If you think chicken pox is a thing of the past, think again. This year my eight-year-old son, who had been vaccinated for the illness, came down with a case of those itchy red spots. About that time, the book Goldie Locks Has Chicken Pox arrived at our doorstep, and the timing couldn't have been better.
In this clever rhyming tale, Goldie Locks gets sick and is contacted by a slew of fairy tale characters: Henny Penny drops by to deliver her sky-shattering news, Jack Be Nimble wants to play and Little Bo Peep comes searching for her sheep. Goldie Locks' most constant companion, however, is her little brother, who taunts her nonstop, wanting to connect the dots of her chicken pox and calling her an alien. He also turns green with envy at all the attention his sister is getting. Finally, Goldie Locks can stand it no longer and proclaims, "Make him stop . . . I can handle chicken pox! But how am I supposed to rest/when my brother's such a pest?"Of course, her brother's coloring soon turns from green to red, as he comes down with his own case of chicken pox. After lusting after his sister's treats of sodas and ice cream, he definitely gets what he deserves. Author Erin Dealey was inspired to write this delightful saga after her own daughter had the itchy illness. With a '50s retro look and characters who resemble the Campbell's Soup kids, Hanako Wakiyama's oil illustrations are terrific. Adults and kids alike will relish the many nostalgic details that fill Goldie's household, including a record player, a swizzle stick and French poodle wallpaper in the bathroom. Wakiyama's paintings are alive with energy one can just imagine the pesky little brother whining and careening over every inch of the house. Dots are everywhere too on Goldie Locks' clothes, bedspread, even the wallpaper.
My twin girls, nearing age three, adore this book. They were a bit confused, though, when I read them the original tale of Goldie Locks and the Three Bears. The first thing they said was, "Goldie Locks doesn't have chicken pox!" Alice Cary writes from Massachusetts.