Saturday, February 20, 2010

"A Bad Case of Stripes" by David Shannon

Summary: This charming and memorable book tells the story of a young girl who is afraid of what others might think of her. Her favorite food is lima beans but she never eats them because her friends hate them. She is very concerned with fitting in with her friends. The story begins with the anxiety associated with the first day of school and how our character, Camilla, deals with that. While trying to pick out the perfect first day of school outfit, something odd happens, as her body is covered in stripes. The story continues as all doctors and specialists are called to help Camilla, until the cause of her illness is revealed at the end of the story.

Review and Classroom use: There are many good lessons associated with this story. Many students can find something to relate to and it can be easily worked into a classroom curriculum. The issue of students trying to fit in with their friends and/or classmates, being afraid of what people think of you, trying to find and appreciate individuality, first day of school jitters, the message of "be yourself," etc. The story was creative, light, charming, informative, sweet and did a good job of conveying its many messages. The illustrations are vibrant and eye-catching. Any student would love to explore this book before and after reading and/or hearing the story. It is a long story so it might be best suit to read over the course of 2-3 days. This is good for a 2nd-4th grade classroom.

This addresses the 1st and 2nd stages of Social Justice Education: (1) Self Love and Acceptance and (2) Respect for others.

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