Fran Kennedy

The Pickle Patch Bathtub“Imagine how much fun it was to ask the Ten Speed Press for 45,000 copies of The Pickle Patch Bathtub,” says Iowa’s First Lady, Christy Vilsack, who selected the book to be given to each of Iowa’s 42,000 kindergartners as part of her literacy program in 2006.

In her column on Offenburger.com, Christy writes, “When I chose The Pickle Patch Bathtub,” by Dubuque writer Frances Kennedy,… I had no idea it would also touch a chord in Iowa’s senior citizens.” While visiting small town libraries, Christy recounts the true story told in the book, about the author’s mother Donna. When Donna was 12, she grew pickles to make money to buy a real bathtub from the Sears and Roebuck Catalog. (She had outgrown the galvanized tub in the kitchen.) With the contribution of her sibling’s Christmas dimes, she finally had enough to buy the tub, which sat in a crate on the front porch until after harvest, when it was enjoyed by the whole family.