MERCY WATSON

PRINCESS IN DISGUISE

Everyone’s porcine wonder is back, and just in time for Halloween. Mrs. Watson knows just what Mercy should be for the holiday—a tiara-and-pink-tulle-clad princess. Mercy is dubious, especially after struggling with her dress, until the word “treats” is mentioned. Toast with a great deal of butter is her favorite treat, and that thought is enough to keep our little porker in the game. Following the formula perfected in the earlier titles, the hilarity is found more in the super-saturated illustrations than in the words. Whether Mercy is flying after a terrified cat or snuffling for butter candy, the illustrations are energetic and the sly wit is infectious. One quibble: Because of the placement of spot art, some of the nighttime images show a blue-black darkness and others look like broad daylight. No matter, though—young readers will clamor for more adventures with this irrepressible retro pig and her lovable family. (Fiction. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3014-0

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2007

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MERCY WATSON TO THE RESCUE

Hilarity and hijinks abound in this tale about a voracious swine with an overweening yen for hot buttered toast. Mercy is the beloved pet pig of the doting Mr. and Mrs. Watson. When Mercy sneaks into her owner’s bed one night, her added heft causes the bed to fall partway through the ceiling. Although the besotted Watsons assume Mercy is trotting off to seek help, the only search and rescue Mercy seems to care about involves butter and hot bread. In her quest for some midnight munchies, Mercy awakens the crotchety neighbor. Wild chases and mayhem ensue before help arrives in the guise of firefighters. DiCamillo aims for over-the-top fun with her tale of porcine shenanigans, and Van Dusen’s gouache illustrations provide a comical counterpart to the text. The glossy paintings, with exaggerated caricatures and lively colors, complement DiCamillo’s tone, although the scowling, lantern-jawed visage of the crabby neighbor borders on the unpleasant. With vocabulary that may prove too challenging for a novice, DiCamillo’s tale is best suited for those ready to move up. However, the pacing and the action easily make it right for shared reading. (Fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-7636-2270-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2005

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Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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