DiCamillo, Kate. Mercy Watson to the Rescue. Illustrated by Chris van Dusen. Candlewick Press, 2005. ISBN 0763622702. $12.99. 80 pp. Reviewer: Marsha D. Broadway Reading Level: Primary Rating: Excellent Genre: Humorous stories; Subject: Pigs--Juvenile fiction; Neighbors--Juvenile fiction; Fire departments--Juvenile fiction; Book--Reviews; Mercy, a “porcine wonder,” is adored by Mr. and Mrs. Watson, who sing to her night and morning. These songs make Mercy feel warm and comfy like hot buttered toast. One night after the lights are turned out, Mercy, no longer feeling warm and buttery, leaves her bed to dream with the Watsons. With a BOOM! and CRACK!, the overloaded bed begins to break through the upstairs’ bedroom floor. Afraid to move, the Watsons are delighted when Mercy leaps from the bed and heads out the front door. Mercy has hot buttered toast on her mind, but the Watsons think she is going for help. Mercy’s appetite leads her to the neighbors, who summon the fire department to rid them of Mercy. The ensuing chase brings the neighbors and fire department to answer the Watsons’ call for help, and, of course, Mercy is the hero. Doting parent-like owners, disgruntled neighbors, and a single-minded pig combine for a merry misadventure in which all is well that ends with hot buttered toast. Illustrations with expressive faces, both human and pig, and a bright color palette add details to the text and heighten the humor. This title is the first in a series featuring the irrepressible Mercy. DiCamillo, author of Because of Winn-Dixie and Newbery Medal winner Tale of Despereaux, connects with early readers through engaging and humorous storytelling.
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