Rejoice! Deckawoo Drive, home street of the beloved pig Mercy Watson, is now open to stories once again! My son loves Mercy Watson, and every time he rereads the series (he’s read them all 5 or 6 times, I think), he asks, “Has this author written any more about Mercy Watson? I want more!”
It is easy to see why. First off, Kate DiCamillo’s Mercy Watson books are humorous (they star a pig, of course). In what other stories do beds nearly fall through the floor and pigs go trick or treating? Besides that, the reading level is perfect for beginning readers, those who have just barely graduated out of the easy readers. The books have short sentences, short chapters, and clear dialogue and description. Plus, the Mercy Watson books have been illustrated by the marvelous Chris Van Dusen, which only adds humor and interest to the stories.
Leroy Ninker Saddles Up (Tales from Deckawoo Drive Number 1) by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick Press, August 26, 2014) is the first of a new series of stories relating to Mercy Watson. Although our favorite “porcine wonder” only makes a cameo at the end, the star of the show is Mercy’s friend Leroy Ninker, who works at the drive-in theater. (He previously appeared in Mercy Watson #6.) (more…)
When I saw The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber (originally published 1950; republished New York Review of Books) had an introduction by Neil Gaiman and was a part of The New York Review Children’s Collection, I was intrigued. The Thirteen Clocks is a short and bizarre fairy tale. Or fantasty story. Neil Gaiman describes it as nothing anyone has ever seen before or since and that is about right. (more…)
Beautiful illustrations tell the story of a creative flying mouse in Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse by Torbin Kuhlmann (North South books, 2013). When new mouse traps and an abundance of cats overrun the city where a clever (unnamed) mouse is living, he decides he must go to America for freedom. His creativity and insight help him build himself a plane, and he flies to New York.
This longer-than-normal picture book is a masterpiece of art. Gorgeous realistic paintings show the mouse in various stages of the story: reading a book, avoiding the mouse traps, drawing and creating airplanes, avoiding bats and owls, and flying through the sky into New York, where he is greeted as a hero. I loved the paintings, and although the story itself was cute, it was the paintings that made this book a delight for me. (more…)
Last summer, my son really enjoyed reading the Daisy books. Even with my limited blogging over the past year, we still managed to write about them both!
To his complete delight, there is now another book in the series! In Daisy’s Big Night, Daisy is looking for something to contribute to her last day of school sharing night. Others are showing their dance routines and other skills, and Daisy is not sure what she can present or show that she is as proud of.
Just as the other books are about Daisy’s love of words and alliteration, this book is about a new aspect of language for Daisy to love: poetry. This was a perfect book for my son to read as we likewise talked about poetry (free verse, haiku, and poetic elements) in the writing class I teach at our homeschool co-op.
I love how Daisy learns throughout each of the books. I love that she experiments and discovers that it is okay to make mistakes and so forth. I especially love how a love of language and words is the most prominent part of Daisy’s life!
But don’t just take my word for it! Raisin is hear to share his thoughts too! Listen to the podcast below.
Note: I am an Amazon Affiliate. Also, I received a digital review copy of Daisy’s Big Night from the publisher for review consideration.
Raisin enjoyed reading the early chapter books about a word-loving girl named Daisy. In Daisy’s Defining Day by Sandra Feder, Daisy discovers the joy of alliteration and finds herself as she seeks out the perfect alliterative title for herself. As she searches for some fun phrases to enjoy, she also learns a few lessons about friendship and how to deal with people who think differently from herself. It’s a fun excursion into language, and it is also a nice story for a child who, like my son, does not always think about what other’s think since the world seems to revolve around themselves!
Similarly, in Daisy’s Perfect Word, another book in the series, Daisy learns that her teacher is getting married so she wants to find the perfect word to share with her as a wedding gift. As she goes through her days, she writes her favorite words in a notebook so she will remember them. It’s a fun search for a favorite word and I loved her ultimate discovery!
Raisin enjoyed reading these books. I believe he would like to make his own search for alliterative phrases and “perfect words.” After he read them both, he asked me if there are any more Daisy books! He wants to visit her world again. I’d like to as well!
Note: I received a digital review copy of Daisy’s Defining Day.