for students up to fourth grade. It could possibly even be used for fifth or sixth grade. because it pertains to an issue that relates to so many students. It could be used at the beginning of the year, possibly the first week of school or so. This way students can see that liking certain things or being interested in certain things is okay. Everyone is different and everyone brings something new into the classroom and it should be embraced. I would use this book to read to my students so that they are comfortable with me, our classroom, and most of all each other, for the rest of the year and all throughout their educational careers.