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by Erin Dealy & illustrated by Hanako Wakiyama

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-689-82981-7
Publisher: Atheneum

Goldie Locks has contracted chicken pox from an unknown source, although her mom asks Mrs. Bear if Baby Bear shows any signs of the disease. While she’s at it, she also apologizes for the chair her daughter broke. Goldie’s spots start out small in number and size, but are soon larger and more numerous. And of course they itch like mad. Henny Penny, Bo Peep, and Little Red Riding Hood all make appearances to distract Goldie. The doctor gives a clear-cut diagnosis and suggests a cool bath and lots of sweet treats, but he’s a mouse so one might doubt his advice. Little Brother is even more bothersome than the spots and itch. Jealous of all the attention she’s receiving, he tries to connect the dots on Goldie’s face, makes fun of the way she looks, and is generally obnoxious. Of course, his turn comes too. Dealey has chosen to tell the story in verse, but the verse is amateurish, with too many awkward lines, at least one passage that is completely lacking rhythm and stocked with bland rhymes and several non-rhymes, like “dots/pox” and “six/itched.” Straightforward, breezy prose might have served this slight tale better. Wakiyama’s (Too Big, 1998, etc.) illustrations are much more successful. They are rendered brightly, in oil, with red the predominating color. The style might be described as 1950s kitsch. Little Brother looks particularly like the icon for an early fast-food chain. There are cowboy shirts, Formica tables, checkered-tile floors, record players, kidney-shaped coffee tables, and more. Great fun to look at, but the illustrations can’t save the mediocre writing. (Picture book. 4-7)