Mercy Watson Fights Crime (Mercy Watson Series #3)

( 3 )

Overview

“Another rollicking addition starring the porcine wonder. . . . Will keep newly independent readers turning the pages.”
 —School Library Journal (starred review)

Leroy Ninker is a small man with a big dream: he wants to be a cowboy, but for now he’s just a thief. In fact, Leroy is robbing the Watsons’ kitchen right this minute! But little does he know that a certain pig who loves toast with a great deal of butter is stirring from sleep. ...

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Overview

“Another rollicking addition starring the porcine wonder. . . . Will keep newly independent readers turning the pages.”
 —School Library Journal (starred review)

Leroy Ninker is a small man with a big dream: he wants to be a cowboy, but for now he’s just a thief. In fact, Leroy is robbing the Watsons’ kitchen right this minute! But little does he know that a certain pig who loves toast with a great deal of butter is stirring from sleep. Even less could he guess that a comedy of errors will soon lead this little man on the wild and raucous rodeo ride he’s always dreamed of! Nosy neighbors, astonished firemen, a puzzled policeman, and the ever-doting Watsons return for a hilarious adventure.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Larry Ninker wants to move up the job ladder, but most people would regard his dream as a bit too ambitious: After all, how many small-town thieves crawl up the rung to become professional cowboys? Into the thicket of Larry's professional problems stumbles one plump, tired, hungry pig. Mercy Watson's many fans will chuckle through this entire porcine adventure.
Publishers Weekly
Back in a third adventure, the plucky porker catches a thief in the midst of robbing the Watsons' kitchen in Mercy Watson Fights Crime by Kate DiCamillo, illus. by Chris Van Dusen. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Wendy Glenn
In this third tale surrounding the buttered toast-loving porcine, Mercy Watson succeeds in catching her first criminal. One night, after the Watsons and their pig are sound asleep, Leroy Ninker, a small man passing the time as a thief while dreaming of being a cowboy, enters their home. Leroy, in his attempt to load up the toaster, awakens Mercy. She comes downstairs to investigate. When sleepy Mercy learns that no toast is being made, she plops down in the kitchen and blocks Leroy's exit door. Before attempting to head out, Leroy pops a piece of Butter Barrel candy into his mouth, sending a delicious aroma into the air, one that Mercy cannot resist waking up to explore. As the story progresses, Leroy ends up riding Mercy's back, the neighboring Lincoln Sisters end up on the lawn wearing their nightgowns and wondering about the effects of pie before dinner, a police officer and two fire fighters end up witnessing the capture of a not-so-bad guy, Leroy Ninker ends up seeking to reform himself, and the Watsons end up offering up a snack of buttered toast to all involved. Filled with humorous language and clever plot twists, Mercy's third adventure is sure to lure and sustain young readers. The illustrations, done in gouache, are colorful and playful, rendering these fictional characters as larger-than-life members of a comfortably unusual community.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Another rollicking adventure starring the porcine wonder. One night, Mercy awakes to the sound of the toaster scraping along the kitchen counter, which can only mean one thing-someone is making toast. Her life revolves around hot buttered toast, so she heads for the kitchen. There she finds a little man in a ten-gallon hat stealing the toaster along with other household items. Hilarity ensues, and all of the familiar characters from the previous books make appearances. Humor abounds in this tale, both the slapstick and more subtle variety, which will keep newly independent readers turning the pages. DiCamillo has creatively woven in the elements that a good easy reader should have: repetition, simple sentence structure, and controlled vocabulary. Van Dusen's stylized illustrations enhance the action through their bright colors and exaggerated appearances of the humans. A great addition.-Elaine Lesh Morgan, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Mercy is back in this fun third installment of merrymaking, buttered-toast eating, and crime solving. When she's awakened by the sound of the toaster being dragged across the counter, she discovers a cowboy named Leroy walking off with a sackful of kitchen loot. Exhaustion gets the better of the porcine wonder and she settles down for a nap while Leroy settles down to some serious stealing. When Leroy opens up a butter-barrel candy, our butter-loving heroine wakes and gives Leroy a pig-bronco ride as she searches for the source of the butter smell. Of course, neighbors Eugenia and Baby Lincoln get in on the act and soon the firefighters and Officer Tomilello do too. A snack of toast with a great deal of butter follows for all. Silly crime-solving for the growing number of Mercy's young fans moving on from easy readers. (Fiction. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763625900
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 8/22/2006
  • Series: Mercy Watson Series , #3
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 297,982
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 390L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.31 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo is the author of The Magician’s Elephant, a New York Times bestseller; The Tale of Despereaux, which was awarded the Newbery Medal; Because of Winn-Dixie, a Newbery Honor book; and six books starring Mercy Watson, including the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride. She lives in Minneapolis.

Biography

Kate DiCamillo was born in Philadelphia, moved to Florida's warmer climate when she was five years old, and landed in Minneapolis in her 20s.

While working at a children's bookstore, DiCamillo wrote her first novel, Because of Winn-Dixie (2000). It was inspired by one of the worst winters in Minnesota, when she became homesick for Florida after overhearing a little girl with a southern accent. One thing led to another, and soon DiCamillo had created the voice of Opal Buloni, a resilient ten-year-old girl who has just moved to a small town in Florida with her father. Opal's mother abandoned the family when she was three years old, and her father has a hard time explaining why.

Thoug her father is busy and she has no friends, Opal's life takes a turn for the better when she adopts a fun-loving stray dog, Winn-Dixie (named after the supermarket where she found him, out in the parking lot). With Winn-Dixie as her guide, Opal makes friends with the eccentric people of her new town and even convinces her father to talk about her mother. Through Opal, readers are given a gift: a funny and heartrending story of how one girl's spirit can change her life and others'. Critics loved the book as much as readers, and in 2001, Because of Winn-Dixie was named a Newbery Honor Book.

DiCamillo's second novel, The Tiger Rising (2001), also deals with the importance of friendships, families, and making changes. Twelve-year-old Rob Horton and his father are dealing with grief, anger, and isolation after moving to Lister, Florida, six months after Rob's mother succumbs to cancer. Rob's father has a job at a motel (where they both also live), but it barely pays the bills. Struggling through the loss of his mother, Rob stifles his many confusing emotions as he battles bullies at his new school, worries about a rash on his legs, and copes with living in poverty.

In many ways, The Tiger Rising is a darker, more challenging story than Because of Winn-Dixie, but there is a similar light of deliverance in this beautiful novel: the healing power of friendship. Two meetings change Rob's life. First, he encounters a caged lion in the woods. Shortly thereafter he meets Sistine, who has recently moved to Lister after her parents' divorce. Sistine and Rob are polar opposites -- she stands up to the school bullies and lets out every bit of her anger at her parents' divorce and her relocation. Through Sistine, Rob recognizes himself in the caged lion, and the story of how the two children free the beast is one of the most engaging reads in contemporary young adult fiction. With the lion free, Rob is free to grieve the loss of his mother and move on with his bittersweet new life in Lister. A National Book Award finalist, The Tiger Rising is hard to put down as it overflows with raw, engaging emotion.

In 2003, DiCamillo's third novel, The Tale of Despereaux, was released to the delight of readers and critics alike. This odd but enthralling fairy tale also touches on some of the topics from her first two novels -- parental abandonment and finding the courage to be yourself. The hero, Despereaux Tilling, is a mouse who has always been different from the rest of his family, and to make matters worse, he has broken a serious rule: interacting with humans, particularly Princess Pea, who captures his heart. When Despereaux finds himself in trouble with the mouse community, he is saddened to learn that his father will not defend him. Characters in the tale are Princess Pea, whose mother died after seeing a rat in her soup; King Pea, who, in his grief, declares that no soup may be served anywhere in the kingdom; Miggery Sow, a servant girl who dreams of being a princess after being sold into servitude by her father after her mother dies; and Roscuro, a villainous rat with a curious soup obsession.

The story of how the characters' paths cross makes The Tale of Despereaux an adventurous read, reminiscent of Grimm's fairy tales. In the spirit of love and forgiveness, Despereaux changes everyone's life, including his own. As the unnamed, witty narrator of the novel tells us, "Every action, reader, no matter how small, has a consequence." Kate DiCamillo's limitless imagination and her talent for emotional storytelling earned her one of the most prestigious honors a children's author can receive -- in 2004, she was awarded the Newbery Medal.

Good To Know

DiCamillo wrote The Tale of Despereaux for a friend's son, who had asked her to write a story for him about a hero with large ears.

In our interview, DiCamillo shared some other fun facts with us: :

"I can't cook and I'm always on the lookout for a free meal."

"I love dogs and I'm an aunt to a very bad dog named Henry."

"My first job was at McDonald's. I was overjoyed when I got a nickel raise."

"I'm a pretty boring person. I like reading. I like eating dinner out with friends. I like walking Henry. And I like to laugh."

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    1. Hometown:
      Minneapolis, Minnesota
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 25, 1964
    2. Place of Birth:
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English, University of Florida at Gainesville, 1987

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 5, 2010

    Love the Illustrations

    My two kids love this book series by Chris Van Dusen and Kate DiCamillo. The illustrations in the book are fun, well drawn and very bright and colorful. As a parent who is also an artist I am drawn to books with well executed art work. This book was easy enough for my 2nd grader to read. This book also counted towards his school "AR" book reading program. I would recommend "Mercy Watson Fights Crime" to anyone with a young boy or girl, and also check out the other books in the Mercy Watson series, you will not be disappointed at all!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    Good book

    This is a grrat book for kids

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2010

    reason for getting this book

    My grandson used his gift card to get this book. He has books 1-4 and wanted to get the story book 6.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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