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A library mystery

Cover of Mrs. Biddlebox
Mrs. Biddlebox book cover
A review of Mrs. Biddlebox by Linda Smith
Marla Frazee

I recently got a question from someone with a library mystery - a picture book they were looking for about a woman who bakes away her sadness. It was kind of dark, with a house on a hill... but they couldn't remember the title!

This didn't ring any bells for me, but we have a great team with lots of combined experience with children's books, so I put out a call to crowd source the title and one of my colleagues came up with the answer: Mrs. Biddlebox, which does indeed have a dark swirly cover and the title page features a house on a hill. 

Mrs. Biddlebox wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, and EVERYTHING annoys her, from the chirping birds to her creaking chair and the dank breeze messing up her hair. Finally she decides to BAKE the rotten morning. Over several spreads filled with delightful rhymes, she gathers up all the bad things about the day - the fog, the grubby lawn, and even the sky. She stuffs it all into a pot, whisking all away, until it is ready to be gleefully crammed into a cake tin. By this point, the illustrations are getting much more joyful, and Mrs. Biddlebox dances around the page as her cake bakes until finally she sits down to eat and eat and EAT. With her bad mood gone, she welcomes the night and crawls back into bed for a good night's sleep. 

What is the moral of the story here? Is it that if you are having a rough day you can always turn it around? Or that doing something creative can make you feel good? Maybe the answer here is that if you are in a bad mood you should eat a LOT of cake (I vote for this option!) Or maybe, the takeaway is that if you aren't quite sure what book you're looking for, you can always ask a librarian.

Jul 21, 2023