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Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle



Last updated Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Author: Betty MacDonald
Illustrator: Alexandra Boiger
Date of Publication: 1957
ISBN: 0397317123
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Sep. 2008

Synopsis: From Amazon.com:

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has been wildly popular with children and adults for over 50 years. Children adore her because she understands them--and because her upside-down house is always filled with the smell of freshly baked cookies, and her backyard with buried treasure. Grownups love her because her magical common sense solutions to children's problems succeed when their own cajoling and yelling don't. For the child who refuses to bathe, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle recommends letting her be. Wait until the dirt on her body has accumulated to half an inch, then scatter radish seeds on her arms and head. When the plants start sprouting, the nonbather is guaranteed to change her mind about that bath.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you ever read any Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books? Which was your favorite?
•  Look at the cover. What do you see? What do you think this book will be about?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Mary Lou Robertson ran away from home because she was tired of washing dishes. Do you help your family wash dishes? Do you like helping? What other chores do you help with? Do you like them?
•  How does Mrs. Piggle Wiggle make washing dishes fun? Do you ever make up stories to help you do things you don’t like to do?
•  Mary Lou’s father says they should invite “the new maid” to the “moving picture show.” What’s another word for a “moving picture show?”
•  Hubert has more toys than he can play with! What are some of your favorite toys? Do you still play with toys you had when you were little, or do you like different toys now?
•  Do you put your toys away after you play with them? What happens if you don’t?
•  When Hubert’s mom calls Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, what do you think she’ll suggest? What would you suggest to make Hubert pick up his toys?
•  Hubert is making a car out or orange crates and tomato cans in Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s backyard. Have you ever made your own toys (out of a box, etc)? What did you make?
•  Do you think Hubert will let his room get so messy that he can’t get out? Have you ever let your room get that messy?
•  Did you like Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s idea for getting Hubert to pick up his toys?
•  Have you ever talked back to your teacher or your parents? Was it a good idea? Did you get in trouble?
•  Do you know what impudent means? (DEFINITION:insulting, rude; saucy, pert; presumptuous, fresh, brazen)
•  What do you think Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s suggestion for Mary’s mom will be?
•  How do you think Mary feels about Penelope? Do you think she likes it when Penelope talks back to her?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s house on one side, and draw your house upside down on the other side
•  Draw one of Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s costume (evil witch, evil queen).
•  Draw Wag and Lightfoot. Draw your pets (or pets you wish you had).
•  Draw Penelope talking back to Mary.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!