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Mercy Watson to the Rescue
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About the Author

Kate DiCamillo is the beloved author of many books for young readers, including the Mercy Watson and Tales from Deckawoo Drive series. Her books Flora & Ulyssesand The Tale of Despereaux both received Newbery Medals. A former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, she lives in Minneapolis.Chris Van Dusen is the author-illustrator of The Circus Ship, King Hugo's Huge Ego, Randy Riley's Really Big Hit, and Hattie & Hudson, and the illustrator of the Mercy Watson and Tales from Deckawoo Drive series as well as Mac Barnett's President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath. Chris Van Dusen lives in Maine.

Reviews

K-Gr 2-Mercy Watson, a disarmingly charming pig adopted by a loving human family, makes her debut in this new series of chapter books for beginning readers. After the Watsons tuck Mercy into bed with a sweet song and a kiss, she feels "warm inside, as if she has just eaten hot toast with a great deal of butter on it." However, afraid of the dark, she snuggles into bed with the couple. Moments later, all three are rudely awakened from their lovely dreams with a "BOOM!" as their bed falls into a hole that has opened in the floor beneath them. In hot pursuit of buttered toast, "the porcine wonder" inadvertently gets help and saves the day. Along the way, she causes great, humorous distress to the next-door Lincoln sisters. Van Dusen's bright gouache illustrations have a jovial exaggerated style and capture the sometimes frantic action and silliness of Mercy's "heroic" escapade.-Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Newbery Medalist DiCamillo (The Tale of Despereaux) once again displays her versatility with this jaunty debut to an early chapter-book series. The tale stars Mercy, a pig with personality a-plenty-and a penchant for "hot toast with a great deal of butter on it." When Mr. and Mrs. Watson tuck Mercy into bed at night and switch off the light, their pet no longer feels "warm and buttery-toasty inside" and decides "she would be much happier if she wasn't sleeping alone." So she climbs into the Watsons' bed and dreams of hot buttered toast, until the overloaded bed begins to fall through the floor. Mercy's obsession prompts her to hop off the bed-her devoted owners convinced that she's gone to summon the fire department. Alas, the peckish porcine's single-minded pursuit leads her to the kind next-door neighbor and ultimately does prompt a call to the fire department-but not before a series of comical twists (involving the kind neighbor's sister, Eugenia, who is of the opinion that "pigs should not live in houses"). Van Dusen's (If I Built a Car, reviewed above) boldly hued, tactically hyperbolic gouache paintings tap into the narrative's wry humor and joie de vivre-a memorable sequence depicts Eugenia in curlers and bathrobe chasing Mercy through the yards and winding up in an exhausted heap atop the porker heroine. Everyone ends up around the Watsons' table where the besotted couple piles up the undeserved toast for their "porcine wonder"-a fitting cap to this animated pig tale. Ages 6-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Van Dusen's boldly hued, tactically hyperbolic gouache paintings tap into the narrative's wry humor and joie de vivre.
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Appropriate as both a picture book and a beginning reader, this joyful story combines familiar elements with a raucous telling that lets readers in on the joke.
--Booklist, starred review DiCamillo employs enough creative word choices to elevate the story beyond the controlled vocabulary of a first reader, yet the short chapters, large font, double spacing, and easygoing narrative make it approachable for transitional readers.
--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, The Hilarity and hijinks abound.
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Kirkus Reviews Mercy Watson, a disarmingly charming pig adopted by a loving human family, makes her debut in this new series of chapter books for beginning readers.
--School Library Journal Featured/recommended
--St. Paul Pioneer Press DiCamillo's suspenseful yarn keeps readers turning the page, while the retro-folksy illustrations by Chris Van Dusen go for laughs and make for a gentle transition from picture books.
--FamilyFun All heck breaks loose in this affectionate screwball take on bringing up baby.
--Parenting This fast-paced tale features a pig named Mercy, a problem neighbor, and piles of buttered toast.
--People Magazine Short and peppy chapters for reading or read-alouds.
--Chicago Tribune Mr. and Mrs. Watson live in a charmingly retro world with their adorable pet pig.
--Nick Jr. Family Magazine Best Books of the Year DiCamillo's tightly woven, outlandish story shows she's a pro at making readers laugh.
--Pittsburgh Post Gazette With its straightforward story line, repeated text and hilarious illustrations, this new series should delight young readers.
--Book Page An ebullient new character for early chapter-book readers in a series that's destined to be a classic.
--Midwest Book Review Porcine merriment.
--Star Tribune A beguiling blend of slapstick and whimsy.
--Child Magazine's Best Children's Book Award

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