Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

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First edition of first book in series

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is a series of children's books by Betty MacDonald and a television series created by actress Shelley Duvall, as well as the name of the main character. The first book is Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, published in 1947; three sequels completed by MacDonald are Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Farm, and Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (1949 to 1957). Happy Birthday, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (2007) was completed by her daughter Anne MacDonald Canham based on "notes for other stories among her mother's possessions".[1]

The series has been extended by Ann M. Martin and Annie Parnell, featuring the character's great-niece, beginning with Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Whatever Cure in September 2016. The third Missy Piggle-Wiggle book was released in September 2018.[2]


The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series is about a small woman who lives in an upside-down house 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. In the first two books of the series, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (1947) and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic (1949), Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle provides parents with cures for their children's bad habits. Cures range from the mundane (the "Won't-Pick-Up-Toys Cure", allowing a small boy to continue leaving his toys scattered about his room until the room becomes so cluttered that he is unable to escape) to the fantastic (the "Interrupting Cure", a special powder that is blown on the interrupter, which causes the person to become temporarily mute every time he/she tries to interrupt someone).

In the series' third book, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Farm (1954), Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle sells her house in town and purchases a farm, where with the assistance of a large assortment of animals she continues to help children overcome their bad habits. In this collection, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle uses no magic for her cures; the farm itself does the most good. In the fourth book, Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (1957) she has apparently returned to her original neighborhood and to her magical cures. No mention of the farm is made for the rest of the series.

The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle stories were based on bedtime stories MacDonald made up for her daughters, nephews, and nieces (and later grandchildren and grandnephews/-nieces). Some of the 151 children have the same names as members of the original audience (for example, there is a pair of brothers called Darsie and Bard). This explains some of the inconsistencies, such as Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle being either a good witch/fairy or just someone who understands child psychology better than most professors of the subject.

The final book in the series, Happy Birthday, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle (2007), was published sixty years after the original, and is largely written by MacDonald's daughter, Anne MacDonald Canham (the two share a writing credit for this book). The first story in the book is an unpublished MacDonald story, while Anne explains in the book that the remaining stories are based on "notes for other stories among her mother's possessions."

The first edition of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle was illustrated by Richard Bennett. Subsequent editions of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic, and Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle are illustrated by Hilary Knight. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Farm is illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Happy Birthday, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is illustrated by Alexandra Boiger.

In September 2016, a follow-up to series was released, titled Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Whatever Cure. The title was written by Ann M. Martin (known for The Baby-Sitters Club) and Annie Parnell (MacDonald's great-granddaughter), with illustrations by Ben Hatke. In this version of the series, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's husband is alive, but has gone missing, and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has set out in search of him, leaving her great-niece, Missy Piggle-Wiggle, in charge of the upside-down house. Missy Piggle-Wiggle soon begins helping the children in the neighborhood with her own take on Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's special magic and cures. The series is set in the modern era, though the nature of the problems and cures remains similar to those in the original novels. Following the publication of The Whatever Cure, Martin and Parnell began work on a second title in the series.[3] The second title, Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Won't-Walk-the-Dog Cure, was released on September 5, 2017.[4] A third title, Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Sticky-Fingers Cure, was released on September 4, 2018.[5]

The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Series[edit]

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 when Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle leads a parade past his house 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 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 Refuses to share anything A "selfishness kit" labels everything as Dick's property, causing him embarrassment when other children ridicule him Bobby Slater, Kenny Hatch
The Radish Cure Patsy Waters Won't take baths Left unbathed 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 Doesn't want to go to bed Allowed to stay up late until they are so tired they can't function during the day, missing activities such as birthday parties Catherine Grassfeather, Wilfred Grassfeather, Worthington Gardenfield, Guinevere Gardenfield
The Slow-Eater-Tiny-Bite-Taker Cure Allen Slow eater Served meals on progressively smaller dishes 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, demonstrating how unpleasant it is to those around them 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 Small powder makes hearing super-sensitive when sprinkled in the ear (example; makes turning on a light switch sound like a gunshot or a water faucet like Niagara Falls) 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 of the farmhouse, 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 the pills) Roscoe Eager, Billy MacIntosh, Sylvia Crouch, Jimmy Gopher, Priscilla Wick, the Adams twins
The Whisperer Evelyn Rover, Mary Crackle, Cornelia Whitehouse Gossipy whispering Whisper Stick, a stick of magical candy, takes away the voice Karen Elroyd, Bobby Crackle, Billy Crackle, Corinthian Bop
The Slowpoke Harbin Quadrangle Daydreaming Special spray makes him extremely alert and focused Sylvia Quadrangle, Janey Quadrangle, Annabell, Mona, Kathy, Georgie Wilcox
Happy Birthday, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
The Just-One-More-TV-Show Cure Kitten Hanover, Sean Hanover Television addiction Aversion technique; forcing them to watch until they resist it Robin Waxbean, Lark Waxbean, Honor Hatchet, Honesty Hatchet, Henry Fence, Billy Ragweed
The Won't-Brush-Teeth Cure Betsy Applebee Brushing her teeth is unimportant Wag the dog demonstrates proper tooth brushing Ellen, Rose Thorngate, Jasmine Thorngate, Jervil Thorngate Jr.
The Insult Cure Blake Branson Cruelty to others Insults written on paper glow blindingly in the dark of his bedroom Percival Goodwin, Prissy Goodwin, Candace Goodwin
The Picky-Eater Cure Will Pemberton Picky eating Crystals transform any food into white noodles; the effect being that he will want to try other things Ariel Wingstaff, Finch Wingstaff
The Afraid-to-Try Cure Jonathan Campbell Overly cautious Rescuing Lightfoot the cat from a tree helps him overcome his timidity George O'Connor, Timmy O'Connor, Ricky Timbers, Woody Timbers
The Messy Stuff-and-Cram Cure Katy McCloud Messiness Invisible paint around her room prevents her from moving until every area is neat Prunella Peasley, Quinton Peasley
The Never-Finish Cure Janie Beaumont Inability to complete one task before moving on to another Powder makes her unable to move to another task until she finishes the current one Christie Anne McClanahan, Carrie Philpot, Larry Philpot
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Birthday Party -- -- -- Matt McGregor, Kevin McGregor; this story also includes children from all five books
Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Whatever Cure
Missy Piggle-Wiggle -- -- -- --
Juniper Street -- -- -- Melody Flowers, Tulip Goodenough
The Freeforalls -- -- -- --
The I-Never-Said-That Cure Georgie Pepperpot I-Never-Said-itis (lying about past promises) Given a magic cookie to eat that forces him to keep his promises Beaufort Crumpet, Veronica Cupcake
The Greediness Cure Petulance Freeforall Greedy and grabby, wanting everything that others have Magic cookie causes what she covets to shrink to a small speck Peony LaCarte, Della LaCarte
The Tardiness Cure Heavenly Earwig Daydreams and distraction result in constant tardiness Magic wristwatch causes loud alarm only she can hear when running late; also hears the sounds of other alarms all around her Cramden Earwig
The Know-It-All Cure Honoriah Freeforall Thinks she knows better than everyone how to do things Magic vapor forces her to give clear and direct lessons whenever anyone asks her what they're doing wrong Humphrey Baton
The I-Spy Cure Rusty Goodenough Constantly peeps and spies on everyone and everything that he can Magic licorice drops cause anyone he tries to spy upon to be rendered invisible to him --
The Gum-Smacking Cure Linden Pettigrew Constantly smacks and chews gum, making his speech incomprehensible Given a magic gum ball that constantly changes flavor, but flavors become increasingly nasty --
The Whatever Cure Frankfort Freeforall Hurts and annoys other children; has no empathy and regularly responds to others with "whatever" Two-step cure; Bubble of Apology traps him in a bubble whenever he won't properly apologize to someone for a wrong and How-Are-You-Doing? pill causes him to ask everyone how they're doing, then truly listen to the answer --
The Just-One-More-Minute Cure Samantha Tickle Will not do things when asked; constantly asks for "just one more minute" Parents instructed to be firm in giving Samantha a time and telling her there will only be one warning, then let whatever happens happen. Missy Piggle-Wiggle also sends over her talking parrot, Penelope, to babysit. --
The Freeforalls Again Mrs. and Mr. Hudson Freeforall The Freeforall parents are constantly at work, even keeping their cell phones on during mealtimes The Freeforall children turn Missy's house into a haunted mansion and invite their parents --
Missy Alone -- -- -- --
Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Won't-Walk-the-Dog Cure
The Upside-Down House -- -- -- --
The Storm -- -- -- --
The Smarty-Pants Cure Einstein Treadupon A smarty-pants who is a genius but always interrupts others, is often rude, and gives long speeches people don't want to hear Magic blue mist causes Einstein to spout nonsense whenever he tries to talk like a know-it-all, but permits him to speak when talking normally or politely Fedora Fig, Emmy Fig, Tallulah Treadupon, Marvel Jr Treadupon
The Art of Magic Melody Flowers Sad about having to move from her former town of Utopia, believes she has no friends in Little Spring Valley and wishes she could be magic like Missy Piggle-Wiggle to solve her problems Knowing that not all problems can be cured with magic, Missy Piggle-Wiggle agrees to think on the matter --
The Won't-Walk-the-Dog Cure Egmont Dolittle Continuously forgets to walk, pick up or otherwise care for his pet dog, Sunny Magic dog biscuit causes the dog to change into a talking dog who is tasked with caring for Egmont, but instead shirking the responsibility, such as watching Dog Whisperer instead of doing his laundry Caramel Dolittle
The Whiny-Whiners Cure Austin Forthright, Houston Forthright Whines about anything and everything, from seeds in jam to being bored Magic drops make it so that nobody but them can hear themselves whenever they whine, and they can only be heard when they speak normally or politely --
The Woe-Is-Me Cure Wareford "Wary" Montpelier After a string of bad luck, is afraid to so much as even step outside, let alone go on an upcoming vacation Is sent to stay in Missy's guest-room, which has been turned into a softly padded room and served only soft food Charlemagne Montpelier
Girls' Day Melody Flowers Melody's friends are tired of hearing about how great things were in her former home of Utopia and want her to see she has friends in Little Spring Valley The group hosts a Girls' Day at Missy Piggle-Wiggle's upside-down house, with Melody as the guest of honor --
The Silver Key -- -- -- --
Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Sticky-Fingers Cure
The Winter Effluvia -- -- -- --
The Right-Side-Up House -- -- -- --
The Sticky-Fingers Cure Louie Grubbermitts Sticky-fingers - takes other people's stuff without asking Cinnamon powder sprinkled on breakfast cereal causes anything Louie steals to literally "stick" to him, and the items will not come off until he visits their owners and gives a genuine apology Rachel Grubbermitts, Elena Grubbermitts, Edwina Nevermore, Zephyr Mason, Stephanie, Ashleigh Dalmatian, Sampson "Sammy" Checkers
The Pants-on-Fire Cure Almandine Clavicle Keeps making up stories and tall-tales about achievements and adventures Peppermint air freshener hung in the Clavicle home causes Almandine's parents to start making up tall tales about themselves, comparing themselves to their new neighbors, as their own unfair comparisons of their daughter to the neighbors' child had prompted her to start making up the tall tales Putney Cadwallader, Joseph Cadwallader, Benny Cadwallader
The Who's-the-Boss Cure Veronica Cupcake Spoiled - is given what she wants and throws a massive tantrum if she doesn't, well past the age when a kid would no longer be expected to have tantrums Given a chocolate at every meal, which causes Veronica to become dressed up in a baby outfit anytime she tries to throw a tantrum and do nothing but make crying sounds, until finally she decides on her own to have grown-up conversations instead of throwing tantrums Isobel Cupcake
The Chatterbox Cure Gabriel "Gabby" Motormouth Chatters constantly whenever he has the chance, never allowing anyone else to get a word in edgewise A magic peppermint causes everyone in his presence to chatter loudly and incessantly until he realizes the value of a proper conversation Sven Motormouth
The Nitpicker Cure Tulip Goodenough Constantly nitpicks and criticizes A series of magic tablets provide a cure in three stages - in the first stage when Tulip nitpicks something, the issue she pointed out goes away, in the second stage she can make changes to people as well, but in the third stage, she gets a taste of her own medicine when things change after people nitpick her
The I-Forgot Cure Roseate "Rosie" Spoonbill Is extremely forgetful, at one point going missing for two hours because she forgot to go to soccer practice and causing a panic A peppermint candy causes those around Rosie to forget things instead, forcing her to take charge until she realizes the importance of remembering things Montrose Sponbill, Poppy Fretwell
Melody Saves the Day Missy Piggle-Wiggle catches the winter effluvia Melody Flowers overcomes her fears to take temporary possession of the magic cat, which cures Missy of the flu
Lester and Dr. Goo

In other media[edit]


  1. ^ Happy Birthday, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  2. ^ Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
      Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
  3. ^ Conradt, Stacy (September 9, 2016). "Q&A: Ann M. Martin and Annie Parnell from the 'Missy Piggle-Wiggle' Series". Mental Floss. Retrieved October 10, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Won't-Walk-the-Dog Cure at
  5. ^ Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Sticky-Fingers Cure on Amazon

External links[edit]