October 13, 2015

Mercy Watson by Kate DiCamillo - Anniversary Celebration

Some of you might know that I'm currently in school to get my licence to become a school library media specialist.  It's something I should've done years ago, but at least I'm going back to it now!

Throughout the program I take classes on picking books for different grade levels.  This summer I was introduced to the Mercy Watson books by Kate DiCamillo and fell in love with them!!! They are the cutest books ever.

Well I was approached to help celebrate the 10 anniversary of the Mercy Watson books! Of course I said  yes.

First I want to review one of the books, so maybe you'll get a taste of how cute these are.

Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride
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! 

For me one of the strength of this book is the facial expressions of Mercy.  If you look at the cover you get just a taste of them.  In this book they are fantastic as Mercy's car ride turns out nothing like she expected! I actually giggled at some of them! As a teacher I could so see using them to teach students about drawing inferences.  Her face says so much! The faces of the others in the car do too, but it was Mercy's I loved.  The other thing I love about this series is it's retro feel.  It looks like a book that might have been written long before it actually was.  I found that so enduring.  I went into this book a little hesitant since I'm not a huge reader of this age group, but I left it smiling! 

Here's a bit about the 10 year celebration taken from the press release:

Happy Birthday Mercy Watson!
One of the most popular chapter book series for newly independent readers turns ten
And beloved creators Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen give fans even more reason to celebrate with a new spin-off series Tales from Deckawoo Drive.

Mercy Watson, the best-selling early chapter-book series written by the two-time Newbery Medal winner and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Kate DiCamillo celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. Launched in 2005 the fun-filled stories aimed at readers age five to eight star Mercy Watson, Deckawoo Drive resident, lover of hot buttered toast and the most single-minded of pigs when it comes to the pursuit of adventure – and treats. Illustrated in full color by award-winning artist Chris Van Dusen in his signature retro style, the Mercy Watson books are a popular choice with younger readers making the transition from picture books to chapter books. 

And guess what! Kate DiCamillo has a new series just premiering:
Tales from Deckawoo Drive

Last year Kate DiCamillo reunited children with Mercy and her neighbours in the first book in her spin-off series, Tales from Deckawoo Drive. Once more illustrated by Chris Van Dusen, and with all the rip-roaring adventure of Mercy Watson, the series is aimed at older readers of six to nine. 

The first title in the new series, Leroy Ninker Saddles Up, became a New York Times bestseller and Amazon Best Book of the Year. Leroy and his rusty rather than trusty steed Maybelline star in this love story bursting with impassioned declarations and plenty of hilarious horsing around. This summer saw the release of book two, Francine Poulet meets the Ghost Raccoon,

Tales from Deckawoo Drive is the perfect follow-on for original  fans who grew up with Mercy Watson and are ready to move on to a longer read. And for those readers new to Deckawoo Drive, this series is a wonderful introduction to a warm and witty world where readers are left feeling all buttery-toasty inside. 

Join In the Fun
Check out the new Mercy Watson Hot Buttered Toast fan club, now online at www.mercywatson.com

DON’T MISS Kate DiCamillo in a LIVE national author webcast

The live event will take place on 10/15/15 hosted by Pittsburgh Arts & Letters as part of the ‘Stories Connect Us’ community reads program. The live streamed event is FREE and open to classrooms as well as the general public. Join Kate for a virtual discussion of the Mercy Watson series and the continuing stories of Deckawoo Drive with young readers. Find out more at www.katedicamillolive.com

If you have a little one in this age group check these books out!!!!

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