Cover image for Mrs. Biddlebox
Mrs. Biddlebox
Smith, Linda, 1949-2007.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
[New York] : HarperCollins, [2002]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
With baking magic, Mrs. Biddlebox uses fog, dirt, sky, and other ingredients of a rotten day to transform it into a sweet cake.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.8 0.5 64299.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



On a knotty little hill, In a dreary little funk, Mrs. Biddlebox rolled over On the wrong side of her bunk. Mrs. Biddlebox is having a really bad day. The birds are screeching, her belly is grumbling, and even her crumpets are stale. What is she to do? Then, suddenly, Mrs. Biddlebox has the most bewitching idea! With a pinch of magic and just the right amount of humor, Linda Smith and Marla Frazee have whipped up an enchantingly original tale that will charm anyone who's ever woken up on the wrong side of the bunk.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS^-Gr. 2. Sometimes, the day is just not a good one, even for the smallest person. Mrs. Biddlebox, a muffin-shaped middle-aged woman with frizzy hair pulled back into a wild ponytail, wakes up in a funk. Her belly is "full of grumblies" in this rhymed tale, but she has an idea. She gathers up a filthy shadow from her skirt, twirls the fog like spaghetti, rolls up the sky like a carpet, hooks a ray of sun like yarn, and whips and whisks and rolls "the day out flat." She bakes the odious day into a sweet cake, eats it all up, and then welcomes in the night as she tucks herself in bed. Using a limited palette of myriad grays lightened with washes of gold, pink, green, and blue, Frazee offers a vision that features Mrs. Biddlebox in all sorts of dramatic poses; her crinkly eyes and tiny hands hold a world of expressions. This is an inventive and joyous approach to the drearies. --GraceAnne A. DeCandidoNew First Novels for Youth

Publisher's Weekly Review

Gloomy feelings dont stand a chance in this snappy picture book about a woman who kicks a dreary little funk with her can-do spirit. When Mrs. Biddlebox wakes up on the wrong side of her bunk, the morning looks gray: The birds gave her a headache./ There were creakies in her chair. With only some bitter tea and some hard-to-chew crumpets for breakfast, Mrs. Biddlebox quickly decides to set things to rights the best way she knows: I will cook this rotten morning/ I will turn it into cake! Her off-the-cuff recipe calls for whisking the dark and dull clouds, fog and all into a great pot before shaping it into a crumbly delight. Satiated by her sweet treat, Mrs. Biddlebox toddles off for a restful night s sleep. In the rhyming text inspired by the late Smith s (When Moon Fell Down) battle with cancer, positive thinking prevails, setting off a satisfying chain of events. The jaunty rhythm of Smith s words captures the energy of her protagonist s out-of-the-box thinking and sheer determination. Young readers may well come away with a new zeal for their own endeavors. Frazee (The Seven Silly Eaters) uses pencil lines and cross-hatching to dramatic effect in depicting Mrs. Biddlebox s dark surroundings. Swirls of white and spindly gold-yellow let the sun in at just the right moment. Memorable scenes include a spread featuring the ample-bottomed baker dancing around the oven, her frizzy pigtail bopping along. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-Poor Mrs. Biddlebox gets up on the wrong side of the bunk. In the throes of a "dreary little funk," she has an idea: "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!" She gathers up the gloom and after twirling fog like spaghetti and rolling up the sky like carpeting, she bakes the entire bad day and eats it. "Now with her belly full of crumblies/And her nighty cap pulled tight,/She threw the door wide open/And welcomed in the night!" Frazee's dramatic illustrations slather the pages in black and gray with subtle color highlights and eerie swirls of white. If gloom and doom have a face, this could be it. However, the depictions are not without humor. Mrs. B. is a determined little witch with a great shock of frizzled ponytail. She gleefully struts around the baking bad day and devours it greedily. While the book looks like a Halloween title, its overarching theme is one of empowerment by facing one's troubles squarely.-Mary Ann Carcich, Mattituck-Laurel Public Library, Mattituck, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.