Wk 4 Summer Reading Adventure- A Bad Case of Stripes

Welcome to our 4th week of our Summer Reading Adventure you can also link up your own reading adventure below!

We are so glad you stopped by if you’re new and you don’t want to miss a post you can follow along here or here .

Featured Writer: Alia Hagenbach

I am a sentimental mom and many of the children’s books that I return to are ones that are fond memories from my own childhood. But once in awhile it’s good to make new traditions.

My kids each fill the library bag with their picks and we lug the bag home and delve into their choices. Some have been dreadful, and although the flashy pictures or bright colors have drawn their attention, I can barely get through the twaddle filled nonsense. I’m all for whimsy but I wonder at how some children’s books manage to get published.

However, A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon was a pleasant surprise. My oldest son, now 11, first brought it home and we gathered on the couch to snuggle in and read it. He loved it instantly, as have my other two children.

The story follows Camilla Cream, who loves lima beans but feels the pressure of fitting in and being liked and denies vehemently that they are her favorites. She wakes one morning to discover she has a bad case of stripes. Her skin then goes through a series of chameleon like changes as she becomes what everyone else wants her to be, eventually losing herself completely. When cure upon cure fail, she is at wits end but a wise old woman knows that to cure the stripes she must just be herself, lima bean lover and all. The illustrations are both colorful and intricate which invoke a modern day Norman Rockwell style in the telling of a story through facial expressions and body language of the characters.

I often pulled this book out when the kids were feeling sick and we would snuggle in with fevers or sore throats and read of Camilla’s adventures with her stripes. This book makes a particularly good read aloud for ages 5-9, because the plight of Camilla intensifies and her distress is obvious. Although this book would most likely be way too easy for a third grader, my 11 year old seventh grader still plops down on the couch when I read it, whether out of nostalgia or genuine interest, I’ll never know.

To take the story a bit further this summer we decided to make our own case of stripes. I purchased a face painting palette with all of the primary colors but you can make your own at home with this recipe

  • A few tablespoons of corn starch, 1 tablespoon flour, 1-2 drops food coloring, ¼ cup cornstarch, and ¼ cup warm water.
  • Mix  cornstarch and flour first till it blends properly.
  • Slowly whisk in remaining ¼ cup cornstarch and water; make a smooth paste.
  • If you wish to make different colors, separate the mixture in different bowls.
  • Add food colorings accordingly and mix properly. Don’t add too much or you  may risk staining little faces.

The homemade paints tend to be less precise so the stars or swirls might run more but the overall stripes and wider bands would work well.

I had each of my nieces and my daughter pick out a stage of her bad case of stripes and we replicated it with face paints. My son decided he wanted a car and a puppy face instead and since he’s three, I obliged.

While I am a big fan of making fun memories with my children, I am also a firm believer in the use of imagination and unstructured playtime. I painted their faces, read them the book and released them with their plate of lima beans (jelly beans). What followed was precious. They decided to reenact the scenes from the book with each girl practicing her role as Camilla. This unstructured time turned into a play and then they started with alternate endings where the stripes were contagious and the outbreak had to be stopped with massive amounts of lima bean juice ( super green juice.) By the end of the day they had thought up many other patterns a face could turn should one get stripes, such as a garden, a brick wall, or a plate of food. Those will have to wait for next time.

All in all, our day of stripes was one that will be remembered.


Alia is a grace saved, much forgiven, wife to Josh, and home school momma to 3 beautiful children. She would consider herself a coffee dependent, writer of random musings at Narrow Paths to Higher Places, and attempter of all things crafty. She has a heart to see God glorified in the seemingly mundane and to allow the trials of her life to point to His infinite grace.


Now it’s your turn, LINK AWAY! Don’t forget you will be entered to win the fabulous book Tickle Monster by Josie Bissett when you link up. Winner will be drawn at the end of our Summer Reading Adventure.

Our Summer reading adventure is brought to you by Inspired by Family Magazine and Mom On Time Out.

  • Pick your favorite children’s book
  • Blog about the book inspired activity, recipe or craft
  • Stop by and link up!
  • The post can be old or new – any and all book related posts are welcome!
  • You can link up below or at Mom on Timeout and your post will be visible on both blogs
  • You don’t have to but we would love to have you follow along here or Facebook!
  • At the end of our 6 weeks ALL of you who have linked up will be eligible to win a copy of Tickle Monster by Josie Bissett!
  • Add our button below to your post so others can join in on the fun!

Click on frog to link up!

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  1. Pingback: A Bad Case Of Stripes: A Summer Reading Adventure - Narrow Paths to Higher Places

  2. What fun to turn a much loved book into a funner (is that a word?) activity. Thank you for sharing at Freedom Fridays.

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