Mercy Watson Fights Crime by Kate DiCamillo

Toys and books go in and out of favor without notice. Its hard to pick what is going to be a good inducement for 3yo Drake to go up for “nap” time, get his diaper changed, put on clothes, leave the house, or any number of other things that seem pretty basic, yet require lengthy negotiations. I was fairly sure that Mercy Watson Fights Crime, the third book in Kate DiCamillo’s easy reader Mercy Watson series, would be a hit. I was right. It is Drake’s new favorite book, supplanting Dooby Dooby Moo.

Mercy is the pet pig of Mr. and Mrs. Watson. She is very fond of toast with a great deal of butter. One night, she hears the sound of the toaster sliding across the counter. She goes into the kitchen to find out who’s making toast, only to discover a burglar. All the characters from the previous books appear. As usual, Mercy is in good favor at the end with everyone but her neighbor Eugenia, and everyone enjoys Mrs. Watson’s toast. Chris Van Dusen’s retro illustrations perfectly capture the simplicity of the stories, and contribute in no small way to how funny they are, and how endearing Mercy is, even though Eugenia is right–nothing with this pig is as it seems. In this series, DiCamillo has set aside her penchant for the sad and difficult. This book, like its predecessors, is a sweet, silly romp that’s fun to read aloud.

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