Uncle Wiggily is one of the most popular and enduring characters in American literature. A cheerful “bunny rabbit gentleman” with a wonderful knack for setting things right, he has been a reassuring friend to millions of children since early in the century. Uncle Wiggily’s amusing stories speak to readers about familiar experiences, and feature a lively cast of children and animal characters: Toodle and Noodle Flat-Tail, two playful beavers; Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, Uncle Wiggily’s loyal muskrat housekeeper; Stubby Toes, the little boy who is helped by a sure-footed rabbit named Baby Bunty; Grandpa Goosey Gander; the Kite Boy; and many others. Full of charm, warmth, and old-fashioned fun.
Howard Roger Garis graduated from Binghamton High School and attended Stevens Institute of Technology at Hoboken, New Jersey. From 1896 to 1947, Mr. Garis was a reporter and special writer for the Newark, New Jersey "Evening News." His Uncle Wiggily stories first appeared in the "News" in 1910, were sydicated in 1915, and continued to be published for more than forty years, at one time appearing in one hundred newspapers.
Howard R. Garis wrote 35 volumes of Uncle Wiggily stories under his own name, as well as numerous other children's books under several pseudonyms. Among series Garis contributed to are Tom Swift (as Victor Appleton), the Bobbsey Twins (as Laura Lee Hope), the Motor Boys (as Clarence Young), the Great Marvel series, and books featuring Baseball Joe (as Lester Chadwick) and the Camp Fire Girls (as Marion Davidson). He also wrote "With Force of Arms" (1902), four volumes of the Rocket Riders series, and seven volumes of the Teddy series. His wife, Lilian McNamara Garas, whom he married in 1900, collaborated on several of his books including the Bobbsey Twins volumes.
My Fifth Grade teacher read this wonderful book to me and the rest of our group of enchanted 10 year-old’s in April 1960…
Mrs. Stevens was a doughty middle-aged toughie, whose habitual story-time fare was from out of the Old Testament, but she had made an exception now, because we Fourth-Graders had been loosed upon her in March when our former young teacher became (yikes) preggers.
You see, in 1960 little girls were raised to be nice clean housewives - and boys to be establishment home-run sluggers. Of course I didn't fit the mold.
And neither did my little brother (you'll see why, later)!
And besides, old Uncle Wiggly only espoused good sense and altruistic decency - right up Mrs Stevens' alley!
This was in 1960, and expectant teachers DID NOT DARE teach once they were showing.
Plus, that pretty, young teacher had been single!
Unheard of back then (The Pill was not to be invented for another year or so, so Everyone could then sigh with relief and Hide their Love Away, as John Lennon sang three years later).
So change was in the air. JFK had been sworn in, that January, and there was now a New Frontier - or many, many of them, as we would soon learn as we hit our teen years.
But - guess what? My Grandmother was about to yank my little brother and me out of school to go to - get this! - the White House.
That very day.
Yes, Jackie Kennedy had totally redecorated the old mansion and Opened it to the Public!
One small step for Women… but one Giant Step for the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
Gagi (my grand-mom) had got a pre-season deal for us on a tour bus supervised by a stalwart (and slightly wearing due to her intrusively loud volubility) tour guide.
But little did Gagi know my adventurous seven-year-old brother musta hatched a brave secret plan, once in the Home of the Brave, to see the presidential quarters - and Jackie, Caroline and John Junior - up close.
He would have to display an admirable amount of stealth, after having evaded JFK's Marine guards...
He was up to it, though.
What a Profile in Courage.
Did he get there in the end?
For after the tour - in fact, QUITE a while after we anxious tourists had cooled our heels outside the front portico (and after the grinning driver, paid by the hour, had mentally tallied the day's take) he showed up.
Arm and arm with two grinning but beefy US Marines!
This was no time to peacefully recollect one of Uncle Wiggly's beloved if-only maxims.
Like do unto others what you wish they WOULDN'T do to you?
Resting his aching biceps back on the bus, my brother musta day-dreamed about the Headlines -
He MIGHT have made had that day gone as per his plan -
This books was a mix of things I really liked and things I really didn't. The things I didn't like won out though, because there are so much better books out there.
What I liked: Uncle Wiggily does a lot of helping people, even people who aren't particularly kind to him. Most stories involve him seeing someone in need and working to help them.
What I didn't like: lots of labeling kids as good/bad (which I don't like because it gives a fixed, unchangeable, and stereotyped character to young children who are as complex as the rest of us and still growing and learning), and lots of negative gender stereotyping that I don't want my kids exposed to--like saying that boys can be bad but girls can't, and a song telling a boy to be a man and not cry, and other things of that sort. I also felt like there was a lot of negative behavior on display that my kids wouldn't necessarily think of, but might start copying after they heard it in the book--taunting each other, being unkind to animals, calling another kid a "bad boy," etc. Another thing is that one of the first stories is about a freckled girl who wishes she wasn't freckled so she could be pretty; the point of the story is that Uncle Wiggily helps her see freckles as beautiful, but I'm quite sure what my kids would take from that is that freckles make people less pretty. (And they both have freckles, so...not an idea that I want to read out loud, even if it's just to then try to negate it.)
So overall, not a win for me. I started reading it to my kids and promptly stopped. Reviewed the rest of the book and decided not to continue. There are definitely some stories in there that would be fine on their own, but the stories are constantly referring to each other, so it's hard to read just one as a standalone.
This is a wonderful collection of stories that all children should read. The quality of writing, style, and ideas can help educate children in appreciating fine literature and language. We started reading this book at an early age of four and within several stories my son had fallen in love with the book. He wants to re-read it as often as he can. This is a keeper for our family.
I read this hoping to find some good material here for my story times at work. No luck. It was written in 1921 and you can really tell how dated it is! Uncle Wiggily is perfect and every little girl or boy he interacts with does exactly as he hopes they will do and every problem is quickly and easily solved. Uncle Wiggily makes the generalization (even states it outright) that all girls are good and only some boys are bad. But, of course, if you treat those boys nicely they will immediately change and become good boys. I know this book has been popular for years, but I just couldn't stand to finish it (I made it 2/3 of the way through and skimmed the rest). Needless to say, I will not be using any of it with my young library patrons.
This is the first long novel I have ever read to my children. I was afraid they would be bored with so few pictures (and only black and white sketches) to look at but I was pleasantly surprised. They sat in absolute awe of the animal adventures. They talk about Uncle Wigggily frequently. We will definitely be reading many long books together in the future.
A great book of Uncle Wiggly stories. My mother grew up on these, somehow I never heard of them, and then she gave us some Wiggly books for our kids. They were a big hit. Ended up having them on audio as well as in book form. The kids just could not get enough of these gentle tales of a gentleman rabbit and the average problems in a world of talking animals.
When I was a little girl, my aunt had an Uncle Wiggily board game that I enjoyed playing at her house. I bought one for my oldest child when he was little but went though his and my entire childhoods not realizing there were books. Then one of my best friends sent one for my younger children.
As so many others have done, it's very easy to draw comparisons between the Uncle Wiggily stories and the Old Mother West Wind stories by Thornton Burgess. My 7yo and I agree that we love both but prefer the latter. The UW stories are more predictable; UW and Nurse Jane are featured in every story, and the pattern is always the same: UW goes in search of an adventure, finds someone(s) in distress, and provides assistance. There's a funny little tag at the end of every story that my son loved and asked me to read twice. They're lovely stories, but they're less complex than the Burgess ones.
As I read this book, I was reminded of the Thornton burgess animal stories books. It has a very similar feel and is full of good moral stories and simple short stories kids can relate to this… Such as losing a tooth or going sledding or having Thanksgiving. But this authors style is a little bit more silly and nonsensical at times to make sure the moral stories aren't too heavy. My kids like that each story ends with the silly nonsensical paragraph that leads into the next story.
Great for my six-year-old boy and my four-year-old likes to listen to.
It definitely has some older language and talks about automobiles and playing tic-tacks on your neighbors… Tricking them. But the words aren't very large… Just from a different era.
I grew up playing the Uncle Wiggly game at my grandparents house, but I didn't know it was a book series until I started looking into homeschooling my son. I picked up this copy at a thrift store and tried to read one chapter a day to my son over the summer, but my resolve waned and it took me longer to finish than I intended. This series is certainly dated so I wasn't sure if my four-year-old would follow, but he kept asking me to read, so I guess he did okay. I just learned that Howard Garis was a friend of Andrew Svenson (pen name Jerry West) and encouraged him to write fiction for kids. Svenson is known for writing "The Happy Hollister" series which was also a fixture of my childhood and is the series I started reading aloud to my kids after Uncle Wiggly. It's a small world!
This was a delightful book filled with a collection of stories about Uncle Wiggly and his woodland friends. It was written about 100 years ago, so the language in the stories sounds similar to watching "Miracle on 34th Street". That also means the sentences can be quite lengthy before hitting an end. I read this as a read-aloud with my youngest. We both loved the stories, but my sons favorite was Uncle Wiggly and the Mumps. Many times all of my kids were present as we read, and they would laugh or comment on what they heard too. In that way, the book is kind of timeless, appealing to many ages... depending on whether you like talking, engaging, dressed-up woodland creatures or not!
I read these stories to my twin grandsons after meals when they visited us. They enjoyed them and entertained them. The copy I got from Amazon is interesting because the cover is put on backwards. Was going to return it but decided I liked the uniqueness of having a printing error book so I kept it. This edition did not have very many pictures so was disappointed because they love having pictures with the stories.
I read this, just for me, not for a child. You can laugh if you want. I read the stories with a beloved teacher when I was young, and reading them again reminded me of her. I love how playful the stories are, playing with words and ideas just like a young child plays. I wish I lived close enough to read this as bedtime stories to my grandsons.
We read this as part of Sonlight's preK curriculum. Occasionally edited some non-politically correct terms throughout the book, or adjusted phrases for my 4 year old son. However, he thoroughly enjoyed the stories and wanted to keep reading and reading. I like the episodic nature of the chapters that can each be read as short stories.
I loved this book! Every night my dad reads me a bed time story well used to and this was my favorite! One night i said to my dad, "Dad maybe we should try reading the whole thing!" and he said yes so he did!
DNF, I was reading this aloud to my seven-year-old son. It did not draw me in at all. And it did not really grasp his attention either. We read the first third of the book. And then just moved on to other books and never returned to this one. Stories were OK. But all had a very similar format.
After I told my husband the type of books I like he said,"Then you would love Uncle Wiggly books." This book had a lot of action, and keeps your attention. I felt closer to my hubby reading a book that he enjoyed as a child.
In all fairness, my kids would probably rate this at 5 stars. They love Uncle Wiggily, but it's a labor of love for me to read it aloud. The audio version by A.C. Fellner was appreciated, but the nasaly "voices" of every character except Uncle Wiggily was pretty grating.
This book completely captivated my four and a half year old daughter. Also, brought up some good discussion points about outdated gender stereotypes and even sparked some conversation on racism (Garis uses some negative racial adjectives when describing native Americans on one page in the book).
This book is goofy. My kids ate it up! My favorite part was the nonsensical final sentences of each story that told what the next chapter would be about. Things like “so if the cat doesn’t brush its teeth when the clock strikes ten, I’ll tell you next time about...”
We were reading a chapter a day, and every was loving it....saying it was so funny and such. Then last week the two older boys (ages 11 and 10) said they felt it was too "baby" and could we PLEASE stop reading it. The younger two (ages 7 and 5) won't hear of stopping the book so we are now having Uncle Wiggily Wednesday and will read one chapter each Wednesday.
The stories are quaint, with a moral lesson. They do start sounding the same after a bit so it's probably a good idea to spread them out some. You can definitely tell it was written 'back in the day'.
Updated February 2013 - We're done! We stopped reading for a while but finally picked it up again and finished. The youngest two (now 9 and 6) told me they want to keep the book forever and asked me to read their future kids stories from it when they came over to visit. The older boys (both 12) stopped listening a long time ago.
I started to read this book to the boys at the start of the summer. They have an Uncle Wiggly counting game that they enjoyed playing for a couple of years, and when I realized there was a whole large book filled with stories about Uncle Wiggly, I had to get it for them! They laughed so much while I read this to them. It is about the adventures of a rabbit gentleman who tries to help animals and children. This was nearly 300 pages (a larger book too), but was so great to read chapter by chapter! Some of it seems pretty outdated, especially considering Uncle Wiggly has a rheumatism crutch even! However, it was grand. My sons would probably give it a higher rating than I gave. ;)
I read this out loud to my 7-year-old and he LOVED it. I found myself editing at times as I read. There's some pretty hefty sexism from time to time - like assuming all girls will be good to animals but some boys are bad boys who are mean to animals.
I remember enjoying this a lot as a kid and it was fun to see him enjoy it so much.
The only other issue is that it's not really great for reading out loud. There are lots of REALLY long sentences. There were plenty of times where I had to read it something again because I got the phrasing wrong the first time and it made no sense.
He asked for more though so we were able to get a couple other books free for the Kindle.
This book is cracking me up. It is a series of stories about a rabbit family. Each story ends on a cliffhanger saying that tomorrow night they can hear the rest if they are good little children, or if they think they would like to hear it. Every time I finish a chapter, my kids literally BEG for the next chapter. We are all really enjoying it. Highly recommend for reading to your young ones!
A wonderful adventure book. Chapters are a little bit longer, so it is a good test to see if your children are ready to listen longer. Uncle Wiggily is always willing to lend a helping hand. My daughter remembered it from when we read it two years ago and would often join in to listen. I wasn't sure my son really liked this book, but when we read the last chapter he said "Let's read it again!".