Book Review: A Bad Case of Stripes

by Cate on April 23, 2012

A Bad Case of StripesA few weeks ago, I came across the children’s book, A Bad Case of Stripes.   The book was originally published in 1998.  Why has it taken us so long to discover it?  Well, in 1998, I was knee-deep in wedding planning, and had no kids, so that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  But now you can enjoy this title along with us.


Beautifully illustrated.

Cute story.

With a message.

What more could you want from a children’s book?

And I think what I love most of all?

Is that it doesn’t talk down to children.  I hate children’s books that purposely water down the “big words” so younger children can fully understand it.  Why not use some larger words, and create moments for kids to ask what the word means?  Give them credit.  Or even more credit.

When Nick was much younger, two years old, my Dad would hear me talking to him and tell me “He’s not going to understand what you just said.  He doesn’t know those words.”

But that’s just it.  If you always speak at exactly their current level, there is nothing to reach for.

I would much rather have a child stretch for bigger words, bigger meanings, bigger storylines.  Than talk down to them.

Not so much that they sound far older than their years.

But just enough.

We.never.did.babytalk.  Personally, can’t stand it.

This book is geared towards four-year-olds and up, and speaks to them intelligently.

And the fact that there’s a good, solid message in this book too?  About not putting too much stock in what other people think?  About it being ok to possibly like something slightly different?  About being true to yourself?

A solid lesson for any age.


We’ve read it several times since it arrived in the mailbox, and it’s quickly becoming a new favorite.

I already have a second copy for my niece’s upcoming birthday.

Need something new to read to your own kids?  You’ve been served.

Hungry for more book reviews?
Fault in Our Stars
Diary of a Mad Fat Girl
The Rules of Inheritance
The Weird Sisters

Tomorrow?  Pinterest Party details.  With oodles of excellent recipes for you to try.
Wednesday?  Eat.Live.Be.  And a new recipe.
Thursday?  March 2012 goal, show and tell.
Friday?  Details on a NYC exhibit for kids and grown-ups alike.

April 23, 2012 – Bonus Photo
monday dash and dine
Monday’s dine and dash, a quick slice after CCD and before Cub Scouts. Luckily it’s only one crazy Monday a month.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne April 24, 2012 at 6:20 am

Any book with a rainbow in it in some say, shape, or form, eh? :P I love that you don’t dumb down your language for the kids. Definitely why they’re both so smart!


Cate O'Malley April 24, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Well, in my defense, the stripes technically aren’t a rainbow… but they sure are colorful! ;)


Paula Ann April 24, 2012 at 8:09 am

We never did babytalk either. Result: He was always high in vocabulary and comprehension and reading many grade levels above his classmates. I’m in total agreement with you, make them stretch. It will pay off in the long run, We enjoyed “A Bad Case of the Stripes” too. I loved browsing the children’s section of the library as much as my son did on our weekly trips. I miss those days. They grow up too darn fast!


Sarah April 24, 2012 at 11:45 am

I love a good colorful book!


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