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Betty MacDonald Fan Club

Betty MacDonald Fan Club. Join fans of the beloved writer Betty MacDonald (1907-58). The original Betty MacDonald Fan Club and literary Society. Welcome to Betty MacDonald Fan Club and Betty MacDonald Society - the official Betty MacDonald Fan Club Website with members in 40 countries. Betty MacDonald, the author of The Egg and I and the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Series is beloved all over the world. Don't miss Wolfgang Hampel's Betty MacDonald biography and his very witty interviews on CD and DVD!

bettymacdonaldfanclub.blogspot.com

Betty MacDonald and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle


Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle author Betty MacDonald on Vashon Island


Betty MacDonald fan club fans, 

we are sharing a great website.

Don't miss Linde Lund's comment, please. 

Take care,

Benny 


you can join 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald Society  

Vita Magica  

Eurovision Song Contest Fan Club 

on Facebook



Vita Magica Betty MacDonald event with Wolfgang Hampel, Thomas Bödigheimer and Friedrich von Hoheneichen

Vita Magica 

Betty MacDonald 

Betty MacDonald fan club 

Betty MacDonald fan club on Facebook

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) - The Egg and I 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( Polski)   

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - LinkFang ( German ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Academic ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel -   

Wolfgang Hampel - DBpedia  ( English / German )

Wolfgang Hampel - people check ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Memim ( English )

Vashon Island - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French ) 


Wolfgang Hampel - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - Wikipedia ( English)

Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel 

Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald fan club items 

Betty MacDonald fan club items  - comments

Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I  

Betty MacDonald fan club groups 


Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  


Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Greta Larson

 


This month we are featuring a classic chapter book for Family Dinner Book Club . Get ready to enjoy Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald.

Below are awesome ideas to plan your menu, make table decoration crafts, talk about the book and complete a family service project.  We have thought of everything you need!  So, grab a copy of the book and join in on the fun.
Mrs Piggle Wiggle Family Dinner Book Club
Full Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.
Just to review a bit… Family Dinner Book Club is a monthly book club for your family.  On the 15th of each month, we share the title of the book that is being featured.  Then, on the 1st of each month we provide all the details for your special club dinner.  Sarah from Daisy at Home shares a special menu to compliment the book.  And, I will share conversation starters and a service project for your family.  Sarah and I will take turns showcasing table decoration crafts to make with the kids.
We invite you to share a picture from your dinner with us anytime during the month on our Family Dinner Book Club Facebook page.
Now, on to all of the details!

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle


The Book


Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is the story of a woman who smells of cookies and knows just about everything about children.  If a child has a problem, she has a positive solution.  This story has entertained children for over 50 years and for good reason. It’s a fun combination of silliness, a lovable main character and lots of problem-solving.
For extra fun, listen to the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle audio book too.


Topics

Here are six conversation starters to get your dinner book club rolling.  Just click on this link (Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle conversation starters) for a one page PDF file that you can print and then cut apart.  Use the cards on your chosen dinner night.  You, of course, don’t have to use all of them or you may even have some other discussion points that developed while you were reading.  These are just meant to be a guide.  Happy talking!


  • What was your favorite cure in the book?  Why?
  • Which character from the story are you most like?
  • What time is your bedtime?  How do you feel the next morning if you don’t go to bed at that time?
  • Did you know there are more Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books?  There is Mrs.-Piggle Wiggle’s Magic, Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Happy Birthday Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Farm.  Which of these books would you be interested in reading?
  • How is Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle different from most adults?  Would you like a Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle in your life?
  • You have just been invited to Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s house for tea and cookies.  What will you do while you visit?
Family Dinner Book Club

Family Service Project

Hubert had more toys than he could play with in his life.  My guess is that your kids probably have more than enough toys too.  This month talk about how clearing things we no longer need is important for keeping things tidy.  Plus, by giving away items we no longer need, we can help others who do need those things.  Challenge your child to decide on 1, 2, 3  or more toys that they have out grown and donate them.

Table Decorations

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is this month's Family Dinner Book Club selection. Get your themed menu, table decoration ideas, table topics and family service project idea to compliment the book.
Have the kids create pictures of upside-down houses to use as placemats.  If it is too challenging to draw the house upside- down, you can always turn the picture upside-down at the table.
Use tea cups to serve what you are drinking for dinner.  Bonus, if you have saucers and spoons.
Scatter a few chocolate golden coins around the table too.

Menu

Head over to Daisy at Home to get your Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Menu.
We hope you are inspired to create a fun and meaningful Family Dinner Book Club with your own family. Remember that we want to see pictures of your dinner.  Please share them our special Family Dinner Book Club Facebook page.
Join us again next month for another Family Dinner Book Club when we will feature a picture book!



About Jodie RodriguezJodie Rodriguez is a mom of two young boys and an early childhood/elementary educator with over 18 years of experience. Jodie's passion is helping parents, teachers, librarians and anyone else interested in nurturing our youngest readers.

Comments

  1. Betty MacDonald and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle are popular all over the world.
    Betty MacDonald – and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle fan club got fans from 40 countries.
    We are going to share wonderful Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Family Dinner Book Club on Betty MacDonald – and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle fan club blog.Thank you so much!

Trackbacks





[…] children, and will hopefully be a fun and interactive activity for the whole family. Head over to Growing Book by Book for some talking points to get the conversation started, fun crafts, and an idea for a family […]

Betty MacDonald and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

mrs. piggle wiggle_dutch_1952_hardcover_book jacket_FRONT

Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

do you know the country and language of this Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle edition?

They didn't change the original name of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle which is different from Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books in other countries.

Tell us the language and country, please and you might be our next Betty MacDonald fan club surprise winner.

Good luck!


Martine


you can join 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald Society  

Vita Magica  

Eurovision Song Contest Fan Club 

on Facebook



Vita Magica Betty MacDonald event with Wolfgang Hampel, Thomas Bödigheimer and Friedrich von Hoheneichen

Vita Magica 

Betty MacDonald 

Betty MacDonald fan club 

Betty MacDonald fan club on Facebook

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) - The Egg and I 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( Polski)   

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - LinkFang ( German ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Academic ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel -   

Wolfgang Hampel - DBpedia  ( English / German )

Wolfgang Hampel - people check ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Memim ( English )

Vashon Island - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French ) 


Wolfgang Hampel - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - Wikipedia ( English)

Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel 

Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald fan club items 

Betty MacDonald fan club items  - comments

Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I  

Betty MacDonald fan club groups 


Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  


Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Greta Larson

 

Betty MacDonald and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle



mrs. piggle wiggle_italian_unkowndate_hardcover - cleaned_FRONT


Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

you can join Betty MacDonald fan club on Facebook.

Thank you so much in advance for your support and interest.

If you join Betty MacDonald fan club blog as a follower during June you'll receive a very special Betty MacDonald fan club Welcome gift.



That's a very beautiful book cover of Betty  MacDonald's Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.




mrs. piggle wiggle_italian_unkowndate_hardcover - cleaned_FRONT



Do you know the language?


Send us a mail, please and you might be our next Betty MacDonald fan club  surprise winner.

Good luck!

Have a very nice Saturday,

Walter



you can join 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald Society  

Vita Magica  

Eurovision Song Contest Fan Club 

on Facebook



Vita Magica Betty MacDonald event with Wolfgang Hampel, Thomas Bödigheimer and Friedrich von Hoheneichen

Vita Magica 

Betty MacDonald 

Betty MacDonald fan club 

Betty MacDonald fan club on Facebook

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) - The Egg and I 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( Polski)   

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - LinkFang ( German ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Academic ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel -   

Wolfgang Hampel - DBpedia  ( English / German )

Wolfgang Hampel - people check ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Memim ( English )

Vashon Island - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French ) 


Wolfgang Hampel - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - Wikipedia ( English)

Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel 

Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald fan club items 

Betty MacDonald fan club items  - comments

Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I  

Betty MacDonald fan club groups 


Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  


Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Greta Larson

Betty MacDonald and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

mrs. piggle wiggle_danish_1948_hardcover-cleaned_FRONT

Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

you can join Betty MacDonald fan club on Facebook.

Thank you so much in advance for your support and interest.

If you join Betty MacDonald fan club blog as a follower during June you'll receive a very special Betty MacDonald fan club Welcome gift.



That's a beautiful book cover of Betty  MacDonald's Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.


mrs. piggle wiggle_danish_1948_hardcover-cleaned_FRONT

Do you know the language?


Send us a mail, please and you might be our next Betty MacDonald fan club  surprise winner.

Good luck!

Have a very nice Sunday,

Britta



you can join 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald Society  

Vita Magica  

Eurovision Song Contest Fan Club 

on Facebook



Vita Magica Betty MacDonald event with Wolfgang Hampel, Thomas Bödigheimer and Friedrich von Hoheneichen

Vita Magica 

Betty MacDonald 

Betty MacDonald fan club 

Betty MacDonald fan club on Facebook

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) - The Egg and I 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( Polski)   

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - LinkFang ( German ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Academic ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel -   

Wolfgang Hampel - DBpedia  ( English / German )

Wolfgang Hampel - people check ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Memim ( English )

Vashon Island - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French ) 


Wolfgang Hampel - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - Wikipedia ( English)

Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel 

Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald fan club items 

Betty MacDonald fan club items  - comments

Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I  

Betty MacDonald fan club groups 


Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  


Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Greta Larson

Betty MacDonald and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

 mrs. piggle wiggle_swedish_1948_paperback_FRONT



Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

you can join Betty MacDonald fan club on Facebook.

Thank you so much in advance for your support and interest.

If you join Betty MacDonald fan club blog as a follower during May you'll receive a very special Betty MacDonald fan club Welcome gift.



That's a beautiful book cover of Betty  MacDonald's Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.


mrs. piggle wiggle_swedish_1948_paperback_FRONT

Do you know the language?


Send us a mail, please and you might be our next Betty MacDonald fan club  surprise winner.

Good luck!

Have a very nice Tuesday,

Ulla


you can join 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald Society  

Vita Magica  

Eurovision Song Contest Fan Club 

on Facebook



Vita Magica Betty MacDonald event with Wolfgang Hampel, Thomas Bödigheimer and Friedrich von Hoheneichen

Vita Magica 

Betty MacDonald 

Betty MacDonald fan club 

Betty MacDonald fan club on Facebook

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) - The Egg and I 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( Polski)   

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - LinkFang ( German ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Academic ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel -   

Wolfgang Hampel - DBpedia  ( English / German )

Wolfgang Hampel - people check ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Memim ( English )

Vashon Island - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French ) 


Wolfgang Hampel - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - Wikipedia ( English)

Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel 

Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald fan club items 

Betty MacDonald fan club items  - comments

Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I  

Betty MacDonald fan club groups 


Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  


Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Greta Larson

Betty MacDonald and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle



mrs. piggle wiggle_swedish_1948_paperback_FRONT



Betty MacDonald fan club fans,


you can join Betty MacDonald fan club on Facebook.

Thank you so much in advance for your support and interest. 


That's a  book cover of Betty  MacDonald's beloved Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.

Do you know the language?

Send us a mail, please and you might be our next Betty MacDonald fan club surprise winner.

Good luck!

Take care,

Maria




Vita Magica Betty MacDonald event with Wolfgang Hampel, Thomas Bödigheimer and Friedrich von Hoheneichen


Vita Magica 

Betty MacDonald 

Betty MacDonald fan club 

Betty MacDonald fan club on Facebook

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) - The Egg and I 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( Polski)   

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - LinkFang ( German ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Academic ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel -   

Wolfgang Hampel - DBpedia  ( English / German )

Wolfgang Hampel - people check ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Memim ( English )

Vashon Island - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French ) 


Wolfgang Hampel - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - Wikipedia ( English)

Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel 

Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald fan club items 

Betty MacDonald fan club items  - comments

Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I  

Betty MacDonald fan club groups 


Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  


Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Greta Larson

Betty MacDonald fan club fan Heiderose Teynor 

Betty MacDonald and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle






Betty MacDonald fan club fans,


you can join Betty MacDonald fan club on Facebook.

Thank you so much in advance for your support and interest. 



That's a very beautiful book cover  of Betty MacDonald's
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.

Do you know the language?

Send us a mail, please and you might be our next Betty MacDonald fan club surprise winner.

Good luck!

Take care,

Laura



Vita Magica Betty MacDonald event with Wolfgang Hampel, Thomas Bödigheimer and Friedrich von Hoheneichen


Vita Magica 

Betty MacDonald 

Betty MacDonald fan club 

Betty MacDonald fan club on Facebook

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) - The Egg and I 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( Polski)   

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - LinkFang ( German ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Academic ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel -   

Wolfgang Hampel - DBpedia  ( English / German )

Wolfgang Hampel - people check ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Memim ( English )

Vashon Island - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French ) 


Wolfgang Hampel - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - Wikipedia ( English)

Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel 

Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald fan club items 

Betty MacDonald fan club items  - comments

Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I  

Betty MacDonald fan club groups 


Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  


Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Greta Larson

Betty MacDonald fan club fan Heiderose Teynor 

Betty MacDonald and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

mrs. piggle wiggle_dutch_1952_hardcover_book jacket_FRONT

Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

do you know the country and language of this Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle edition?

They didn't change the original name of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle which is different from Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books in other countries.

Tell us the language and country, please and you might be our next Betty MacDonald fan club surprise winner.

Good luck!

Happy New Year!

Martine


Don't miss this very special book, please.

Betty MacDonald and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle


Bildergebnis für Betty MacDonald Christmas


Vita Magica 

Betty MacDonald 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) - The Egg and I 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( Polski)   

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - LinkFang ( German ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Academic ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel -   

Wolfgang Hampel - DBpedia  ( English / German )

Wolfgang Hampel - people check ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Memim ( English )

Vashon Island - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French ) 


Wolfgang Hampel - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - Wikipedia ( English)

Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel 

Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald fan club items 

Betty MacDonald fan club items  - comments

Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I  

Betty MacDonald fan club groups 

Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  



Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Greta Larson


Betty MacDonald fan club and Heide Rose 


Betty MacDonald and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle





Betty MacDonald in the living room at Vashon on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.
 
Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Farm (1954) is my favourite book in Betty MacDonald's  comic series about the expert child-curative Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.

The series begins with Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and continues with Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic and Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. 

None of the books can be considered novels, but episodic problems with children and their exasperated parents in Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's neighbourhood, and the always winning solution provided by Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. 

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Farm (illustrated by Maurice Sendak) has Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle move from her "upside-down house" to a farm, bought with her husband's pirate treasure found at the end of the last book. 

Unlike that book, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle uses no magic for her cures; the farm itself does the most good: fresh air, animals, and responsibility are what children seem to really need. 

In 1996 Betty MacDonald's Family had been interviewed by Betty MacDonald fan club founder - author Wolfgang Hampel.

Especially Betty MacDonald's youngest sister Alison Bard Burnett had a perfect memory and told very funny stories about the original Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Stories. 

Alison Bard Burnett and her family has been mentioned in Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic.

Betty MacDonald fan club newsletter April will be available with many more info on 70th anniversary of The Egg and I, new fascinating info on Dorita Hess and a Betty MacDonald quiz.

We are looking for signed or dedicated first editions in great condition with dust jackets by Betty MacDonald and Mary Bard Jensen for our fans.

Betty MacDonald Memorial Award Winner Wolfgang Hampel  and Betty MacDonald fan club research team are working on an updated Betty MacDonald biography and new Betty MacDonald documentary.

Dearest new Betty MacDonald fan club fans you'll receive a very important message by Betty MacDonald fan club event team.

This message includes a very nice Betty MacDonald fan club surprise and many info on our current Betty MacDonald fan club projects.

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli  and our 'Italian Betty MacDonald' - Betty MacDonald fan club honor member author and artist Letizia Mancino belong to the most popular Betty MacDonald fan club teams in our history.

Their many devoted fans are waiting for a new Mr. Tigerli adventure.

 
Letizia Mancino's  magical Betty MacDonald Gallery  is a special gift for our Betty MacDonald fan club fans.


Don't miss Brad Craft's ' I've been lifted ', please.

Yours,

Alexander & Martin




Don't miss this very special book, please.

Betty MacDonald and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

Vita Magica 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) - The Egg and I 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Vashon Island - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French ) 


Wolfgang Hampel - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - Wikipedia ( English)

Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel 

Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald fan club items 

Betty MacDonald fan club items  - comments

Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I  

Betty MacDonald fan club groups 

Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  






Rita Knobel-Ulrich's photo.
 
Rita Knobel Ulrich - Islam in Germany - a very interesting ZDF  ( 2nd German Television ) documentary with English subtitles

The situation in Germany and Sweden with many refugees is rather difficult. 


Childhood Memories: Betty MacDonald






Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle ‘lives in a charming little house built upside down’
Children’s literature has always had a special place in my heart; not only was I first exposed to the English language through these books, but also because these books apparently spoke enough to me that I’m now doing a degree in English Literature. As such, one of my favourite children’s series will always be the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series by American author Betty MacDonald. With the exception of the last book of the series, Happy Birthday, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle (which was published in 2007 by MacDonald’s daughter Annie), the series was written by MacDonald between 1947 and 1959, comprising just five books in total. The eponymous Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, the cheerful widow of a pirate, lives in a charming little house built upside down, in an equally charming little town. In each book she makes it her mission to rid the children in her neighbourhood of various bad habits using the magical chest her husband left behind. To this day, I keep waiting on a short story or two from Annie about how Mr. and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle met and got on in their brief married life – it must have been exciting!Looking back on the books now, the town that Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle lived in was probably not a very endearing place, given that it was full of kids who each had one continuing fault. Granted, things have to be put on a spectrum; Melody Foxglove’s penchant for excessive crying, or Nicholas Semicolon’s bullying could both probably be considered more annoying than Harbin Quandrangle’s constant daydreaming, or Lee and Mimi Wharton’s persisting boredom. In fact, I still have my doubts whether or not Harbin’s or the Wharton siblings’ afflictions qualify as real faults warranting some sort of cure. I suppose also, as a child then myself, I should have been a little bit offended by her attempts to right many of the bad habits I had at the time, but I think most of that was masked by the fact that I was so happy to read a series of short stories bound into a chaptered book, Maybe even on some unconscious level, I always behaved better after reading.In fact, some of the cures that Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle comes up with are thoroughly entertaining. To cure Fetlock Harroway of his compulsive lying, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s collection of friendly farm animals assure him that there isn’t really a reason for Fetlock to lie and that he is a wonderful boy just the way he is. ‘The Radish Cure’ introduces us to Patsy Waters, who dislikes bathing. As such, Patsy’s mother Mrs. Waters is advised by Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle to leave Patsy alone for long enough that radishes can be planted on her to prove a point. I’ve always wondered about why MacDonald chose radishes as the vegetable to plant on Patsy—is it because they can be harvested quickly?However, there is also a darker side to Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s various cures, so to speak. To cure Allen of taking super tiny bites in ‘The Slow-Eater-Tiny-Bite-Taker Cure,’ Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle presents his mother with a set of specially-made dishes made to serve smaller and smaller portions until Allen runs out of energy and loses the ability to function. Upon revisiting that particular story, I find myself slightly concerned that Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is in a sense advocating starving Allen – even if only for a short amount of time. When Allen’s mother voices this concern, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle appears to be not very bothered, as if she’s absolutely sure that her remedy will work. The fact that it might not doesn’t seem to have registered. However, in the vein of Roald Dahl, who I still view as one of the most successful children’s storyteller of all time, no children’s tale is complete without a retrospective nugget or two to worry (or perhaps even intrigue) the parents.In short, despite some slightly alarming realisations that have since become obvious to me as an adult reader, the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series is a charming gem for children, which quite accurately encapsulates growing up in idyllic 1950s America. This bit is particularly dear to me as someone who has grown up in a small-town environment. Acting both as a fun advice column and maybe additionally as slightly tongue-in-cheek cautionary tales for the young reader, the Mrs Piggle-Wiggle series is overall a gentle, motherly breeze from the past, and well worth a look.




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  • Author Betty MacDonald is very popular.
    Betty MacDonald fan club got fans from 40 countries.
    Her books have been translated in many languages and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has many different names.



    The Quick 10: Mrs. Piggle Wiggle

    Betty MacDonald and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
    Oh, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. When you look back at these stories today, they were clearly intended as lessons for kids. But because Mrs. Piggle Wiggle used funny magic (left to her by her dead pirate husband in a mysterious old chest) to cure children with horrible behavior, smelled like sugar cookies and lived in an upside-down house, we loved her. At least I did, and so did millions of other kids, judging by Betty MacDonald's book sales. Were you one of them?

     

    1. Like a lot of good children's stories, Betty MacDonald made up the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle stories simply to entertain her kids, nieces and nephews at bedtime. "I hope this book sells," she once said. "If it doesn't it will prove that all these years I've been boring children instead of amusing them."

    2. Maurice Sendak illustrated Mrs. Piggle Wiggle's Farm before he was a famous author himself.

    3. Hilary Knight illustrated the rest of the Piggle Wiggle books. Although these books were quite popular, Knight is best known as the artist who brought another character to life - Kay Thompson's Eloise.


    4. A few of Mrs. Piggle Wiggle's famous (or infamous) cures: The Thought-You-Saiders Cure, The Interrupters, The Whaddle-I-Doers, The Slow-Eater-Tiny-Bite-Taker Cure, the Fighter-Quarrelers Cure, The Never-Want-to-Go-to-Schooler, The Fraidy-cat Cure, The Show-off Cure and The Slowpoke.

    5. Betty MacDonald actually started out writing for adults. The Egg and I, a humorous autobiography about her life as a chicken farmer, is probably the most well-known. It sat at the top of the bestseller list for a while in 1945. She also wrote about her brief stint in a sanatorium due to a bout of tuberculosis. It was called, of course, The Plague and I

    6. The Egg and I was later made into a movie starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert; it later spawned the uber-popular Ma and Pa Kettle series.

    7. Over the course of four books, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle cures or runs across 151 children. Many of these children were named after people in her own life - for example, Sylvia Quadrangle was named after her little sister who died in childhood; the Burbank siblings from Mrs. Piggle Wiggle's Magic shared names with another sibling and a nephew. There was also a Burbank sibling named Bard Burbank; Bard was MacDonald's maiden name. 

    8. After a long hiatus (Betty MacDonald died in 1958), Mrs. Piggle Wiggle returned in 2007 with Happy Birthday Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. Betty's daughter, Anne, found some old notes of her mother's and based the book largely around those. The release date honored what would have been MacDonald's 100th birthday.

    9. I've always enjoyed the quirky names in Harry Potter; apparently I completely forgot that this was a trick Betty MacDonald used in the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series as well. A few of my favorites: Calliope Ragbag, Paraphernalia Grotto, Cormorant Broomrack, Pergola Wingsproggle, Imogene Haversack, Enterprise Beecham, Corinthian Bop and Nicholas Semicolon.

    10. After being in print for nearly 50 years, the series was finally made into a T.V. show in 1994. It didn't last too long, but it starred Jean Stapleton as Mrs. P.

    Did you have a favorite Mrs. Piggle Wiggle Cure or tale?
    What other books has Stacy covered? Find out here.
    April 27, 2010 - 11:30am
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    Betty MacDonald Fan Club proudly presents:

    The amazing, very witty, charming, intelligent story written by our brilliant Betty MacDonald Fan Club Honor Member - artist and writer Letizia Mancino.

    WHEN YOU DREAM, DREAM BIG

    Copyright 2011/2016 by Letizia Mancino
    All rights reserved
    Translated by D. Tsiaprakas

    Betty, I love you! Your books „Anybody can do anything“ and „Onions in the Stew“ are really outstanding! I take them into my hand, and at a stone's throw I am right away in America ! Columbus and the egg: The great discovery!

    Your bestseller „The Egg and I“ the greatest discovery. And you and I! I know America: It's true what you are writing: That's America: Absolutely right! No, even to the least detail! The landscape and the passion: Do you know the country where pistols blossom? Brava, Betty, you are describing the Americans vividly, genuinely, insufferably, brushed upon paper. If I like to read your works? To read doesn't even express it! I can even hear and see everything: Nature, culture, subculture.

    America has almost remained unchanged! O those cool Americans! Calculating, stockmarket, Wall Street, the financial crisis (even back in 1930), the gamblers, the bankruptcy of companies! The swarming of dodgers and cheaters. People left without money. Dispair und hunger! A terrible „Worst Case“ (when I knew but little English I thought it is sausage with cheese).

    Still how impressive is the ability to adaptone self of the Americans: They know how to enjoy life, acrobats of survival! In the twinkle of an eye they achieved to adapt themselves and effect the work of pioneers: In the morning you are a cleaningwoman, in the evening a brothel woman! No problem!

    „The insufficient, here it's becoming an event; The indescribable, here it's done;“ Mary Bard Jensen, your sister, was the treasure trove of procuring work: My word, what a power woman with unlimited imagination! She has recommended you everywhere: Betty can do everything, also write novels! Go ahead, sister, hurry up! The editor wants to see your manuscripts! Up to that point you had not written a single line! Wow! And if still everything goes wrong? No problem: When you dream, dream big!

    Just look, you have become famous.The Egg and I You know that, Betty? I'll slip into „The Egg and I“ and come and be your guest! I want to get to know your chickens. I hate chickens! I'm a chickens slave from North America! O Betty, without these damned animals, no chance of you becoming famous! „The Egg and I“ you would never have written! How many readers you have made happy!

    Your book is so amusing! Your witty fine (almost nasty) remarks about your family members and roundabout neighbours made me laugh so much! You have been born into a special family: Comfort was not desired: I can't but be amazed: What did your father say to your mother? After tomorrow I am going to work elsewhere: Thousands of miles away...He sent her a telegram: LEAVING FOR TWO YEARS ON THURSDAY FOR MEXICO CITY STOP GET READY IF YOU WANT TO COME ALONG – That was on Monday. Mother wired back: SHALL BE READY, and so she was.That's America! Improvisation, change, adventure. You show no weakness: Let's go! Your descriptions, Betty, about the tremendous happenings in nature have deeply frightened me.

    Continent America, I'm terrified by you! I feel so small and threatened like a tiny fly before an enormous flyswatter! Your novel is very many-sided! The reader may use it even as a cook book! „The Egg and I“ starts straight away with a recipe: „Next to the wisdom that lamb meat doesn't taste good unless it has been roasted with garlic“. Do you enjoy the American food?

    O Betty, it's too fatty for me and I hate garlic! (Betty is presently cooking lunch for Bob. She's continually talking to „STOVE“: STOVE is Bob's rival; in the beginning I thought it was being himself). She turns round and says: Well, so no garlic for you. No lamb either, Betty. I don't eat any meat! I'd actually prefer only fried eggs. Betty, let me make them myself. Then you try it!

    Blow! „STOVE“ out of order! I don't succeed in turning it on! Damned! It's got more of a mind of its own than „STOVE“ of my friend, Hilde Domin! Bob's coming! He must eat directly! „Men eat anything, the swines! Says your grandmother Gammy“. Is it true? Do you like my chickens? Bob asked me without introducing himself. Yes, Bob (rude) I love them! I'm vegetarian. Do you want to clean the henhouse with me tomorrow? A, you're always getting up so early at four o'clock! Bob, that's not a job for me! He looked at me disdainfully! A Roman cissy! You need a reeducation at once! Help, Bob's attacking me! I rather change the novel immediately and move to the „Island“! 



    Turkey demands Germany prosecute comedian for Erdogan insult

    Jan Böhmermann, one of Germany’s most successful young comedians
     
    Jan Böhmermann, one of Germany’s most successful young comediansCredit:Alamy 
    Angela Merkel is facing a political dilemma after Turkey demanded one of Germany’s most popular comedians face prosecution for insulting its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
    The row could jeopardise the EU’s controversial migrant deal with Turkey.
    The German government confirmed on Monday it had received a “formal request” from Turkey over the weekend indicating it wishes to press charges in the case.
    If Mrs Merkel agrees to allow the prosecution, she will face accusations of limiting free speech to placate the authoritarian Mr Erdogan.
    But if she refuses it could put the migrant deal with Turkey, which she personally brokered, at risk.
    Jan Böhmermann, one of Germany’s most successful young comedians, faces up to five years in prison over a poem in which he referred to Mr Erdogan as a “goat-f*****” and described him as watching child pornography.
    Insulting a foreign head of state is illegal under German law, but a prosecution can only take place if a foreign government requests it.
    Any prosecution also requires the express authorisation of the German government — leaving Mrs Merkel in a difficult position.
    Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Angela Merkel
     
    Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Angela MerkelCredit: Axel Schmidt/AP

    Turkey was previously thought to be prepared to let the matter lie after Mrs Merkel personally intervened with a phone call to Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish prime minister, and issued a public condemnation of the poem.
    But the demand to press charges makes it clear Turkey intends to force her government to make a decision over the case.
    A spokesman said the German government would “consider the request carefully” before coming to a decision.
    Any impression the government is willing to sacrifice free speech to placate Mr Erdogan could prove highly damaging to Mrs Merkel.
    Mr Böhmermann is hugely popular in Germany and could quickly become seen as a popular martyr.
    He has defended his poem as a satirical response after Turkey summoned the German ambassador to complain about a song mocking Mr Erdogan that was aired on German television.

    He said it was intended to show the Turkish president the difference between satire and slander.
    “This kind of attack, including insults and rude statements to a country's president and also targeting a society, has nothing to do with freedom of expression or with press freedom,” Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for Mr Erdogan claimed.
    Mrs Merkel’s spokesman  said it would take her government several days to consider the request, but stressed her commitment to freedom of  speech. “Free speech is not negotiable, either at home or abroad,” Steffen Seibert told a press briefing in Berlin.
    “I am saying this to counter the impression freedom of opinion and art...is no longer important for the chancellor just because she, along with other Europeans, wants to resolve the refugee question in partnership with Turkey.” 




Betty MacDonald and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle


Betty MacDonald and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle  













Betty MacDonald in the living room at Vashon on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.


Betty MacDonald - and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle fan club fans,

we enjoyed Betty MacDonald's and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's wonderful birthday party very much.

Thanks a million deaerst Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Darsie Beck for sharing his  golden childhood memories and the excellent Betty MacDonald essay by author Claire Dederer.

Monica Sone and many Betty MacDonald fans from all over the world  adore Claire Deder's Betty MacDonald essay.

Thank you so much for Claire Dederer's essay on Betty.
Betty would have been so pleased and also astounded that someone had studied her books on such a deep level.
Claire's understanding of Betty's character, also reveals Claire's own ability to do very intelligent, creative analysis.
I am profoundly happy with this, in memory of a wonderful human being.

Love,

Monica Sone



Betty MacDonald - and Monica Sone fans from all over the world are very touchend when they were reading the  wonderful birthday greetings from our unforgotten first Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Monica Sone.

Late Monica Sone is author of Nisei Daughter and a very good friend of Betty MacDonald described by Betty as Kimi in her book The Plague and I. 

Betty MacDonald - and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle fan club fans from 5 continents adore these outstanding Betty MacDonald - and  Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle birthday cinnamon rolls.

We got so many mails by delighted fans. Thanks a lot!

We are working on a special Betty MacDonald birthday DVD  with new info on Wolfgang Hampel's updated Betty MacDonald biography and many other info and interviews in April.

The magical Betty MacDonald Gallery by unique Betty MacDonald fan club honor member - artist and author Letizia Mancino is one of our favourites.

Many Betty MacDonald - and Letizia Mancino fans from all over the world adore these outstanding artworks.

Thanks a million for this very special Betty MacDonald birthday gift!

Mr. Tigerli's birthday greetings are the best ones and of course he didn't forget to send them in time.

A very good guy! 


Enjoy Easter breakfast with Brad and Nick at the bookstore.
 

Happy Easter Sunday,

Mats 


Don't miss this very special book, please.



Betty MacDonald and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

Vita Magica
Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) - The Egg and I 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Vashon Island - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French )

Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel 

Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald fan club items 

Betty MacDonald fan club items  - comments

Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I  

Betty MacDonald fan club groups 

Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  




Rita Knobel-Ulrich's photo.





Rita Knobel Ulrich - Islam in Germany - a very interesting ZDF  ( 2nd German Television ) documentary with English subtitles 


Rosen... / Schleedorf


Dearest Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

we celebrated Betty MacDonald's and Mrs. Pigge-Wiggle's birthday yesterday.


We had some special Betty MacDonald birthday gifts for our Betty MacDonald fan club fans from all over the world.

You'll enjoy Claire Dederer's excellent essay very much.

Thank you so much for sharing it with us dear Claire Dederer!

Beat

Claire Dederer, Author of Poser : My Life In Twenty-Three Yoga Poses  lives in Seattle and writes about books and culture for the New York Times, Vogue, Newsday, and many other publications.

Dear Betty MacDonald Fans,

I knew of the Betty MacDonald Fan Club but didn't know its activities were so extensive.
 

That's wonderful.

I checked in with the magazine and they said please feel free to reprint or repost. 


I will keep you updated if I do any more pieces on Betty.

Thanks so much for all you are doing!

All the best,

Claire Dederer


http://www.watsonadventures.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Seattle-Pike-Pl-Market-e1360431813737.jpg

Second Read — January / February 2011 Her Great Depression

Re-reading Betty MacDonald’s Anybody Can Do Anything, on the Northwest’s bust years

By Claire Dederer

From the time I was nine or ten, I carried a spiral-bound Mead notebook with me at all times. I wanted to be a writer, felt I probably already was a writer, and feared I would never be a writer. I was constantly looking for clues that would tell me that someone like me, someone from Seattle, someone who was a girl, someone who was no one, might be able to write a book. A book that got published.

I was always on the lookout for a message, something that would tell me that this thing could be done. I realize now that what I was looking for was an influence. Influence is a message about what is possible, sent by book from one writer to another. Different writers are looking for different messages. As a child, the message I sought was simple: This place is worth writing about.

Just as I was a nobody, Seattle at that time was a non-place in literature. This was the 1970s. There were few nationally published authors from Seattle. Whenever I encountered any writing at all about the Northwest, I fell upon it gratefully. I was happy to read anything that had blackberries and Puget Sound and Douglas firs and the names of the streets downtown. I read Richard Brautigan stories; Ken Kesey’s Sometimes a Great Notion, though I didn’t even pretend to enjoy it; collections of columns by crabby old Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspapermen of the 1950s; poems by Carolyn Kizer. I read Tom Robbins and was embarrassed by the sex. I read Mary McCarthy’s first memoir, but she seemed to hate the place.

And, eventually, I read Betty MacDonald. She had been there all along, on my own shelves, in the form of her familiar, tattered Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books. Then, browsing my mother’s shelves one summer afternoon, I came upon a grown-up book by MacDonald: Anybody Can Do Anything.

I had seen it before but assumed it belonged to the dreary crop of self-help books that had mushroomed on my mother’s shelves over the past few years. Bored enough, I picked it up—and found therein an enchanted world. Enchanted because it was exactly real. Anybody Can Do Anything is Betty MacDonald’s story of how she and her family weathered the Depression in an old wood-frame house (not unlike my family’s) in the University District (just a mile or two from where I lived). And though my historical circumstances were very different from hers, our shared geography was enough to make me feel that I was seeing my life reflected in her pages.

It’s funny to think of a time when Betty MacDonald’s books were new to me. Over the years I would come to know them the way I knew houses in my own neighborhood—with a casual intimacy. MacDonald began writing toward the end of her short life, in the 1940s, when she had found happiness with her second husband on their blackberry-ridden acreage on Vashon Island in Puget Sound. Her first book was The Egg and I, set in the 1920s. This chronicle of MacDonald’s life on an Olympic Peninsula chicken farm with her first husband would become her most famous book, make her a fortune, and form the basis of a wildly successful 1947 film. This, putting aside her books for children, was followed by The Plague and I, a surprisingly entertaining account of her stint in a tuberculosis sanitarium just north of Seattle. How she created a ripping yarn out of lying in bed for a year is one of life’s mysteries. Next came Anybody Can Do Anything, which I held in my hands. Finally she wrote Onions in the Stew, about life on Vashon Island, which came in 1955, just three years before she succumbed to cancer at the age of forty-nine.

But it was Anybody Can Do Anything, with its Seattle locale and its scrappy, cheerful message of survival, which spoke most directly to me.

As the book opens and the Depression begins, MacDonald has been living on the chicken farm in damp exile from her real life in Seattle. Married at twenty, she had followed her husband to the Olympic Peninsula so he could live his agrarian dream. Now she has reached her breaking point with the rain, the chickens, the monomaniacal husband, the whole affair. “Finally in March, 1931, after four years of this,” she recounts, “I wrote to my family and told them that I hated chickens, I was lonely and I seemed to have married the wrong man.” She snatches up her little daughters and makes her long, rainy, difficult way back to the city by foot, bus, and ferry.

There she and her girls are folded happily back into her large family’s bosom. Her mother’s “eight-room brown-shingled house in the University district was just a modest dwelling in a respectable neighborhood, near good schools and adequate for an ordinary family. To me that night, and always, that shabby house with its broad welcoming porch, dark woodwork, cluttered dining-room plate rail, large fragrant kitchen, easy book-filled firelit living room, four elastic bedrooms…represents the ultimate in charm, warmth and luxury.”

The book describes life in that teeming, cozy household with her mother, her three sisters, her brother, and her two little girls, plus whoever else might be sleeping over in one of those elastic bedrooms. It also details the literally dozens of weird and none-too-wonderful jobs that MacDonald held throughout the Depression: hapless secretary to businessmen of every stripe, fur-coat model, photo retoucher, rabbit rancher, firewood stealer, Christmas tree decorator, baby sitter, receptionist to a gangster.

The author jumps from job to job, with whole industries blowing up behind her as she leaves, like Tom Cruise running from an exploding warehouse. She’s hustled along in the ever-shrinking job market by her sister Mary, who considers herself an “executive thinker.”

Mary has a job ready for Betty as soon as she gets off the bus from the egg farm, never mind that Betty is utterly unqualified. Mary won’t hear of such talk. She is quick to admonish her sister: “There are plenty of jobs but the trouble with most people, and I know because I’m always getting jobs for my friends, is that they stay home with the covers pulled up over their heads waiting for some employer to come creeping in looking for them.”

The truth of this statement is disproved throughout the book. There were certainly not plenty of jobs. The portrait of Depression-era Seattle that emerges is definitively—though quietly—desperate. But on my first read, I hardly clocked the despair. I just thrilled to the evocation of my home, captured in such throwaway phrases as, “There was nothing in sight but wet pavement and wet sky.” MacDonald describes places that still existed, that I myself knew—the I. Magnin’s at the corner of Sixth and Pine, the palatial movie theater named the Neptune. Here she is on the Pike Place Market:

The Public Market, about three blocks long, crowded and smelling deliciously of baking bread, roasting peanuts, coffee, fresh fish and bananas, blazed with the orange, reds, yellows and greens of fresh succulent fruits and vegetables. From the hundreds of farmer’s stalls that lined both sides of the street and extended clear through the block on the east side, Italians, Greeks, Norwegians, Finns, Danes, Japanese and Germans offered their wares. The Italians were the most voluble but the Japanese had the most beautiful vegetables.

Such descriptions caused a strange firing in my brain. I was accustomed to imagining locations from books; there was a deep pleasure in having that necessity for once removed. Even the food they ate was the food we ate. For special treats, MacDonald tells of buying Dungeness crabs and Olympia oysters, just as my family did.

I saw, illustrated perfectly, and in the cold light of nonfiction, the possibility that Seattle might be the setting for a book. I would not be struck so thoroughly by the possibility of a true Northwest literature until I started reading Raymond Carver in the mid-1980s.
My mother told me that Betty MacDonald had died in the 1950s, but that her niece lived in our very own neighborhood. I walked by the house, gazing at it with a true feeling of awe: the niece of an author lived therein! Of course I knew authors were real people. But Betty MacDonald was more than real; she was tangible. She was prima facie evidence that the materials I had at hand—those trees, that rain—were enough.

Other writers came and went; Betty MacDonald was among those who endured for me. This was because she was funny. No, that’s not quite right. Though I didn’t have the language for it when I first read her, Betty MacDonald was comic. As I became a writer myself, I studied her, trying to figure out just how she did it.

She wrote long, ridiculous set pieces about her various jobs. She wrote hilarious portraits of her bosses, who in her hands become one long parade of human oddity. She wrote fondly of her family’s eccentricities. But above all, she wrote with unflagging self-abasement. Her books twanged with the idea that one’s own ridiculousness was comedy enough. A good example of her rueful tone:
Until I started to night school, my life was one long sweep of mediocrity. While my family and friends were enjoying the distinction of being labeled the prettiest, most popular, best dancer, fastest runner, highest diver, longest breath-holder-under-water, best tennis player, most fearless, owner of the highest arches, tiniest, wittiest, most efficient, one with the most allergies or highest salaried, I had to learn to adjust to remarks such as, “My, Mary has the most beautiful red hair I’ve ever seen, it’s just like burnished copper and so silky and curly—oh yes, Betty has hair too, hasn’t she? I guess it’s being so coarse is what makes it look so thick.”

It almost goes without saying that she distinguishes herself in night school by being the absolute worst student in every class.
MacDonald was master of the comic memoirist’s first art: self-deprecation. Other types of memoirists value lyricism, or shock tactics. Comic memoirists are utterly dependent on knowing that they themselves are the silliest people in any given room.
I know whereof I speak—I am this year publishing a memoir about my own very, very ordinary life. Memoirists like me are writing what author Lorraine Adams has called “nobody” memoirs. As she said in a 2002 piece in the Washington Monthly, such memoirists are “neither generals, statesmen, celebrities, nor their kin.”
How, then, to proceed? You’re nobody. You want to write a memoir. Your first order of business is to let readers know that you know that they know you’re a nobody. So you must imply your unimportance as quickly as possible, and never, ever stop. By means of that simple dynamic, the memoirist makes a friend rather than an enemy of her reader.

In Anybody Can Do Anything, MacDonald fails again and again. It’s an entire book about failure: her own, and the economy’s. It’s also about persisting in the face of one’s own admitted shortcomings. What she wants is a job commensurate with her skills, which she presents as nil: “I wanted some sort of very steady job with a salary, and duties mediocre enough to be congruent with my mediocre ability. I had in mind sort of a combination janitress, slow typist and file clerk.”
Finally, she washes up safely on the sandbar of government work, taking a job at the Seattle branch of the National Recovery Administration, the New Deal agency started in 1933 and charged with organizing businesses under new fair-trade codes. There she felt right at home, surrounded by federal-level incompetence: “There were thousands of us who didn’t know what we were doing but were all doing it in ten copies.”
MacDonald is rarely remembered for her wry tone. When she’s remembered at all, she is preceded not by her own reputation, but that of the big-screen version of The Egg and I, starring Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray, which is pretty nearly unwatchable. In the film, Ma and Pa Kettle—neighbors who are fondly, if broadly, drawn in the book—have been turned into tobacco-spitting, raccoon-roasting caricatures. And the public loved them. On the movie poster, the faces of these two crackers loom huge; Colbert and MacMurray cower tinily in the corner. Ma and Pa Kettle proved so popular that nine more films were made about them and their fictional fifteen children, and Betty MacDonald lost all hope of being taken seriously as a writer.

Many years after all of this, I was having dinner with a British writer who had undertaken to write about the Northwest. “You have to be careful about using too much humor, otherwise you end up sounding like Betty MacDonald: housewife humor,” he said, finishing in scathing (if posh) tones. MacDonald has been trapped in this role of domestic lightweight. But her writing, with its quiet irreverence, has more in common with, say, Calvin Trillin or Laurie Colwin, than it does with a mid-century housewife humorist like Erma Bombeck. (Though, really, what’s so bad about Erma Bombeck?)

What MacDonald models in her writing is actually very freeing—self-deprecation as a kind of passport to the ordinary. With it, you can take your reader into the most mundane details of your life, and they will often go.

I teach adult writing students. When we work on memoir, they want to write pieces about what they’ve achieved. About their good marriages. About their sterling qualities. “Nobody wants to hear about that except your mother!” I tell them. Which is never very popular. Even so, I try to explain the Betty MacDonald principle to them: what people want to see in the memoir are reflections of their own failures and smallnesses. If you can show readers that you have those same failures, those same smallnesses, and make them laugh about it, they will love you. Or at least like you. Or at least accept you as a fellow nobody.

These simple things would be enough for me: a story of Seattle; a tale told with self-deprecating humor. But what MacDonald achieves in Anybody Can Do Anything is something more than that: a finely observed journalistic record of her time.
The ridiculous set pieces, the fond portraits of her family, and what New York Times critic Bosley Crowther called the “earthy tang” of her writing do not seem like indicators of a work of serious journalism. But MacDonald is getting down on paper what she sees happening all across Seattle, and ultimately providing us with a rough draft of history. The details of home and work life accrue, anecdotes pile up, and suddenly the reader has a real sense of daily existence in the West during the 1930s. This is a cheerful, unassuming way of documenting a socially and economically turbulent period. But it’s documentation nonetheless.

Take, for example, MacDonald’s account of one of her earliest jobs. This chapter encapsulates the uneasiness of the early part of the Depression, eerily suggestive of the economic tenterhooks we’ve been on since 2007. She’s been summarily fired from her first job as executive secretary to a miner, so the ever-resourceful Mary has found her a job at her own office, where she works for a lumber magnate. When Betty protests that she hasn’t any of the qualifications the lumberman is looking for in a secretary, Mary tells her not to fret. “‘You thought you couldn’t learn mining,’ Mary told me when she installed me as her assistant in the office across the street. ‘There’s nothing to lumber, it’s just a matter of being able to divide everything by twelve.’?”

As she makes her way to work each morning, MacDonald is nervous but glad of the work: “Now I grew more and more conscious of the aimlessness and sadness of the people on the streets, of the Space for Rent signs, marking the sudden death of businesses, that had sprung up over the city like white crosses on the battlefield and I lifted myself up each morning timidly and with dread.”
Her employer’s business is clearly failing, but MacDonald feels she shouldn’t leave her boss, Mr. Chalmers, in the lurch. She intends to stay until the end. “And I did,” we read, “in spite of Mr. Chalmers’ telling me many times that the Depression was all my fault, the direct result of inferior people like me wearing silk stockings and thinking they were as good as people like him.” Again, this blame-the-victim language recalls some of the rhetoric of today’s subprime mortgage crisis. But despite the boss’s efforts to draw a sociological line in the sand, he too is laid low by the economic downturn, and the chapter comes to an abrupt end: “Lumber was over.”

The author and her family soon lose their phone service, their electricity, their heat. Being Betty MacDonald, she makes it all sound rather jolly. She tells of endless bowls of vegetable soup eaten by candlelight. And when she complains about being broke, she does it with typical good humor: “There is no getting around the fact that being poor takes getting used to. You have to adjust to the fact that it’s no longer a question of what you eat but if you eat.”
But sometimes the details tell the story that the tone masks. When the heat and the electricity have been turned off, the family relies upon old Christmas candles for light and firewood for heat: “When we ran out of fireplace wood, Mary unearthed a bucksaw and marched us all down to a city park two blocks away, where we took turns sawing up fallen logs.” Here, despite the characteristic pluck, you feel straits getting uncomfortably dire.
This isn’t an overlay of social commentary sitting awkwardly atop a narrative. Instead, such commentary is tightly knitted to MacDonald’s own experience. When she notices that “[e]very day found a little better class of people selling apples on street corners,” she’s not making an idle observation—she’s wondering if she’s next.

When I came to write my own memoir, I was telling a small, personal story about being a mom at the turn of the millennium. I wanted to link the story to larger cultural forces I had observed, to what I saw as a kind of generational obsession with perfect parenting. In Betty MacDonald’s writing, I once again found just the model I needed. It was possible to connect the larger story around me to my own small story, without pretending to be definitive or historical. In fact, the more I focused on the details of my own very particular experience, the more I could give a feeling of the culture that I swam in.

The message that Betty Macdonald sent me, through this book, is one of sufficiency: Your small life is enough. Other writers might be looking for a message that will feed their huge ambitions. From books, they learn how far they might go with their own writing. For me, the question has always been: How close to home might I stay?
MacDonald’s qualities as a writer—the focus on the very local, the self-deprecating humor, the careful and personal observation of social changes—are modest qualities. They inspire through their very humility. The homely, says Betty MacDonald, is more than enough. This was the message I needed to hear. There’s a clue, of course, right there in the title. It’s been telling me since I was a girl, right up through the time I became a writer myself: Anybody can do anything. Even this. Even you.

Such lack of pretension doesn’t necessarily come with great rewards. There are no monuments to Betty MacDonald. No endowed chairs, no scholarships, not even a public library conference room named after her. But in the shallow green bowl of Chimacum Valley, a two-lane road leads to the chicken farm where MacDonald lived for four tough years. It’s been renamed “The Egg and I Road.” It veers west from Route 19, cutting through farmland before heading up a hill into some evergreens. It’s nothing special. It’s just ordinary. It’s just a county road.



Egg and I road sign 2 

 
Betty MacDonald and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

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