A Bad Case of Stripes


Great illustrations, obtrusive message.

It's a good message, and the illustrations are really captivating, but the story is very didactic. The message is very clearly "be yourself", and it hits you over the head with that. The illustrations are fun to look at. If it weren't for the heavy-handedness of the message it would be a really good book.

The story is reminiscent of Woody Allen's Zelig. There's a girl who really likes lima beans, but nobody else likes lima beans so she always lies and says she doesn't because she's super worried about what everybody thinks of her. Because of that, she starts changing colors based on what other people want her to be. This expands to changing shape, and then becoming even more surreally assimilated into all the furniture and decorations in her bedroom. At the very end, a little old woman says, "I bet you want some lima beans," and the girl says, "No! Nobody likes lima beans! Wait, never mind I like lima beans!" And then she eats the lima beans and everything is fixed. Ugh. The message is so obtrusive.


Be yourself.

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