Sunday, October 31, 2010

And We Search Mama's Childhood for Some Options...

When Janan was about 4 or 5, I was once again desperately seeking books she could read.  Digging into my own childhood I remembered one of my all time favorites had been the Strawberry Girl series by Lois Lenski. 

Sadly, we quickly discovered it wasn't for Janan (I still hope it gets in there somewhere).  She didn't like the use of the dialect (they use words like "ain't" and "purdy" which are, of course, grammatically incorrect, but true to the dialect - something she couldn't get past) and a bit "too serious" (her words, not mine).  Now, if you have a child who likes the Laura Ingalls Wilder books you should DEFINITELY try out the Strawberry Girl series!  

One thing I did discover upon making this recommendation was that Janan was TOTALLY intrigued with learning about the books I had enjoyed as a girl (even if she didn't want to read them herself).  So, I began thinking back to the books I liked best. 

I was never one for the science fiction/fantasy, but as soon as I thought "books about magic" Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (by Betty MacDonald) came to mind!  

One thing Janan really loves is a book with a sense of humor.  Throw in magic and it's the "piece de resistance".  With those requirements, what could be more perfect than Mrs. Piggle- Wiggle?  If by some strange, horrific childhood deprivation you haven't been introduced to Mrs. Piggle Wiggle let me say right here, she's worth a read no matter your age.  

As you learn in all of her books, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle loves children and they love her back.  What makes her so endearing?  Unlike most parents, she doesn't get upset if you dribble candy cane juice in her dictionary causing the pages to stick together and, crashing through her basement window into her coal bin in your wagon will only cause her to laugh hysterically and then lean "....through the broken window and sa[y], "Hand me the putty knife and that can of putty off the shelf and...that pane of glass...because putting in window glass is something that every boy should know how to do.  Especially boys who ride wagons with their eyes closed."

But, it's not just the children who like her.  Parents love Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle just as much.  In a very Mary Poppins way, she can cure whatever is "ailing" a child. You know, those horrible childhood habits like Tattle Telling, Interrupting, Not Being Truthful, being a Slow Poke, Picky Eating and so much more that many parents don't know how to handle?  Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle can fix them in one chapter!

There are five books in the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series:
  • Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
  • Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic
  • Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Farm
  • Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle 
  • Happy Birthday, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

Our only "negative" about these books?  We wish there were more!  

But, don't fret! When you finish all the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggles you can move on to Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren!  (We'll tell you more about Pippi later.  She DEFINITELY needs a posting all to herself!) 

1 comment:

  1. OMG I had totally forgotten about Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle but she was definitely a major part of my childhood!

    Can't wait to see what you have to say about Pippi!