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Mrs. Biddlebox (Golden Kite Awards) Hardcover – September 17, 2002


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Mrs. Biddlebox (Golden Kite Awards) + The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Series: Golden Kite Awards
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (September 17, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060286903
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060286903
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,446,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gloomy feelings don't stand a chance in this snappy picture book about a woman who kicks a dreary little funk with her can-do spirit. When Mrs. Biddlebox wakes up on the wrong side of her bunk, the morning looks gray: The birds gave her a headache./ There were creakies in her chair. With only some bitter tea and some hard-to-chew crumpets for breakfast, Mrs. Biddlebox quickly decides to set things to rights the best way she knows: I will cook this rotten morning/ I will turn it into cake! Her off-the-cuff recipe calls for whisking the dark and dull clouds, fog and all into a great pot before shaping it into a crumbly delight. Satiated by her sweet treat, Mrs. Biddlebox toddles off for a restful night s sleep. In the rhyming text inspired by the late Smith's (When Moon Fell Down) battle with cancer, positive thinking prevails, setting off a satisfying chain of events. The jaunty rhythm of Smith's words captures the energy of her protagonist s out-of-the-box thinking and sheer determination. Young readers may well come away with a new zeal for their own endeavors. Frazee (The Seven Silly Eaters) uses pencil lines and cross-hatching to dramatic effect in depicting Mrs. Biddlebox's dark surroundings. Swirls of white and spindly gold-yellow let the sun in at just the right moment. Memorable scenes include a spread featuring the ample-bottomed baker dancing around the oven, her frizzy pigtail bopping along. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3-Poor Mrs. Biddlebox gets up on the wrong side of the bunk. In the throes of a "dreary little funk," she has an idea: "I will cook this rotten morning!/I will turn it into cake!/I will fire up my oven!/I will set the day to bake!" She gathers up the gloom and after twirling fog like spaghetti and rolling up the sky like carpeting, she bakes the entire bad day and eats it. "Now with her belly full of crumblies/And her nighty cap pulled tight,/She threw the door wide open/And welcomed in the night!" Frazee's dramatic illustrations slather the pages in black and gray with subtle color highlights and eerie swirls of white. If gloom and doom have a face, this could be it. However, the depictions are not without humor. Mrs. B. is a determined little witch with a great shock of frizzled ponytail. She gleefully struts around the baking bad day and devours it greedily. While the book looks like a Halloween title, its overarching theme is one of empowerment by facing one's troubles squarely.
Mary Ann Carcich, Mattituck-Laurel Public Library, Mattituck, NY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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It's a fun story with interesting artwork.
Mathew A. Shember
She decides "I will cook this rotten morning! I will turn it into cake! I will fire up my oven! I will set the day to bake!"
Terrie
That first time I sat down with MRS. BIDDLEBOX, I had to read it three times . . . and I enjoyed every one of them!
"alexwriter"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "alexwriter" on October 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I chose this book because I liked it and, particularly, because my family loved Smith's previous title, WHEN MOON FELL DOWN. With its purposely gloomy-looking cover, MRS. BIDDLEBOX was a bit of a sell for my three-year-old (whose tastes usually run more to the FROGGIE titles), but as soon as I started reading it to Meredith, she was enthralled. My seven-year-old enjoyed it too. The illustrations are adorable and a perfect compliment to the extended metaphor of the text. It is a wonderful book about making the best of a bad day.
That first time I sat down with MRS. BIDDLEBOX, I had to read it three times . . . and I enjoyed every one of them!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. on October 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
After great reviews here, I ordered this book for my 3 1/2 year old. But when I received it, I didn't think she would like it and considered returning it. The pictures have a lot of black and white, and normally she loves very colorful books, like her favorite The Spiffiest Giant in Town (only in paperback here at Amazon). But when she saw this sitting out, she opened it up and immediately said, "Mama, what's this book? Read it!" Then she had me read it two more times! She sometimes has me read a book for a second time, but hardly ever for a third time-- and she referred to this box quite a few times the rest of the day! Guess I can't assume I know what a little girl would like. I thought the concept would go way over her head-- how Mrs. Biddlebox put the yucky day in a pot and baked it into a yummy cake-- but my daughter found the whole ideal so intriguing. When I gave it a first read, I analyzed the sentences as we went along so she'd understand. After that, I'd just read, and she'd ask questions. It's amazing how creative a child's imagination is, and this book added to my daughter's imagination.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Terrie on November 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In author Linda Smith's two year battle with cancer she may have learned more than her fair share about "waking up on the wrong side of the bunk" but she also learned about how to use her talents to deal with those "dreary little funks." She has given us the delightful story of Mrs. Biddlebox, a very clever and talented witchey lady with a big curly black ponytail who, one day, wakes up in a very dreary funk indeed! Even the singing birds give her a headache. She decides "I will cook this rotten morning! I will turn it into cake! I will fire up my oven! I will set the day to bake!" With a wealth of magical know-how Mrs. Biddlebox does exactly that and the results are tasty! Marla Frazee has illustrated the enchanting Mrs. Biddlebox to perfection and helped to create a wonderful picture book filled with humor and whimsy that is guaranteed to cure any dreary funk that might come your way. Enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on January 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
"On a knotty little hill,/In a dreary little funk,/Mrs. Biddlebox rolled over/On the wrong side of her bunk..." What a terrible morning, dark and dreary. An ill wind "mussied up her hair", her chair creaked, the tea was bitter, her crumpets, stale, and the birds' singing was giving her a headache. But Mrs Biddlebox is not one to sit and complain. She's a woman of action and decides to turn this awful day into a scrumptious treat. "I will cook this rotten morning!/I will turn it into cake!/I will fire up my oven!/I will set the day to bake!" And so she gets busy collecting the gloom and grubbies, a filthy shadow, the damp, dank fog, the low, gray sky, and just a ray of hidden sunshine to sweeten the pot. "So she whipped and whisked and beat it./She rolled the day out flat./Mrs. Biddlebox laughed gleefully;/Her hands went pat-pat-pat..." At last she was ready to put her cake into the oven, and bake that sad, bad day away..... Linda Smith's rhyming, lyrical text is charming and engaging, and filled with rhythm, energy, and humor. Marla Frazee's swirling, dark and expressive illustrations complement the text beautifully, and together word and art sends a positive message that won't be lost on little ones. Don't let a bad day get you down... take control, and turn it into something wonderful. Perfect for youngsters 4-8, Mrs. Biddlebox is a read-aloud crowd pleaser kids will beg to hear again and again, and is sure to become an instant favorite at your house.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lisa on January 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book that really captivates kids interest. The lyrical rhyming catches their interest and the story is really empowering. Mrs. Biddlebox refuses to accept her bad day and, with determination and zeal, changes it. The illustrations are completely charming. Mrs. Biddlebox will stay with any reader as will the idea that we can have a hand in our own world.
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Format: Hardcover
This would be it. It is fun, it lends itself to physical humor when you read it during the day. It ends with rolling over and going to sleep as a bedtime book. It teaches kids about bad days and resilience. I absolutely adore it.
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By Catherine B. Mann on May 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wish I had 5 more copies. I have a group of children that I buy books for. The books that I buy for them always have a positive message and this one definitely meets the requirements. What a perfect way to manage a hard day. I love it!!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was very blessed to have known Linda Smith before she passed away. Reading this book is always an overwhelming and emotional experience for me. Linda had a very rare gift and this book is her gift to the world. Written at a time when she herself was very, very ill and going through chemo, this book is literally about how she lived her life every day. She spread happiness and was loved by many, and amazingly, most of those who knew her had no idea she was so unwell. This book is more than just another picture book - it is a monument to a woman who lifted and inspired and taught us how to live. Love you, Linda, and miss you so very much.
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