Sunday, December 23, 2018

Review - Leroy Ninker Saddles Up

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up (Tales from Deckawoo Drive #1)
by Kate DiCamillo
illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
Date: 2014
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Reading level: C
Book type: illustrated chapter book
Pages: 96
Format: e-book
Source: library

Yippie-i-oh! Saddle up for the first in a spin-off series starring favorite characters from Kate DiCamillo’s New York Times best-selling Mercy Watson books. Leroy Ninker has a hat, a lasso, and boots. What he doesn’t have is a horse—until he meets Maybelline, that is, and then it’s love at first sight. Maybelline loves spaghetti and sweet nothings, and she loves Leroy, too. But when Leroy forgets the third and final rule of caring for Maybelline, disaster ensues. Can Leroy wrestle fate to the ground, rescue the horse of his heart, and lasso loneliness for good? Join Leroy, Maybelline, and a cast of familiar characters—Stella, Frank, Mrs. Watson, and everyone’s favorite porcine wonder, Mercy—for some hilarious and heartfelt horsing around on Deckawoo Drive.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I expected a cute story when I started this, and I wasn't disappointed. Leroy Ninker Saddles Up tells the story of a man and his horse, with plenty of beautiful words (which is appropriate, since Maybelline the horse loves beautiful words so much). After Leroy brings Maybelline back to his apartment, he realizes she won't fit through the front door. Later that night, there's a storm, and as Leroy goes to fetch an umbrella, Maybelline gets scared and runs away. Then it's up to Leroy to find his horse. The search leads him to Deckawoo Drive, where Mercy and the Watsons make cameos.

I like the story for the most part, except for one small thing: the problem of Maybelline not fitting through Leroy's front door is never addressed. Yes, Mrs. Watson makes a comment about how there's always a way to make things fit, but that's about much resolution as that plot point gets, and it leaves me wondering how the same thing (Maybelline freaking out and running away after being left outside) won't happen again... repeatedly.

Other than that, though, the writing is strong and intelligent, just the way I've come to expect from DiCamillo. The illustrations are nice, too, although I'm a bit disappointed they aren't in full colour like the ones in the Mercy Watson books. Overall, this is a strong chapter book for young readers (and it's not so juvenile that older readers can't enjoy it, too).

Quotable moment:

"You are the most splendiferous horse in all of creation," he said.
Maybelline whinnied long and loud. She nodded in agreement.
She truly was an excellent horse.
Leroy didn't think he would ever be done admiring her.

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Pace: 4/5
Writing & Editing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 4 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment