Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"Mrs. Biddlebox" - Coping With the Bad Days

I used to take my children to the library regularly, where they checked out an armload of picture books. We would read the books, return them, and take home a new load. One day my son said he wanted to get one of those books again. He called it simply "Bad Day Pie." After quizzing him further, I could vaguely remember the book, but had no idea what the title was. We even asked a very patient librarian in the children's section who tried to help us. It seemed rather hopeless, but eventually, my brain came up with the title, we checked out the book again, it still charmed my son, and eventually he became the owner of his own copy of "Mrs. Biddlebox," by Linda Smith.

Mrs. Biddlebox cover

On a knotty little hill,
In a dreary little funk,
Mrs. Biddlebox rolled over
On the wrong side of her bunk.

So begins the story of Mrs. Biddlebox. Everything in her day is going wrong. In frustration, she announces to her goose:
I will cook this rotten morning!
I will turn it into cake!
I will fire up my oven!
I will set the day to bake!

Mrs. Biddlebox collects the ingredients by rolling up the sky like carpet and yanking down the sun. She sweeps and collects every bit of her bad day and stomps it into cake.

Mrs. Biddlebox with ingredients assembled

Finally, she dances around her kitchen as that bad day cooks, and then settles down to eat her delicious slice of cake.
Mrs. Biddlebox is rewarded with a "merry slice of cake"

The illustrations in this book, by Marla Frazee, are charming and dynamic. It is no wonder my son loved this book with its swirling pictures, rhyming text, and uplifting message. 

I am writing about this book not just because I love it, but because it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Author Linda Smith, the bio in the book says, "was Mrs. Biddlebox during her two year battle with breast cancer." Sadly, she passed away in June 2000. However, her positive attitude and creative approach to life live on in this wonderful children's book. Linda, thank you for the wonderful legacy you left behind.  

"Mrs. Biddlebox" is a treasure, and a worthy addition to any picture book collection.


  1. Looks like a few used copies are available on Amazon.
    It's a cute book with a better message than most picture books, but does not get preachy or in your face like some "message" books.

    1. I agree, it delivers a message without being heavy handed.Thanks for your comment!

  2. I wish I could take my bad days and turn them into cake. :) What a cute picture book!

    1. I wish I could make bad days into dessert, too! Wouldn't that make life better?