in Childrens Books by

Frances Kennedy speaks with us about her award winning childrens’ book,  The Pickle Patch Bathtub.

Iowa’s first lady Christy Vilsack selected this book to be given to each of Iowa’s 42,000 kindergartners in 2006.  Christy was then delighted to find out as she toured the state, that this book also struck a chord with Iowa’s senior citizens.

The Pickle Patch Bathtub recounts the true story of Fran Kennedy’s mother Donna, who as a 12 year old grew a pickle garden to make money to buy a real bathtub for her family from the Sears and Roebuck Catalog.  Her siblings also contributed their Christmas dimes and they were able to buy the tub, but it sat in a crate unopened on the front porch until the busy harvest season was over.

This book has not only helped with Christy Vilsack’s, literacy program, but has helped Iowa grandparents share some memories of farm life from their generation.


Monica Hadley is co-founder, host and producer of Writers' Voices on KRUU 100.1 fm in Fairfield, Iowa, a community low power radio station, and webmaster at

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