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Arthur's Chicken Pox
Arthur's Chicken Pox Book Cover
Author Marc Brown
Illustrator Marc Brown
Publication date May 2nd, 1994
Published by Little, Brown and Company
ISBN 0316110507
Publication Order
Preceded by
Arthur's New Puppy (1993)
Followed by
Arthur's First Sleepover (1994)

Arthur's Chicken Pox is the nineteenth book in the Arthur Adventure series written and illustrated by Marc Brown, and published by Little, Brown and Company on May 2, 1994. It became adapted into a cartoon segment as the first half of Episode 18 in Season 1.


One Monday morning, Arthur Read's family is planning a trip to the circus on Saturday. His father David wonders if the knife thrower will return, his mother Jane likes the trapeze artists, and his sister D.W. likes cotton candy, but what Arthur likes best are the clowns.

At school, Arthur draws a picture of the circus during art class. At lunch, he finds out that he's not feeling well, and goes to nurse's office. Miss Flynn takes Arthur's temperature, and finds out that he might become ill. Then David comes to pick Arthur up from school. He wants to get well quick enough, so he doesn't miss the circus.

At home, Arthur changes into his pajamas and takes a nap on the living room sofa. D.W. returns home from playgroup and is surprised to see Arthur. She doesn't think Arthur looks sick to her, but he admits that he feels very sick. D.W. doesn't believe him and thinks he's faking it.

At dinnertime, Arthur eats his chicken noodle soup on the tray on the sofa, while the rest of his family eats dinner in the dining room. D.W. asks why she has to eat in the dining room, and her parents tell her she's not ill, but then she again states that Arthur is pretending to be ill.

The next morning, Arthur then caught the Chickenpox. D.W. teases him and thinks he has polka-dots, and says he will miss the circus. Jane decides to call Grandma Thora over, because she knows all about chicken pox.

Later in the afternoon, Grandma Thora arrives with a stack of treats so that Arthur will feel better. Then Arthur's friends including Francine Frensky and Muffy Crosswire bring him get well cards that all of his friends made and his homework. David then buys Arthur stickers and cough drops. D.W. wants a cough drop, but Arthur reminds her she isn't sick.

After dinner, Arthur says he's very itchy. Grandma Thora tells Arthur not to scratch, but Arthur feels like he really needs to scratch. Grandma Thora then decides to give Arthur a soothing bath. During his bathtime, Grandma Thora gave him juice with a crazy straw. D.W. tells him if he's being good and doesn't scratch, she will bring him home a balloon from the circus.

After Arthur's bathtime, Grandma Thora gives him a back rub on the sofa and tells him a story. D.W. asks if she can have a back rub too, but Grandma Thora needs to get some tea for Arthur. D.W. then decides she has an idea.

D.W. then takes a box of markers and walks into the bathroom, puts baby powder onto her face to look pale, then takes out a pink marker and puts a lot of spots on her face. This caused her to become jealous of the attention from Arthur who has the chicken pox.

D.W. then makes sounds to fake her illness, walks down the stairs saying she doesn't feel well, and Grandma Thora is surprised about what happened to her. Grandma Thora then decides to take D.W.'s temperature, and while no one is looking, D.W. holds the thermometer under hot water, in order to fake a fever, after Grandma Thora has seen the temperature reading, D.W. says she's itchy and needs a soothing bath with juice and a crazy straw.

During D.W.'s bath, her spots washed completely off, much to Grandma Thora's surprise. Grandma Thora then tells D.W. she's so disappointed in her. And she proves to D.W that she (D.W) was faking it.

The following day, D.W. then moves the telephone toward Arthur in the living room and calls her friend Emily about the circus, and says she has an extra ticket for her. Arthur then calls on his mother and says that D.W. is torturing him.

On Friday, Arthur's chicken pox starts healing away, and he is well enough to go out to dinner with his family. He then decides he will be going to the circus the following day. Jane tells D.W. to call Emily (to cancel her going to the circus in Arthur’s place), but D.W. thinks she should hold off on this a little longer; "Arthur might get the flu."

But Arthur doesn't get the flu. His chicken pox is finally gone on Saturday morning. He is then dressed for the circus. Everyone else, including Grandma Thora were ready for the circus, but D.W. wasn't quite ready. D.W. starts walking down the stairs singing her own made up song about eating cotton candy.

Everyone then stared at D.W. with surprise, but then Arthur started laughing. They find out D.W. has finally caught the chicken pox, and that she will miss the circus, and Jane tells D.W. to go back to bed. D.W. then fusses over missing the circus, and Arthur tells D.W. that if she's being a good little girl and doesn't scratch, he will bring her home a balloon from the circus.



  • The book reveals that D.W. stands for "Dora Winifred," when Grandma Thora scolds D.W. for faking chicken pox.
  • The Chicken Lickin' customer in this book served as the basis for Mrs. MacGrady


  • When the Read family eats dinner in the dining room while Arthur eats his dinner in the living room, David telling D.W. to eat her spinach is a reference to the book D.W., the Picky Eater, which was published a year later. However, D.W. the Picky Eater shows a background story about D.W. hating spinach, so that book is certainly the prequel to this book.


  • When Arthur's family saw him with chicken pox, D.W. said he had "polka-dots", but chicken pox isn't polka-dots, it's bumps all over the skin.
  • When D.W. promised Arthur to bring him home a balloon from the circus if he was being good and didn't scratch his chicken pox, she referred to him as "little boy", but he's her older brother so she should've referred to him as "big boy". She was teasing him.
  • Arthur shouldn't have worn his glasses while taking a bath.
  • When Arthur's friends were making him "get-well" cards, Francine and Muffy brought the cards and his homework for him; but the text only says that Muffy brought his homework despite Francine also helping, and she's on the page with her. This may be due to the fact that Francine made a cameo.
  • When D.W. came down the stairs as she finally caught the chicken pox after Arthur's had been healed up, her chicken pox only appeared on the final page. It might be likely intended to be a surprise to the readers.