Cover of Piggins by Jane Yolen


The first Piggins book to be published. I wrote the books about Piggins because I love mystery stories and am also a great fan of the Masterpiece Theater series called “Upstairs, Downstairs.” I also wrote them especially for Jane Dyer who showed me her amazing drawings and won me over with her delicious and particular Victoriana style. In fact I would write more than those three Piggins book if Jane Dyer, had not said “Only if it is Piggins on the Titanic.” You see, while it takes me about six weeks to write one of the stories, it takes her about eight months–with hard research–to produce the art work for each book. But perhaps one day Jane Dyer will say “More Piggins!” just like many of my fans. And then I will write “Piggins Noel” or perhaps “Piggins and the Highland Fling.” Can’t you see him in a Scottish kilt? I think his mother was a McSwine. Or maybe “Piggins by the Sea” dressed in an old-fashioned bathing costume. This is both “A selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club” and “A Junior Literary Guild selection” and won a Parent’s Choice Award, a Charlotte Award (the New York State children’s book award) and the Golden Sower Award (the Nebraska children’s book award). It was also an ABA Pick of the List. There is an English edition.


  • PIGGINS is read on “Piggins & Picnic with Piggins,” performed by Roddy McDowell, audio casette, Caedmon, CBN 1822 ISBN 0-89845-765-3.

What reviewers have said:

  • “A sophisticated English mystery parody for the primary set. … One of a kind and sure to provide a great deal of fun for many readers and listeners.” — SLJ starred review
  • “Yolen’s staccato style gives the air of a satirical synopsis; the events are barely mysterious but they’re humorous and fun. Dyer’s carefully detailed interiors have the charm of a period dollhouse; her characters have a comic individuality. There aren’t many mysteries available at this level; this one should serve nicely.” — Kirkus
  • “(L)ots of fun for middle and older readers, who will enjoy solving the mystery. spying out the villains and the hiding place of the jewelry, and who just might make the connection with ‘Upstairs, Downstairs.'” — Horn Book