A Bad Case of Stripes

Title: A Bad Case of Stripes

Author: David Shannon

Illustrator/Photographer: David Shannon

Publisher: Blue Sky Press (Scholastic Press)

 Year: 1998

Number of Pages: 32

Tags: Picture Book, Fiction, Diversity, K-5, Taylor Krueger

Genre: Children’s Literature

Analysis: This book shows the story of the girl Camilla Cream who loved lima beans, but was too worried of what other people thought to eat them. She was scared of her first day of school, which led to her diagnosis of a bad case of stripes. Many specialists and media networks were intrigued by this outrageous case, and Camilla’s case only got worse as her stripes turned to stars, roots, and even walls. Finally, the cure for Camilla was simply lima beans as she embraced her individuality.

The illustrations of this book are bordered which relate to the idea of the reader having a limited glimpse of the world. The world depicted in this book is lively due to the bright colors and exotic illustrations. Bright yellow, red, purple, green, and blue are commonly shown throughout the book. There are many illustrations that show the main character, Camilla Cream, having a frown or open-mouth showing her disgusted and worried emotions. She is perceived to be sad and irritated with her case of stripes. Once the case of stripes is treated her facial expressions are bright and inviting. The main character is large on the page representing her acceptance of herself and positive self-image. Throughout the book there is the constant theme of individuality and accepting the differences of oneself. Camilla goes through a period where she is constantly worrying about what her classmates are thinking of her. She diminishes her love for lima beans because she did not want to be seen as weird. The case of the stripes represents the individuality of Camilla, and results in a change of her self-image. This is signified through the illustrations and social activities of the main character. Camilla overcame the worries of pleasing her classmates and changed to just pleasing herself by sharing her love for lima beans. This relates to the current issues of the influence from peers and classmates of children to have a greater impact on their life, rather than having a child be confident of themselves.

This book is a representation of a multimodal text, as the words and illustrations interact in order to fill in the gaps for the reader. The illustrations further elaborate the words of the book, as it is a visual representation of the text. The cooperation of the text and images enhance the overall setting, character development, and theme of the book. The text is direct and explains the plot, while the illustrations amplify the words and give a greater understanding for the reader. The illustrations are soft and inviting to readers.

The lines of the characters are thin in some illustrations, which shows the allowed mobility of Camilla as she has a positive self-image. While she has the case of the stripes the lines are jagged and give an uneasiness to the reader, as there is a feeling of anxiousness from the images that contributes to the mood of the reader. The illustrations have an excellent function of creating the setting, as there is specific detail of characters and symptoms of the case of stripes. The illustrations extend the text of the book, and they allow the reader to have an image in their head of what the words mean.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.