Title: Tiggy goes to the Hospital
Author: Jane Carruth
Illustrator: Tony Hutchings
Publisher: Victoria House Publishing, 1982
Do you remember the Honey Bear “A Happy Ending” books? I had a bunch of them when I was a kid, and quite honestly, I liked them. I read them all the time when I was 5-ish, and I thought the art was cute and the stories were nice. (There’s that word again…beware of ‘nice’ stories!) And this is what I continued to think, up until I had kids of my own and dug Tiggy and her various furry friends out of storage. It was then that I realized:
1. Five-year-olds don’t know from good books.
2. The art wasn’t bad, but the printing quality was quite iffy.
3. The stories were…well, not great. And in some places, really bad.
In case you haven’t had the pleasure of reading Tiggy et al., let me take you through a typical Tiggy book. In this case, Tiggy goes to the Hospital (inspired by my weekend run to emergency, whereupon my appendix was yanked out and the day was saved):
The plot: Tiggy has a new doll’s buggy. She is pushing it down the garden path, she lets go of it, it rolls into the street. Tiggy dashes after it and is promptly hit by Mr. Weasel. (Not full-on, mind you. More of a clipping.) Mr. Weasel apparently feels terrible as Tiggy is taken by ambulance to the hospital. An x-ray later and we find out that Tiggy will live to push a buggy again. She is uncooperative and salty with the nursing staff and goes home the next day. Mr. Weasel buys her a new carriage, the end.
1. I hated how they stressed how badly Mr. Weasel was feeling, like he was the victim. “Poor Mr. Weasel was very upset.” Um, I think Tiggy and her parents might’ve been a tad more upset. He wasn’t the ‘poor’ one in this case.
2. The ambulance man telling Tiggy not to cry. Dude, now is a perfect time to cry. When you get hit by any kind of vehicle, you’re allowed to cry buckets! That’s a law!
3. Tiggy’s mom telling her not to cry. Seriously, guys. Do you want Tiggy to be happy she was hit by a truck? SHE IS ALLOWED TO FEEL FEELINGS!
4. The nurse saying how they’d miss Tiggy as she was leaving the hospital. First, you don’t know her well enough to miss her. Tiggy was only there one night. Second, she was a nightmare and wouldn’t let you do your work. So unless you’re being sarcast- wait, you’re being sarcastic. Never mind. I get it now.
5. Tiggy’s dress literally changes from pink to yellow to pink in the matter of three pages. And there is no reason for that, except shoddy print quality. For serious.
My husband hates Tiggy. He hates Hoppity and Chippy and all their adorable forest friends.
I don’t hate them because I have fond childhood memories of reading these books. But, objectively, they’re not great. Really not great. Like, these books would NOT be published now. Karl calls Hoppity Gets Lost ‘Get Lost, Hoppity,‘ and we all have a good laugh. But, really, I will review that book at some point because it is the worst of the bunch.
My girls love Tiggy and Hoppity and Chippy and all their adorable forest friends.
Which brings me back to point 1, list 1: Five-year-olds don’t know from good books.
Have any questionable kid lit suggestions for me to review? Send ’em my way! I love bad books almost as much as good ones (and I have a collection to prove it!) Back tomorrow with more awesome (and recent) books!