CM . . . .
Volume V Number 17 . . . . April 23, 1999
The next day was a disaster. Everyone at school laughed at Camilla. They called her "Camilla Crayon" and "Night of the Living Lollipop." She tried her best to act as if everything were normal, but, when the class said the Pledge of Allegiance, her stripes turned red, white and blue, and she broke out in stars!David Shannon takes an off-the-wall approach to his story of Camilla who wants to be like everyone else. This need to be popular keeps Camilla from eating her favourite food, lima beans, since all the other kids hate them. Then, the girl who can't stand to be different becomes spectacularly different when she develops a case of the stripes. It isn't an ordinary case of the stripes either. She sprouts "roots and berries and crystals and feathers" and actually melts into the walls of her room before she is rescued. A team of experts, including medical specialists, herbalists, veterinarians, and psychics, tries to cure her, but relief comes from a little old lady and a small bag of lima beans.
An extravagantly striped Camilla on the dust jacket will ensure that this book appeals to children. The sensational illustrations, bold and surreal, are the strength in a book that tries rather too hard to teach a lesson.
Recommended with reservations.
Lesley Beckett Balcom is a public services librarian at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, NB.
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