Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride (Mercy Watson Series #2)

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Overview

Mr. and Mrs. Watson's porcine wonder, Mercy, loves nothing more than a ride in the car. It takes a fair amount of nudging and bribing and a "You are such a good sport, darling" to get the portly pig out of the driver's seat, but once the convertible is on the road, Mercy loves the feel of the wind tickling her ears and the sun on her snout. One day the Watsons' motoring ritual takes an unexpected turn, however, when their elderly neighbor Baby Lincoln pops up in the backseat in hopes of some "folly and adventure"...
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Overview

Mr. and Mrs. Watson's porcine wonder, Mercy, loves nothing more than a ride in the car. It takes a fair amount of nudging and bribing and a "You are such a good sport, darling" to get the portly pig out of the driver's seat, but once the convertible is on the road, Mercy loves the feel of the wind tickling her ears and the sun on her snout. One day the Watsons' motoring ritual takes an unexpected turn, however, when their elderly neighbor Baby Lincoln pops up in the backseat in hopes of some "folly and adventure" -- and in the chaos that ensues, an exuberant Mercy ends up behind the wheel! Soon there's a policeman on her tail, a struggle for the brake, and a blissfully airborne Mercy. Of course, it's nothing that an extra helping of buttered toast can't fix!

The amiable Mercy Watson takes an automobile ride she'll never forget in the second tale of an ebullient first chapter-book series by Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
One thing is incontrovertible: Pigs are not good drivers. Nothing proves that porcine postulate better than this chaotic road adventure of Mercy Watson. When our cheery little porker takes the wheel in this festive storybook, havoc breaks loose. Snout-tickling excitement.
Publishers Weekly
The buttered-toast-loving porker is back in the paper-over-board Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride by Kate DiCamillo, illus. by Chris Van Dusen. When Mr. Watson takes Mercy for their customary Saturday drive, a surprise in the back seat takes them for a turn. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Mercy Watson roars back into our lives in Kate DiCamillo's latest installment of the "Mercy Watson" chronicles. When Mr. Watson suggests their weekly ride in their pink Cadillac, Mercy hops into the driver's seat. Willing to do anything for toast, Mercy is persuaded to let Mr. Watson drive when she is promised that by acquiescing she will receive heaps of hot buttered toast upon her return. On their outing (with Baby Lincoln stowed away in the backseat), Mercy's urge to drive overpowers her and she takes the wheel. Driving is tougher than Mercy expected and her comeuppance assures us that Mercy will not be driving again anytime soon. The story is short and sweet and beautifully written. Any story that ends with lots of hot buttered toast is one I have to recommend. 2006, Candlewick, Ages 7 to 10.
—Joan Kindig, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Another action-packed escapade staring the "porcine wonder." Every weekend, when Mr. Watson takes his pig for a ride in his pink convertible, Mercy must be cajoled out of the driver's seat with the promise of a tasty treat upon their return. One Saturday, their elderly neighbor, Baby Lincoln, stows away in the backseat. Man and pig speed happily along until Baby reveals her presence. Surprised, Mr. Watson takes his eyes off the road, and Mercy seizes her chance, jumps into his lap, and grabs the wheel. The vehicle zooms along, pursued by a police car. With Mr. Watson unable to reach the brake, it takes some heroics from Baby to save the day. Back at the house, the ever-serene Mrs. Watson manages to mollify everyone-including Baby's crotchety sister and the angry policeman-with a stack of hot buttered toast. Written with simple vocabulary and lots of repetition, the quick-paced narrative flows gracefully and is packed with amusing moments. The glossy, full-color gouache paintings provide visual clues to support the text and add greatly to the humor. The characters' facial expressions are laugh-out-loud funny, and the idealized 1950s setting strikes just the right tone of innocence. A fresh, fun-filled must-have for those looking to spiff up beginning-chapter-book collections.-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
She's back! Mercy, the porcine wonder, is back in all her buttered-toast eating glory. It's Saturday, time for a ride in the pink convertible. But, does Mercy like to ride or drive? Drive! Only Mrs. Watson's promise of extra helpings of hot buttered toast can get this clever pig to scoot across the front seat and enjoy the weekly adventure. And when next-door neighbor Baby Lincoln hankers for a little adventure of her own, the fun really begins. From the toast icons that surround the page numbers, to faux-tape spine, and hilariously gaudy over-the-top illustrations, this is a throw-back in the best sense of the word. When Mercy ends up sitting on top of Mr. Watson in the driver's seat and Baby has to crawl over the seat to help out, it's hard not to think of Lucy, Ethel and Ricky caught in another pickle. All's well that ends well, of course, and that means everyone can celebrate with a stack of toast and an extra pat of butter. (Fiction. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780606066990
  • Publisher: San Val, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/22/2009
  • Series: Mercy Watson Series , #2
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 1,402,741
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate DiCamillo

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.

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
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2006

    great for readers in transition.

    if your young reader is moving from picture books to those with more words and few if any illustrations, MERCY is just the ticket. Wonderful stories in short chapter form, illustrations bordering on genius. I can't say enough

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2012

    Hilarious & Highly Entertaining

    Mercy Watson and all the characters in these books are so funny and enjoyable to read. Parents will have a great time lending the voices to these hilarious characters when reading to younger children, and early readers will enjoy this great transition from picture book to early chapter book. We got this book when my son was almost 6 and it was a perfect book as his reading skill progressed. Once you read one Mercy Watson story, you'll want to read all the rest.

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  • Posted February 7, 2010

    Very entertaining!

    My daughter received this book for her 6th birthday and now we have the entire Mercy Watson series. This book is entertaining for both children and parents. The story is simple enough for a 6 or 7 year old to follow. The vocabulary is appropriate for grade level with a few difficult words thrown in. Enough to challenge, but not overwhelm. The characters are funny. We love Mercy.

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  • Posted August 31, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Pigs Shouldn't Drive!

    Our family loves Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen, so when we ran across this book, we had to have it! My five-year old sat through half of it the first night and the second half the following night. It's a bit too long to be a "bedtime book" but the verse is cute and the characters are hysterical. And you just can't beat Van Dusen's illustrations. I would probably recommend this more for a first or second grader.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2008

    a reviewer

    Mercy a pig gets to go on a ride with Mr.Watson.Every Saturday its the same thing Mercy wants to drive & no matter how hard Mr.Watson pushes he can't get Mercy into the passenger seat.So Mrs.Watson has to offer Mercy extra buttered toast when they get home (Mercy LOVES buttered toast!).Until one Saturday something Amazing happens....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2006

    great starter chapter book

    My son is a pre-reader and really enjoys chapter books. This series is so enjoyable for both of us - he loves the story and the illustrations, I love the pig! I totally recommend this to readers and non-readers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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