Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is the main character in a series of children's books by Betty MacDonald. She lives alone in a little upside down house, which "sitting there in its tangly garden it looks like a small brown puppy with its feet in the air. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle says that when she was a little girl she used to lie in bed and gaze up and the ceiling and wonder and wonder what it would be like if the house were upside down. And so when she grew up and built her own house, she had it built upside down, just to see. The bathroom, the kitchen, and the staircase are right side up--they are more convenient that way." Mr. Piggle-Wiggle is dead, but he was a pirate and left bags of treasure hidden in the house or buried in the backyard for her. She also has a dog, Wag, and a cat, Lightfoot.
Children love her because she'll play with them in any way at any time, with none of that "you're too young" or "you can't do that right" that most adults give them; "one day at Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's there were two little girls baking cookies; one little boy baking a pie and getting flour on the floor and eating most of the dough; a little girl ironing, in a very wrinkly fashion, all of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's clean clothes; four boys, with paint on their faces and feathers in their hair, chopping kindling; two boys painting the dog house; three little girls darning old pirate socks of Mr. Piggle-Wiggles', and pirates, pirates everywhere, digging in the back yard, shooting and yelling, running through the house and grabbing hunks of raw cooky dough."
Parents like her because she has interesting methods of making kids behave better (like magic pills that make black smoke clouds called "tattle tails" come out of the mouths of tattletales). "She showed Bobby how to sneak out and get the fireplace logs without being caught by Indians. She showed Dicky how a lawnmower is really a magic machine that mows down the enemy millions and millions at a time."
There are four books:
- Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle from 1947, illustrated by Hillary Knight. (In this one her misbehavior cures are non-magical; for example, the solution for two sisters who fight with each other all the time is for their parents to behave exactly like the kids do until the girls realize what a pain they have been.)
- Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic from 1949, illustrated by Hillary Knight. (The beginning of the magic cures, such as pills that render interrupters completely unable to speak.)
- Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle from 1957, illustrated by Hillary Knight. (More magic, such as candy that renders show-offs completely invisible whenever they try to attract attention.)
- Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Farm from 1954, illustrated by Maurice Sendak. (In this one, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has moved out of her upside-down house into a farm outside of town, so it seems to be chronologically later than Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and the cures have stopped being magical; the Pet Forgetter is cured by being locked out of an empty house without supper, for example.)