It's always a happy day in my household when I come home from work with a new Mercy Watson book! Even though both my girls are well beyond the reading level of these books, they still love them. Who wouldn't love reading about the antics of Mercy Watson, the porcine wonder, depicted with such bright, humorous illustrations?
Mercy is a happy pig, the surrogate child of Mr. and Mrs. Watson, who firmly believe she is unusually intelligent and perceptive. In reality, Mercy is a sweet and friendly pig who, given any particular situation, typically does what any toast-with-a-great-deal-of-butter-loving pig would do. At the end of the day, she comes off smelling like a rose, and the Watsons are further convinced that she is truly a porcine wonder.
In this installment, Mercy accompanies Mr. and Mrs. Watson to the movies to see a film called When Pigs Fly. Mercy is unimpressed until she hears that the drive-in movie theater serves popcorn with real butter. Then she's as excited as can be. Their elderly next-door neighbors, Eugenia and Baby Lincoln, join them in their convertible, along with some neighborhood children. When they reach the theater, Mercy is entranced by the smell of hot buttered popcorn, and off she goes in search of some, with hilarious results.
Favorite characters from previous books are at the movies, too, including police officer Tomilello, animal control officer Francine Poulet, firemen Ned and Lorenzo, and even Leroy Ninker, the little burglar from Mercy Watson Fights Crime, who has given up his illegal ways and is now working at the popcorn stand. It was bittersweet to see them all, because this is, sadly, the final book in the Mercy Watson series. Although...in a note in the back of the book, Kate DiCamillo does leave room for hope, because saying that is the final book makes her very sad: "I hate writing those words. I hate writing them so much that I might have to write another Mercy Watson book just to cheer myself up." I certainly hope she does!
These are excellent transitional books for growing readers who have mastered the elementary easy readers and are yearning to move on to chapter books. The print is large and bold, the lines spaced neatly apart, and there are colorful illustrations on nearly every page. The stories are equally appealing to boys and girls, and particularly to those who enjoy funny books. Some of the surnames are difficult for new readers to sound out (Tomilello and Leapaleoni, for example), but they are fun to say once you get them down. Even more advanced readers can certainly enjoy a quick Mercy Watson read - I get a grin on my face every time I open one of these books. Mercy Watson is, without a doubt, most definitely a porcine wonder. If you haven't met her yet, I urge you to make her acquaintance without delay!
Books in the Mercy Watson series:
1. Mercy Watson to the Rescue
2. Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride
3. Mercy Watson Fights Crime
4. Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise
5. Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig
6. Mercy Watson: Something Wonky This Way Comes
Mercy Watson: Something Wonky This Way Comes (#6 in the Mercy Watson series) by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick Press, 2009)
Also reviewed at:
Back to Books: "Another fine entry, though not our favourite, in the Mercy Watson series, which is perfect reading for kids who are at the age where they can read but are not ready to move away from large print or still want to have colourful pictures."
Creative Literacy: "This book is definitely full of characters, Mercy mischief, lots of buttery foods (Mercy's favorite), new language and vocabulary for transitional readers and lots to talk about."
Toby: "The awesome thing about this book is that all of the characters from the other five books come together for what I believe is the best Mercy Watson adventure ever."