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Mercy Watson to the Rescueby Kate Dicamillo
Synopses & Reviews
KATE DICAMILLO is the author of the first story about Mercy Watson, MERCY WATSON TO THE RESCUE. She is also the author of THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX, which received the Newbery Medal; BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE, which received a Newbery Honor; THE TIGER RISING, which was named a National Book Award Finalist, and the new middle-grade novel THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEYOF EDWARD TULANE. She says, "A long time ago, my best friend's son, Luke Bailey, put a toy pig in a toy car and pushed the car around the living room, screaming, 'Look, look, pig taking a ride! Pig taking a ride!' During the next few hours, this phrase was repeated with such shocking volume and intensity that it took up permanent residence in my brain. MERCY WATSON GOES FOR A RIDE is the direct product of Luke's obsession and mine, a decade or so after the fact. Look, Luke, pig taking a ride!"
CHRIS VAN DUSEN illustrated the first book in the Mercy Watson series, MERCY WATSON TO THE RESCUE. He is also the author-illustrator of DOWN TO THE SEA WITH MR. MAGEE, A CAMPING SPREE WITH MR MAGEE, and IF I BUILT A CAR. He says, "I have four brothers (no sisters!), and cars were a big part of my upbringing. So when I read this story about a wild car ride, I couldn't wait to get started. I made the Watson convertible a 1959 because I love old cars with lots of chrome, fins, and style. It was also great to visit these characters again. We're becoming good friends!"
"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.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
To Mr. and Mrs. Watson, Mercy is not just a pig--she's a
'\'Mercy Watson Princess in Disguise, 6 copies,\''
Kate DiCamillo is the author of the first three stories starring Mercy Watson. She is also the author of THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX, which won the Newbery Medal; BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE, which received a Newbery Honor; THE TIGER RISING, a National Book Award Finalist; and THE MIRACULOUS JOUNREY OF EDWARD TULANE, winner of a BOSTON GLOBE-HORN BOOK Award. She lives in Minneapolis.
Chris Van Dusen has illustrated all the books in the Mercy Watson series. He is also the author-illustrator of DOWN TO THE SEA WITH MR. MAGEE, A CAMPING SPREE WITH MR. MAGEE, and IF I BUILT A CAR. He lives in Camden, Maine.
About the Author
Kate DiCamillo is the author of THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX, which received the Newbery Medal; BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE, which received a Newbery Honor; and THE TIGER RISING, which was named a National Book Award Finalist. She says, "Mercy Watson had been in my head for a long time, but I couldn't figure out how to tell her story. One day, my friend Alison was going on and on and on about the many virtues of toast. As I listened to her, I could see Mercy nodding in emphatic agreement. Sometimes you don't truly understand a character until you know what she loves above all else."
Chris Van Dusen is the author-illustrator of DOWN TO THE SEA WITH MR. MAGEE, A CAMPING SPREE WITH MR. MAGEE, and IF I BUILT A CAR. He says, "When I first read Mercy Watson to the Rescue, the characters were very vivid in my mind, and they just came to life when I started painting. This is exactly the type of story I love to illustrate — a wonderfully silly adventure with lots of action." This is his first book with Candlewick Press.
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