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Children's LiteratureBarney has chicken pox and Grandma thinks he needs to rest and is not ready for one of Grandpa's "famous anti-itch chicken pox stories." Grandma orders Grandpa to wash the windows. He gets the ladder from the garage and realizes he can do two things at once. He places the ladder at Barney's window and tells his story about Mrs. Piggerman, whose snout freezes to a box of chocolates she is trying to extricate from the freezer of her refrigerator. Her calls to the fire station are garbled and may be confusing for a developing reader. Grandpa, the fire chief, rides the fire engine to her rescue. The start of the story within a story is clear; resumption of the frame is not. Several of the illustrations include adult jokes. For example, there is one about a firemen playing poker who comments, "Who dealt this mess?" Much of the humor is built around fat jokes--"How are we going to get her out? Blowtorch?" Animal characters populate this controlled vocabulary "I Can Read Book," a part of the "Grandpa Spanielson's Chicken Pox Stories" series. 2006, HarperCollins Publishers, Ages 6 to 7.
—Mary B. Bauer