Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig (Mercy Watson Series #5)

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Overview

Can Mercy Watson outwit . . . Animal Control? The porcine wonder’s on the lam in her latest tongue-in-snout adventure!

Eugenia and Baby Lincoln may live next door to a pig, but that doesn’t stop them from living a gracious life. And the amiable Mercy Watson is equally determined to follow the delightful scent (and delicious taste) of the pansies her thoughtful neighbors are planting to beautify their yard. "Where have all the flowers gone?" shouts Eugenia, who is finally ready ...

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Overview

Can Mercy Watson outwit . . . Animal Control? The porcine wonder’s on the lam in her latest tongue-in-snout adventure!

Eugenia and Baby Lincoln may live next door to a pig, but that doesn’t stop them from living a gracious life. And the amiable Mercy Watson is equally determined to follow the delightful scent (and delicious taste) of the pansies her thoughtful neighbors are planting to beautify their yard. "Where have all the flowers gone?" shouts Eugenia, who is finally ready to take extreme measures —- and dial Animal Control! Has Mercy’s swine song come at last? Or will her well-pampered instincts keep her in buttered toast?

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Susan Borges
Mr. and Mrs. Watson have a pig and her name is Mercy. This cheerful chapter book for developing readers is the fifth in a series of books about Mercy, the domesticated pig, who finds herself in trouble frequently. In this humorous story, the Watson's neighbors become hysterical when they discover that Mercy has eaten their newly planted pansy plants. Animal control officer Francine Poulet is called in and she quickly realizes that to solve this problem she must think like a pig. Young readers will enjoy this funny, lighthearted story because they will be attracted to the bright, engaging illustrations that are brimming with detail and personality as well as the straightforward, simple text and the chapter book format. Adult reading partners will chuckle as they read lines such as "unmentionable horror" and "career expanding opportunity," and they will appreciate the whimsical illustrations that are vaguely reminiscent of scenes from the 1950s. This endearing story about an irascible but irresistible pig will charm young readers. They will undoubtedly clamor to read the entire series of books by this well-known author. Reviewer: Susan Borges
Children's Literature - Kathie M. Josephs
The title got me right away, because I honestly never thought about how a pig thinks. Two sisters move in the house next door to where Mercy the pig lives. These sisters plant beautiful flower gardens in both the front and back yards. Very happy with the way the back yard looks, the two sisters go to the front yard. Both scream because all the flowers are gone; when Mercy comes around the corner of the house with some pansy petals stuck to her mouth, the ladies know what happened. The pig ate them! Eugenia, one of the sisters, calls Animal Control to put an end to poor Mercy. The story then turns to how Animal Control Officer Francine Poulet finds Mercy. Of course to do this, she thinks she has to think like a pig. This gets her in trouble. The story takes yet another turn and has a wonderful ending. This is a great chapter book for young readers. There are many simple sentences and the vocabulary is basic, but with many words having both prefixes and suffixes. The author also introduces the occurrence of simultaneous events by using the words "meanwhile, back on the Watsons' patio…" This is a great book for children who want to begin reading chapter books. It is also a great read-aloud. The illustrations add much to the enjoyment of the story. Reviewer: Kathie M. Josephs
School Library Journal

Gr 2-4

In this installment, the porcine protagonist outrages the Lincoln sisters when she sneaks through their hedge and eats their newly planted pansies. Eugenia Lincoln calls animal control, and Officer Francine Poulet shows up determined to "think like a pig" and catch the culprit. Chaos ensues, and the porker escapes to enjoy another day of buttered toast. Fans of the series will welcome this addition to Mercy's adventures and be amused by the hyperbolic quality of Van Dusen's color illustrations.-Farida S. Dowler, formerly at Mercer Island Library, WA

Kirkus Reviews
Mercy Watson, beloved porcine wonder, meets Francine Poulet, "the best animal control officer in the history of the world." When Mercy discovers freshly planted pansies next door, what can she do but eat them? Never mind that the pansies belong to the next-door neighbors, pig-loving Baby and her pig-hating sister, Eugenia. When the furious Eugenia sees the incriminating pansy petals on Mercy's chin, her anger gets the best of her and she reports Mercy to Animal Control. The officer, beak-nosed Poulet, is energized by the challenge of adding a new animal to her life capture list. DiCamillo's comic timing coupled with Van Dusen's familiar, over-the-top gouache depictions of the emotional Mercy and her caring, buttered-toast-bearing "parents" make this a welcome addition to the popular series. Fifteen very short action-packed chapters make this a fine step up for readers ready for a slightly more challenging read than Henry and Mudge. (Fiction. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763652319
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 2/8/2011
  • Series: Mercy Watson Series , #5
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 48,164
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 380L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.12 (w) x 6.40 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo is the author of the first four 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; THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE, winner of a BOSTON GLOBE-HORN BOOK Award; and the picture book GREAT JOY. 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.

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

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    So great, my 7 year old reads it by herself willingly

    My daughter loves this book. She loves all of the Mercy Watson series, actually, but this book she reads by herself to help fall asleep at night. I cannot say enough about how connected she is to this book. It is outstanding, and she has enjoyed reading then since she was 6. I highly recommend this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    Sweet, inquisitive, lovable character

    I never thought of toast the same way after reading this books with my daughter. The Mercy Watson books all have strong characters, hilarious hijinks, and happy endings. This series is another home run for Kate DiCamillo as far as I'm concerned.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2012

    Laugh out loud fun

    This is one of our family's favorites in the Mercy Watson series. The scenes with animal control officer are laugh out loud fun! A great illustrated chapter book that is sure to entertain!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2010

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    Posted January 22, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

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