From the one and only Kate DiCamillo comes an irresistible new hero for early chapter book readers, brightly captured with comic nostalgic flair by Chris Van Dusen.
To Mr. And Mrs. Watson, Mercy is not just a pig – she’s a porcine wonder. And to the portly and good-natured Mercy, the Watsons are an excellent source of buttered toast, not to mention that buttery-toasty feeling she gets when she snuggles into bed with them. This is not, however, so good for the Watsons’ bed. BOOM! CRACK! As the bed and its occupants slowly sink through the floor, Mercy escapes in a flash – ‘to alert the fire department,’ her owners assure themselves. But could Mercy possibly have another emergency in mind – like a sudden craving for their neighbors’ sugar cookies? Welcome to the wry and endearing world of Mercy Watson – an ebullient new character for early chapter-book readers in a series that’s destined to be a classic.
For kids feeling a wee bit big for picture books, this first title in a new chapter-book series is a perfect fit. With a beguiling blend of slapstick and whimsy, DiCamillo (author of The Tale of Despereaux and Because of Winn-Dixie) introduces readers to Mercy Watson, a coddled pet pig or, rather, a ‘porcine wonder’ who favors hot buttered toast and sleeping with owners Mr. And Mrs. Watson. (Van Dusen’s amusing pictures add to the merriment.) Then tragedy strikes when Mercy’s weight causes the family bed to start sinking through the floor. What ever will Mercy do? (ages 6 to 8)
Child magazine’s Best Children’s Book Awards 2005
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.
School Library Journal
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