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Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

4.6 36
by Betty MacDonald, Karen White (Read by)

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Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle lives in an upside-down house and smells like cookies. She was even married to a pirate once. Most of all, she knows everything about children. She can cure them of any ailment. Patsy hates baths. Hubert never puts anything away. Allen eats v-e-r-y slowly. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has a treatment for all of them.


Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle lives in an upside-down house and smells like cookies. She was even married to a pirate once. Most of all, she knows everything about children. She can cure them of any ailment. Patsy hates baths. Hubert never puts anything away. Allen eats v-e-r-y slowly. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has a treatment for all of them.

Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune
Each of these stories has obviously been told over and over to delighted children, who must throng around their author as the youngsters in the book do around Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle herself.
San Francisco Examiner Chronicle
The incomparable Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle loves children good or bad and never scolds but has positive cures for Answer-Backers, Never-Want-to-Go-to-Bedders, and other boys and girls with strange habits. ‘[Now] in paperback . . . for a new generation of children to enjoy.

Product Details

Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

Read an Excerpt

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Herself

I expect I might as well begin by telling you all about Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle so that whenever I mention her name, which I do very often in this book, you will not interrupt and ask, "Who is Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle? What does she look like? How big is she? How old is she? What color is her hair? Is her hair long? Does she wear high heels? Does she have any children? Is there a Mr. Piggle-Wiggle?"

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle lives here in our town. She is very small and has a hump on her back. When children ask her about the hump, she says, "Oh that's a big lump of magic Sometimes it turns me into a witch; other times into a dwarf or a fairy, and on special occasions it makes me into a queen." The children are all very envious of the hump because, besides being magic, it is such a convenient fastening place for wings.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has brown sparkly eyes and brown hair which she keeps very long, almost to her knees, so the children can comb it. She usually wears it on top of her head in a knot, unless someone has been combing it and then she has braids, or long wet curls, or long hair just hanging and with a jewelled crown or flowers on top.

One day I saw her digging in her garden wearing the jewelled crown and with her hair billowing down her back. She waved gaily and said, I promised Betsy (Betsy is one of her children friends) that I would not touch this hair until she came home from school," and she went on with her digging. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's skin is a goldy brown and she has a warm, spicy, sugar-cooky smell that is very comforting to children who are sad about something. Her clothes are all brown and never lookcrisp and pressed because they are used for dress-up. She wears felt hats which the children poke and twist into witches' and pirates' hats and she does not mind at all. Sunday mornings she takes one of the hats off the closet shelf, gives it a few thumps, pulls it firmly down fore and aft and wears it to church. She wears very high heels all the time and is glad to let the little girls borrow her shoes.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has no family at all. She says that her husband, Mr. Piggle-Wiggle, was a pirate and after he had buried all of his treasure in the back yard, he died. She just has herself and Wag, her dog, and Lightfoot, her cat.

The most remarkable thing about Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is her house, which is upside down. It is a little brown house, and sitting there in its tangly garden it looks like a small brown puppy lying on its back with its feet in the air. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle says that when she was a little girl she used to lie in bed and gaze up at the ceiling and wonder and wonder what it would be like if the house were upside down. And so when she grew up and built her own house she had it built upside down, just to see. The bathroom, the kitchen and the staircase are right side up-they are more convenient that way. You can easily see that you could not cook on an upside-down stove or wash dishes in an upsidedown sink or walk up upside-down stairs.

In the living room of her house is a large chandelier and instead of being on the ceiling it is on the floor. Of course it is really on the ceiling, but the ceiling is the floor and so it is on the floor and the children turn on the lights and then squat around it pretending it is a campfire. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle says that her chandelier is the only one in town which is put to any real use. Her bedrooms all have slidy boards in them because if you will look up at your attic ceiling you will see that a slanty ceiling when turned upside down makes a fine slidy board. Also all the wall lights are very close to the floor and handy for the small children. For the first five or ten years after the house was built Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle climbed in and out of her rooms over the high doorways but now she has little steps which are just the thing to practise jumping. She gives the children chalk so they can mark on the rug how far they jump.

Nobody knows how old Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is. She says she doesn't know herself. She says, "What difference does it make how old I am when I shall never grow any bigger."

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's dog, Wag, has puppies every once in a while and so she

keeps a long list of names of children who want them on the blackboard in her kitchen. For Lightfoot-the-cat's kittens she has a long waiting list on the blackboard in the dining room.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's back yard is full of big holes where small boys dig for

Mr. Piggle-Wiggle's buried treasure and her front yard is full of flowers which the little girls pick, jam into vases and place about her living room or carry to their teachers.

Every child in town is a friend of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's but she knows very few of their parents. She says grown-ups make her nervous.

For the first year after she built her house, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle lived there all by herself except for Wag and Lightfoot, and she was very lonely. Then, one dark, rainy afternoon when she was baking sugar cookies and thinking how much fun it would be if she knew someone besides Wag and Lightfoot to invite for tea, she happened to look out of her kitchen window and there coming up the street in the pouring rain, dragging a big suitcase and bawling, was a little girl. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle wiped the flour off her hands and hurried right out into the rain and invited the little girl in for tea.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. Copyright © by Betty MacDonald. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

A longtime resident of Washington State, Betty MacDonald (1908-1958) authored four humorous, autobiographical bestsellers and several children's books, including the popular Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books.

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Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
MRS PIGGLE-WIGGLE is an young children's book that begins a series that is nearly 50 years old, but the subjects are timeless. Mrs Piggle-Wiggle is a very round and jovial old lady who lives in an upside down house, smells like cookies, and loves children.  She used to be married to a pirate and has a back yard full of treasure.  Children love her too, and find their days filled with fun whenever they are around her.  But she countenances no bad behavior.  Best part of that is her "cures" for all different behavior issues. Each chapter has a child doing something naughty.  Their parents are hard pressed to solve these issues on their own.  A phone call to Mrs Piggle-Wiggle provides an fun, interesting and very remarkable solution that sent this reader into fits of laughter at times.  As practical solutions, they definitely make sense.  Each chapter would be fun to read with children to set up a possible fun discussion with your own child or grandchild.  Looking forward to reading more adventures with this lovely, funny old lady!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's is a wonderful story, full of magic and make believe, what a real children's story should read like
pinname More than 1 year ago
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle written by Betty Macdonald and pictures by Hilary Knight. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s house is built upside down the roof sticks strait down in the ground and everything follows the porch is upside down. It is brown everything is turned right side up in side of course could you imagine trying to eat diner upside down or sleep. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is a genius everyone who knows here says, she knows cures for everything like not putting toys away, talking back, selfishness and many more. Her personal appearance is she is very small and has a hump on here back, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle has sparkly dark brown eyes and hair she keeps long and brown. I would recommend this book to children ages 6-10 it is a great children’s book I think your child would love it. Betty Macdonald has truly out done here self in this novel it could even be a book for children older than that.
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jhmom More than 1 year ago
This book is great for today. Story is of a time when kids actually played without technology. I read this in 2nd grade 15 years ago. I read it to my 4 year old and he loves it. Silly antics and great imagination.
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heatherj25 More than 1 year ago
I've loved this book since childhood and look forward to sharing it with my own children.
ReadWell More than 1 year ago
This is the book that got me reading as a child. My first grade teacher read it aloud for my class, and I loved it! I borrowed a copy from a friend on the bus ride home, and devoured the book. As a mother, I enjoy the book just as well. My five- and three-year-olds beg me to read Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle to them. The stories are whimsical and full of hyperbole, and the vocabulary is excellent.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
In this book Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Mrs. Piggle-wiggle helps children with there problems.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful Fiction book. My favorite ch. is The Never Want To Go To Bedders cure. I like it because I never want to go to bed. I also enjoy staying up late & playing games instead of going to bed. Even though you need your sleep. I absolutely love this book. I absolutely hate going to bed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading this book, my kids have learned a fun way to clean their room and make their beds. This book shows how silly being selfish or arguing really are. A fun family read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is like every child's grandma who never scolds, spanks or ridicules, but deals with children in a positive and reasonable way to get them to do the right thing, and that's smart.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series as a child, and now my 8 year old daughter enjoys reading the books as well! Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has wonderful lessons for children that are full of humor. I wish she had written even more books...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Our group enjoyed the collection of cures that Mrs. Piggle Wiggle created for children in need of help for not wanting to clean their rooms, selfishness...and a group favorite- not wanting to take baths 'The Radish Cure'. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle was very clever and inventive. We liked how the children didn't even realize that they were being cured of their bad habits because they were having so much fun with Mrs. Piggle Wiggle in her upside- down house.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have two boys 6yrs and 9yrs. They just love this book. Each Chapter would spark conversation between the boys. It is a great book to read as a family.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I was in elementary school 20-odd years ago, my teacher read the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series to us. It is timeless and witty. I remembered how much I loved these stories when I started reading them to my 5 year old son!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mrs. Piggle-wiggle uses cunning and creativy to help the children of her small town through their rebelious phases. She does this through a type of parental structure, if jonny only likes to eat off small plates then only give him small plates and don't let him eat off the large ones...ect. These stories are entertaining and certenly made me want to do things the 'right way' least my parents get smart and read the book as well. Piggle-wiggle is a great story for children and teaches them creativity and also respect.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I grew up reading Mrs Piggle Wiggle, and now I enjoy reading all of the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books to my daughter.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the book and if I was a mother I would use those cures!!!!!!