Oh, children’s literature …
There are, indeed, some true classics out there. “Charlotte’s Web,” “Green Eggs and Ham,” “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” … Through art and storytelling, these books impart important lessons for children — the value of friendship, trying new things and eating to excess, apparently.
And, of course, we can’t forget “My Parents Open Carry,” a children’s book for those open carry nut jobs. According to that book, children can “come join 13-year-old Brenna Strong along with her mom, Bea, and her dad, Richard, as they spend a typical Saturday running errands and having fun together. What’s not so typical is that Brenna’s parents lawfully open carry handguns for self-defense.” Wow. Duck for cover, Sam-I-Am.
But now those wacky anti-vaccers are joining in on the children’s lit fun with “Melanie’s Marvelous Measles.” It’s a cute little bedtime story by “author” Stephanie Messenger that touts the benefits of not only not getting vaccinated, but actually getting measles. Just don’t cuddle up too close to your kid when reading this in bed. I guess that’s Melanie there on the cover, with a belly covered in red sores. Never mind that, though. She’s chasing butterflies in her garden, so everything’s fine.
According to the book’s description, it “takes children on a journey to learn about vaccinations for childhood illnesses, like measles and chicken pox.” How sweet. It goes on to say that “often today, we are being bombarded with messages from vested interests to fear all diseases in order for someone to sell some potion or vaccine, when, in fact, history shows that in industrialized countries, these diseases are quite benign and, according to natural health sources, beneficial to the body.”
Well, it didn’t take too long with the reviews of the book to start coming in.
Here are a few of my favorites:
“No Braille Version? My infant daughter went blind after contracting measles from an unvaccinated child, and yet there’s no braille version of this wonderful book for me to give her someday to explain to her how awesome the disease that took her sight away is.”
“Sickness is F.U.N. I’ve been having a hard time finding a way to tell my children why they have to suffer through dangerous and potentially debilitating diseases that were almost eradicated by Vaccines. Thanks to Melanie’s Marvelous Measles I now have an easy reader guide that makes me eldest feel less down about the fact he’s been crippled from Polio.”
“The best book I have read since ‘Infant Car Seats Are For Sissies.'”
Though “Melanie’s Marvelous Measles” was published two years ago, anti-vaccers and those who love them are finding themselves on the defensive, and especially over measles. A current outbreak of the once-thought-to-be-eradicated disease is moving across the nation. Some believe it began, of all places, in Disneyland. Also, a heartbreaking account written by children’s author Roald Dahl on his own daughter’s lost battle against measles surfaced last week. Dahl himself died in 1990, but notice how closely the title of the anti-vaccine books resembles Dahl’s classic, “George’s Marvelous Medicine.”
But forget the author of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and his account. Melanie and her marvelous measles wants to invite your child to a sleepover.
Brock Thompson is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.