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Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is the title of a series of books by Betty MacDonald.The first book in this series is called Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and sequels include Hello Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Farm.

Synopsis

The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series stars a small lady who lives in a lively neighborhood inhabited mainly by children who have bad habits.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has a chest full of magical cures left to her by her deceased husband, Mr. Piggle-Wiggle, who was a pirate. Whenever a parent has a problem with their child/children's bad habits, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle gives them a special cure. Cures range from the fairly mundane, (the Won't-Pick-Up-Toys Cure involves not requiring a small boy to pick up his toys for several weeks until he's unable to escape from his room) to the fantastic (the Interrupting Cure is a special powder that is blown on the interrupter, with the effect that it causes the person to become temporarily mute every time he/she tries to interrupt someone). Another cure is when a girl named Patsy didn't take baths, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle told the girl's mother to put radish seeds on Patsy's dirt-encrusted skin, and soon she grew radishes. She is so tired of it and begs for a baths. Another cure is the Won't Brush My Teeth Cure. When a small girl refuses to brush her teeth until they mildew so Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle sends over her dog Wag who is specially trained to brush his teeth until they glow.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle later sells her house in town and moves to a farm, where she continues to help children over come their bad habits.

The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle stories were based on bedtime stories Betty made up for her daughters, nephews, and nieces (and later grandchildren and grand-nephews/-nieces). Some of the children have the same names as members of the original audience (for example, there is a pair of brothers called Darcie and Bard). This explains some of the inconsistancies, such as Mrs. P.-W. being either a good witch/fairy or just someone who understands child psychology better than most professors of the subject.

The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Series

Chapter Title Main Character(s) Problem/Misbehavior Cure Employed Other Children Introduced
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Herself

Mary Lou Robertson, Kitty Wheeling

hates washing dishes (Mary Lou), hates making beds (Kitty)

makes both tasks a fun game and a race

Bobby Wheeling, Dicky Williams, Max
The Won't-Pick-Up-Toys Cure

Hubert Prentiss

won't pick up his toys

left alone with his toys until he is unable to leave his room

Charlie, Billy Peters, Tommy Peters, Ermintrude Bags, Gregory Moohead, Susan Grapple
The Answer-Backer Cure

Molly O'Toole (mostly called Mary in this book, renamed to Molly subsequently

impudence

Penelope the parrot is equally rude, giving her a taste of her own medicine

Calliope Ragbag, Chuckie Keystop, Garry Garrison
The Selfishness Cure

Dick Thompson

won't share anything

the "Selfishness Kit" labels everything as Dick's property, causing him embarrassment and ridicule

Bobby Slater, Kenny Hatch
The Radish Cure

Patsy

won't take baths

left alone so she is caked with dirt, then radishes are planted on her

Prunella Brown, Paraphernalia Grotto, Cormorant Broomrack
The Never-Want-To-Go-To-Bedders Cure

Bobby Gray, Larry Gray, Susan Gray

don't want to go to bed

allowed to stay up late until they are so tired that they can't function during the day

Catherine Grassfeather, Wilfred Grassfeather, Worthington Gardenfield, Guinevere Gardenfield
The Slow-Eater-Tiny-Bite-Taker Cure

Allen

picky eater

Slow-Eater-Tiny-Bite-Taker Dishes serve him increasingly small portions until he lacks energy to function

Wetherill Crankminor, Pergola Wingsproggle
The Fighter-Quarrelers Cure

Anne Russell, Joan Russell

bickering

parents mimic the fighting of the children, who get to see how unpleasant it is

Jasper Quitrick, Myrtle Quitrick
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic

--

--

--

Marilyn Matson, Johnny Wilfred, Julie Ward, Johnny Green
The Thought-You-Saiders Cure

Darsie Burbank, Alison Burbank, Bard Burbank

deliberately misinterpreting others as a joke

powder makes hearing super-sensitive when sprinkled in the ear

Terry Teagle, Theresa Teagle
The Tattletale Cure

Wendy Hamilton, Timmy Hamilton

tattling

pills convert tattletales into puffs of smoke with tails

Marty Phillips
The Bad-Table-Manners Cure

Christopher Brown

bad table manners

Lester the pig demonstrates beautiful table manners

Percy Penzil, Pamela Penzil, Potter Penzil
The Interrupters

Benji Franklin, Sally Franklin, Stevie Franklin

interrupting

Interrupter Powder takes away the voice of someone who interrupts

--
The Heedless Breaker

Sharon Rogers

carelessness and clumsiness

powder slows down bodily movement

--
The Never-Want-To-Go-To-Schooler

Jody Jones

truancy

Ignorance Tonic induces stupidity, causing him to desire knowledge

Jan Jones, Julie Jones, Linda Jones, Armand Armadillo
The Waddle-I-Doers

Lee Wharton, Mimi Wharton

boredom

a treasure hunt

--; this story includes most of the children from the first two books
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Farm
The Not Truthful Cure

Fetlock Harroway

lying

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's animals ensure that there is no need to lie in order to impress

Wembley Rustad, Winifred Feathering, Williver Mallett
The Pet Forgetter Cure

Rebecca Rolfe

forgets to take care of pets

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle "forgets" to feed her and locks her out, so she knows how it feels

Cedric Bent-Smith, Eunice Hendricks
The Destructiveness Cure

Jeffie Phillips

takes things apart and can't reassemble them

everything he takes apart brings him more work, prompting him to learn how to fix things

Billy Robinson, Donnie Harpoon, Wickie Rockstall, Electra Rockstall
The Fraidy-Cat Cure

Phoebe Jackstraw

irrational fear

an emergency helps her overcome her fear and find inner strength

Jeremy Jackstraw, Chuckie Jackstraw, Georgie Jackstraw, Imogene Haversack, Shirley Melancholy, Kathy Melancholy
The Can't Find It Cure

Morton Heatherwick

easily distracted

shamed into focusing when his help is needed

Enterprise Beecham
Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
The Show-Off Cure

Phillip Carmody

showing off

Show-off Powder makes him invisible when showing off

Connie Carmody, Bobby Westover, Billy Markle
The Crybaby Cure

Melody Foxglove

excessive crying

Crybaby Tonic makes her unable to stop her tears when crying

Cornell Foxglove, Harvard Foxglove, Emmy Foxglove, Trent Popsickle, Tansy Popsickle, Betsy Wilt
The Bully

Nicholas Semicolon

cruelty to younger children and animals

Leadership Pills bring out leadership qualities (Bullybaths, which weaken the bather so they can be pushed around, are rejected in favor of these)

Roscoe Eager, Billy MacIntosh, Sylvia Crouch, Jimmy Gopher, Priscilla Wick, the Adams twins
The Whisperer

Evelyn Rover, Mary Crackle, Cornelia Whitehouse

gossipy whispering

Whisper Sticks take away the voice

Karen Elroyd, Bobby Crackle, Billy Crackle, Corinthian Bop
The Slowpoke

Harbin Quadrangle

daydreaming

spray makes him extremely alert and focused

Sylvia Quadrangle, Janey Quadrangle, Annabell, Mona, Kathy, Georgie Wilcox

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