Monday, May 20, 2013

Wisdom of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

Mothers at their wits' end find cures for childhood diseases such as Wont-Pick-Up-Toys, Selfishness, Fighter-Quarreler-itis, and others, from the wise and kind Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's house is upside down and smells of cookies - it's a natural haven for every child in the neighborhood. And her phone is usually ringing because of a frustrated parent seeking her tactful wisdom. With Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's cure kits and sound advice, parents learn how to teach their misbehaving children valuable lessons about growing up and getting along.

My favorite story in this collection had to be the last, where a mother and father team up to show their twin daughters how constant quarreling looks from the outside. Many of the ailments and cures are absurdly exaggerated and so humorously portrayed that they don't come across as preachy morality tales: one little girl won't wash, so her parents plant radishes in the dirt on her skin; one boy has so many wonderful toys he won't pick up that he gets trapped in his room and has to be fed through the window; and a chronic answer-backer sees her mirror image in a rude parrot named Penelope.

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