- Age Range: 6 - 10 years
- Grade Level: 1 - 5
- Lexile Measure: 840L (What's this?)
- Series: Mrs. Piggle-wiggle
- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (August 9, 1985)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0064401502
- ISBN-13: 978-0064401500
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.3 x 7.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 458 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Farm Paperback – August 9, 1985
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About 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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It's always interesting to read or listen to a book that was written contemporaneously. This series, in particular, would be fobbed off as "politically incorrect" if published today, about today's world. It was a picture of a purer, more innocent time and that was how much of the country lived in the post-WW2 years. But, here's the thing: the times might have been more innocent but human nature doesn't change. Children still worry about the same things as we, their grandparents did, and still don't pick up their toys or bathe enough. They still go through stages where they talk back to the parents and teachers, and I don't think the "selfish gene" has been scrubbed from human reproduction. Betty MacDonald's parents and children - and Mrs Piggle Wiggle - are the parents and children of today. Addiction, violence and poverty have added to our problems but there was always a bit of that in the past. Hiding under our desks at school from the threat of nuclear war - like our wooden desks were really going to save us - and diseases that were rampant back then have been eradicated by cures. Betty MacDonald's wonderful stories full of interesting characters are as timely now as they were 60 years ago.
By the way, did you know that Betty MacDonald wrote the adult book, "The Egg and I"? That was one of four "adult" books she wrote, in addition to the children's books she wrote.
Why I picked it up: I loved this books as an elementary school student and they are still some of my favorite stories to read to myself or aloud.
Why I finished it: This short chapter book has been charming both children and adults for over sixty years. They are silly, fun, imaginative, and relatable for readers of all ages. How many of us didn't like picking up our toys, or talked back, or fought with our siblings, or knew of someone who did. The cures themselves are perhaps a little over the top in some cases, but they have become just as well known as the woman who 'prescribes' them. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and the children she helps are somewhat inspiring, encouraging the reader to think outside the box to solve problems. Now, I probably wouldn't go as far as to plant radishes on a child that doesn't bathe, but the point is that there is more than one angle with which we can address issues. It teaches us a lesson about the way we act toward each other and how we interact with the world at large. They're classic stories that are well-loved by generations and will continue to entertain both children and adults for many more years to come.