Annie Parnell, Co-Author of Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Won’t-Walk-the-Dog Cure | Speed Interview
The Children’s Book Review | September 9, 2017
The Children’s Book Review: Which five words best describe Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Won’t-Walk-the-Dog Cure?
Annie Parnell: Sweet, silly, heartwarming, entertaining & instructive.
How does it feel to be carrying on the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle legacy?
This has been a long-time goal of mine, so to finally see Missy in print, and to be a part of bringing the Piggle-Wiggle world to a whole new generation of children, has been beyond gratifying.
If you had to take a vacation with one of the characters from Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Won’t-Walk-the-Dog Cure, who would it be? Why?
The obvious answer would be Missy, because she’s so awesome, but I think I’ll go with Harold. He’s such an interesting character and I’m dying to know more about him, and what better way than chatting over umbrella drinks poolside? However, if I could take a vacation in the Upside-Down House, it’d be a toss up as to which I’d choose. Can I have both?
What has been the best reaction from a reader, so far?
My son. He’s 12 years old and a voracious reader. So different than I was as a kid, whereas I loved fiction he barely touches it and prefers history books. But after reading this book he was so engaged in the stories and characters that he kept sharing ideas with me for how he thought the next book should go. Most importantly, I could see just how proud he was of his mom for helping to bring this book into the world.
What’s on your nightstand? Any books?
Because my husband is in the process of turning it into a TV series, I’m currently in the third book of the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and I can’t put it down – only 11 more to go!
For your writing energy: sugar or salt, tea or coffee?
Coffee, I never touch the stuff. For me it’s tea all the way. I’m a Teavana junky. Black tea with cream and a little bit of stevia and I’m in heaven. Sugar and salt are both great, but in my opinion they’re best together. However, when it comes to writing I avoid sugar like the plague. It puts my brain into slo-mo sleepy mode.
Writing tools: computer, pen and paper, or all of the above?
Most of the time it’s computer because my handwriting is too slow and when I try to go fast even I can’t read it. The one exception is brainstorming, then it has to be white-board or pen and paper.
Can you tell us one more thing we may not know about Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Won’t-Walk-the-Dog Cure, your writing style, or yourself?
During the time Ann was writing the manuscript, she didn’t know it, but Missy and I were having a shared experience – both of our homes were under construction and consuming our every-day lives. I think we’re both glad that we’ve made it through to the other side.
Written by Ann M. Martin and Annie Parnell
Illustrated by Ben Hatke
Publisher’s Synopsis: Missy’s back for a second adventure in this spin-off series of the beloved Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books from Ann M. Martin and Annie Parnell!
Missy Piggle-Wiggle is finally starting to feel settled in at the upside-down house, and the families in town have come to trust her magical cures for all sorts of childhood (mis)behavior, just like her great-aunt.
But right when everything is going so well, a terrible storm blasts through Little Spring Valley, damaging the upside-down house. Now the house is in need of repair (and isn’t happy about it one bit), and money is becoming pretty tight for Missy.
And, on top of that, the children of Little Spring Valley continue to need Missy’s inventive cures, such as the Smarty-Pants Cure, the Whiney-Whiners Cure, and the Won’t-Walk-the-Dog Cure. Luckily, Missy knows just what to do!
Ages 8-11 | Publisher: Feiwel & Friends | 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1250071705
About Annie Parnell
Children’s author Annie Parnell, the great-granddaughter of Betty MacDonald, is the creator of the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle book series and The Egg and I. 60 years later, Parnell has joined forces with Ann M. Martin, the beloved author of children’s and YA books best known for The Baby-sitter’s Club series, to create Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Whatever Cure, a modern-day take on the original series that has young Missy Piggle-Wiggle stepping into her great-aunt Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s enchanted shoes to take charge of the Upside-Down House and its magical menagerie. Parnell and Martin have published the second book of the successful series titled Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Won’t Walk the Dog Cure in which Missy cures whiney-whiners and smarty-pantsiness, as well as other habits, while continuing to make a life for herself in Little Spring Valley.
Born in San Luis Obsipo, Parnell lived in San Jose and eventually Boulder, CO where she grew up riding horses, raises cows and gardening. Parnell was very close to her grandmother, Anna MacDonald Canham, Betty’s daughter, visiting her frequently in Monterey and listening to her grandmother’s stories about her great-grandmother and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. Her grandmother Anne MacDonald Canham also followed her mother Betty’s legacy by publishing Happy Birthday, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, based on stories and characters created by her mother. Prior to creating a follow-up series, Parnell worked for nearly a decade with some of the most successful writers and producers in television. After she married and had her two children, Parnell began seeing her great grandmother’s stories in an entirely new perspective. Instead of reinventing Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, she decided to create a new character ‘Missy,’ the great-niece of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and a younger and more contemporary character, to send her back into these similar stories first created by her great grandmother.
Today, she prides herself on being a mommy, wife, photographer and feminist who also calls herself the Ideological Mom believing the recipe for happiness is “10 parts logic, a sprinkling of idealism mixed daily with fresh ideas.” Her grandmother, Betty Macdonald, is her #1 fan and couldn’t be happier to “pass down the torch.”
This speed interview with Annie Parnell, author of Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Won’t-Walk-the-Dog Cure, was conducted by Bianca Schulze. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with Ann M. Martin, Ben Hatke, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Speed Interview.