Anyone remember Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle?

I was reading one of the threads that is part of the maelstrom currently raging in the Pit. This particular thread was about the guy who took too many doughnuts. Several people suggested that the next time doughnuts, or any other delicacy, appeared in the breakroom, that a generous portion be set aside for Mr. X, with a sign reading, “For Mr. X only.”

Immediately, I thought of one of the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle stories: the one about the kid who wouldn’t share. Mrs. P-W’s solution was for his parents to mark everything of his: “Dick’s Bookbag: Don’t Touch!” “Dick’s Toothbrush: Don’t Touch!”. This didn’t go over well, especially at school, with older boys tossing “Dick’s Apple” around at lunchtime and some girls putting a sign on his back: “This is Dick: Don’t Touch!”

I loved Mrs. P-W! I like how the books have different themes. In the first book, the solution was for the kid to get absolutely their own way, and see where it got them. My favorite is the one where the boy had all these toys, each with infinite small parts, and then wouldn’t pick up after himself. Mom stopped cleaning his room, and he gradually walled himself in, until he could just barely see out the window to the other kids in his driveway. “We’re going to the circus! Come on along!” So he just had to clean his way out of the room. (And they were still waiting?) The second was the one where the parents were given kits to exaggerate the problem. The “Don’t Touch!” story was one of those: the kit had stickers and icing and cards and stuff to mark property with. The third was the one with “magical” solutions. I didn’t read that one as much, but I remember the two little girls who were always whispering and gossiping, and were given Whisper Sticks, which made them entirely mute. The fourth one took place on a farm, and was corollary to the first: instead of getting to do what they wanted to, kids had to do what they insisted they could not do, like take care of pets, or keep track of their possessions.

Well, that was a thesis! Anyone else remember Mrs. P-W?

I remember Mrs. P-W!

Incidentally, my mother eventually resorted to the same solution for making me clean my room - but it never worked for me because I developed a method of leaving paths through the room and just making messes in heaps…

I also remember Mrs. PW.

She was a pirate’s widow, and lived in an upside-down house.

She sent a trained pig to teach a rude boy table manners.

In the “have it your own way” book, a little girl who hated baths was allowed to get so dirty that her parents were growing vegetables on her skin!


Years ago, my 1st grade teacher read us Mrs. Piggle Wiggle for the last 20 minutes of school every day, til she got through them all. I remember I used to enjoy them immensely! An upside-down house! Ha!

Never read it when I was a kid, but my son’s preschool teacher read Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle to them recently, and he missed a few days about that time, so she asked us to catch him up, and I ended up reading several chapters to him. Cute stories.

I just discovered a video at the library of a couple of stories that was produced fairly recently, with Jean Stapleton (Edith Bunker) as Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and appearances by Christoper Lloyd, Joan Cusack, and Ed Begley, Jr.

Of course, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.

The world’s best psychologist/psychiatrist/child rearing advice-giving expert. Far exceeding the quality or success rate of #2, Dr. Joyce Brothers.

I have all her books.
[ul][li]Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle[/li][li]Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Magic[/li][li]Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Farm[/li][li]Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Goes To College[/li][li]Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Does Dallas[/ul][/li]
…and more. If only Betty MacDonald had written books on how to deal with parents.

I had forgotten about these books entirely! I remember when I was very young I was read one from the library. Having reviewed this thread I think it must have been the magic one, since all the solutions were non-real-world in nature. The only one I remember was the potty mouth children (and what passed for a bad swear in those days I wonder?) where they took some pills and every time they swore a little black cloud would float up and follow them around. (don’t remmeber the resolution though) Anyway I remember I really loved the book.

[flashback] come to think of it I recall it was FIBS not swears, and the clouds went away following a retraction [/flashback] If only politicians could do this!!

Then later I was given the first one as a gift. The stories in it were a grand disappointment to me relative to the “magical” ones: the kid that wouldn’t eat so he got progressively smaller plates until he was cutting individual grains with a little itty bitty knife and fork, the mouthy kid who got a mouthier parrot to learn how nasty it was, etc etc. Bland morality tales…plus I could never figure out what the heck “mash” was. Now, granted I was a bit older, but reading them in reverse order like that was a major disappointment. Mom never bothered to find the other ones after that, since a book only read once was clearly not popular relative to my well worn Roald Dahls and EB Whites etc…

Our First Grade teacher read us Mrs. PW books too. That would have been in 1971! I clearly remember the This is Dick’s, Don’t Touch story line. The boys had fun with that one during recess pointing to our privates and saying, “this is dick, don’t touch.”

Mrs. PW lived off of the pirate treasure that her husband left her. I remember one story where she ran out of money but one of the kids found a note that gave clues on where to find the last cashe of (stolen?) wealth.

Thanks for the memory.


Your second recollection was closer. The story was about tattle-tales. After taking the pill, everytime a child tattled on someone, a small black cloud would come out of their mouth and hang over their head. It must have looked like a cartoon “balloon”, with a tattle-“tail” hanging down pointing to the culprit.

The children soon became embarassed by being followed around by these clouds, which resisted any attempts to remove them, like swatting with a broom. But they soon discovered that if they suppressed a tattle, one of the clouds would, (poof!) disappear. Once they reached zero personal tattle-clouds, any thought of tattling again caused them to look up apprehensively and think twice before opening their mouths.

About half of Mrs. P-W’s cures were magical, like this one, or fantasy, like Lester, the pig with impeccable table manners (but didn’t like bacon for breakfast). The other cures were more psychology, perhaps pushed a little to extremes to get the desired result, or even reverse-psy. Like the slow-eater, tiny-biter, who was served increasingly small dishes and portions until he almost starved.

But kids love reading about the foibles of others; the stories aren’t about THEM, just the stupid kids next door.

But regardless of method, ALL the cures relied on kids’ inherent logic, not parental bullying. Instead of an adult telling them, “NO! Stop that!” they were led to realize the more favorable consequences of proper actions.

That was Penelope, the rude parrot, in “The Answer-Backer Cure.”

The parrot, as parrots are wont to do, listened to what Mary said and repeated her own words back to her. Somehow it sounded a lot worse than Mary realized.

Mom: Please clear the table, dear.

Mary: What am I, a servant?

Penelope:[parrot voice]What am I, A SERVANT? Work, work, WORK! What am I, a servant? Say, WHO’S THE BOSS AROUND HERE? Awk![/parrot voice]

I remeber Mrs Piggle-Wiggle. I also remember that one little girl’s name was Paraphenalia in the first (? non magic) book .

I remember these! Well, I’m off to eBay now - coming? :smiley:

I reread my old Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books while home sick a while back…it was great fun. There are a lot of funny names in the books, which usually show up when the frustrated mother calls her friends to ask if their little Paraphernalia ever refuses to take baths, or whatever :slight_smile: