Sunday, January 6, 2019

Review - Mercy Watson Fights Crime

Mercy Watson Fights Crime (Mercy Watson #3)
by Kate DiCamillo
illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
Date: 2006
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Reading level: C
Book type: illustrated chapter book
Pages: 80
Format: e-book
Source: library

Leroy Ninker is a small man with a big dream: he wants to be a cowboy, but for now he’s just a thief. In fact, Leroy is robbing the Watsons’ kitchen right this minute! But little does he know that a certain pig who loves toast with a great deal of butter is stirring from sleep. Even less could he guess that a comedy of errors will soon lead this little man on the wild and raucous rodeo ride he’s always dreamed of! Nosy neighbors, astonished firemen, a puzzled policeman, and the ever-doting Watsons return for a hilarious adventure.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is another fun story about Mercy Watson the pig. It seemed more like the first book (which I liked) in that Mercy is very much a pig with few human attributes or motivations (I wasn't a huge fan of Mercy wanting to drive the car in the last book; that seemed a little too human). In this story, as in the first book, Mercy ends up saving the day simply by being herself.

One night, after she's been tucked into bed, she hears a noise in the kitchen. In her simple little mind, noise in the kitchen means someone's making food. So she goes downstairs to investigate and stumbles across Leroy Ninker, who's trying to steal the toaster. After Mercy realizes nobody's actually making toast, she gets bored and falls asleep, blocking the thief's exit. As he tries to surmount this obstacle, the rest of the book is set in motion and Mercy ends up inadvertently thwarting the robbery.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about Leroy in this book. I first read about him in Leroy Ninker Saddles Up, which comes later in the chronology of these books. At that point, he was already a reformed thief. I'm a little uncomfortable with him being a cute and lovable thief, because I think it runs the risk of glamourizing breaking the law. (However, it's kind of hard to take him that seriously as a burglar, since all he ended up doing was stealing a few kitchen items and then riding the pig around the backyard while imagining himself a real cowboy.)

I enjoyed this installment marginally more than the last one, since it goes back to Mercy doing her thing simply by being a pig. As usual, the writing and illustrations are great. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the next book, Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise.

Quotable moment:

"That pig is disturbing the peace," said Eugenia. "And so is the cowboy riding her. I am calling the police."

"Oh, Sister," said Baby, "are you sure it's not a dream?"

"It's a nightmare," said Eugenia. "That is what it is."

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

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.86 out of 5

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