By Betty MacDonald
Reviewed by Emma K., age 17, California
Published by HarperCollins, 2007
Recommended for ages 7 to 10
Betty MacDonald is the author of the series, “Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.” In these books, the children in Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s town become naughty children with their own problems. Well, the parents don’t know what to do, and they end up calling Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle gives the parents of these troubled children the weirdest solutions. In the book, “Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle,” Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle works wonderful magic on the children. The cures in these stories are a sort of humorous way to deal with bad behavior.
The stories in this book are; The Won’t-Pick-up-Toys cure, The Answer-Backer Cure, The Selfishness Cure, The Radish Cure, The Never-Want-To-Go-To-Bedders Cure, The Slow-Eater-Tiny-Bite-Taker Cure, and The Fighter-Quarrelers Cure. These stories have a pattern to them. In the beginning of the stories, the mother hears or realizes that there is something wrong with their child’s behavior. She tells her husband who is fairly indifferent about it, and ends up calling her friends, who are mothers themselves. These ladies tell her to ask Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, who gives her some outlandish cure. The mother uses it and both the father and mother go through the weirdest experiences with their child, but must act normal.
For example, in the Radish Cure, Mrs. Brown’s daughter Patsy refuses to take a bath or a shower. So Mrs. Brown calls around, finally getting to Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle who gives her seeds and says to let Patsy get dirty and than sprinkle the seeds on her face. So, Mrs. Brown waits and after a few weeks Patsy gets a layer of dirt on her face. At night, Patsy’s mother sneaks in and sprinkles the seeds on her face.
After about a week, Mrs. Brown and her husband realize there are little sprouts on Patsy’s face. After a while Patsy realizes this too and gets freaked out. So Mrs. Brown pulls out the sprouts and out comes a radish. Patsy is mortified and Mrs. Brown has to pull the rest of the radishes. Pasty after this, decides that she loves baths and is the cleanest little girl.
I would most definitely recommend this book to others. These stories are very funny, but also have good morals in the end. Throughout the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series, we learn that if we refuse to take baths, talk back, become bullies, fight all the time, and more, there are consequences that are not worth it. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle teaches important lessons in a way that is funny and interesting to read.