Mercy Watson, Porcine Wonder

mercy cover


Mercy Watson to the Rescue

By Kate DiCamillo, Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen


Published by: Candlewick; 1 edition (August 23, 2005)

Available in: paperback, hardcover, audible audio, Kindle, NOOK

At the time of this review there were six books in the Mercy Watson series.




Hot buttered toast is the lead-in to this delicious caper starring a pig, her human family, misunderstandings, shades of vaudeville, and warm and fuzzy hilarity all around. How can it miss?

Of course it doesn’t. Written by one of today’s foremost children’s writers, Newberry Medal winner Kate DiCamillo brings sweet Mercy to life with subtle human emotions. Children will easily identify with Mercy and her fear of sleeping alone, a desire for good things to eat, and sometimes the (merciful) innocence that keeps her blind to grumpy neighbors who just can’t abide by pigs who sit at the table.

This beginning chapter book displays writing devices that make it especially appealing to newly independent readers. It’s extremely short but packed with creative vocabulary. The use of repetition moves the story forward at key moments while keeping the act of reading on a comfortable level. The characters are each unique and somewhat eccentric, the action leaps and falls (literally) through the page and every chapter is more comic than the last. Very large typeface and lots of white space fill the easy-on-the-eyes pages.

The final element is the glorious, colorful, plump and soft illustrations. Most chapter books don’t get this kind of four-color treatment throughout the book, and Mercy rolls and relishes in each bright picture. Van Dusen’s work is equal to the task of illustrating the adventures of Mercy, the porcine wonder.

What do you say teachers, parents and writers? Use the comment below and let’s chat….

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