Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Review - Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig

Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig (Mercy Watson #5)
by Kate DiCamillo
illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
Date: 2008
Publisher: Candlewick
Reading level: C
Book type: illustrated chapter book
Pages: 80
Format: e-book
Source: library

Can Mercy Watson outwit . . . Animal Control? The porcine wonder’s on the lam in her latest tongue-in-snout adventure! Eugenia and Baby Lincoln may live next door to a pig, but that doesn’t stop them from living a gracious life. And the amiable Mercy Watson is equally determined to follow the delightful scent (and delicious taste) of the pansies her thoughtful neighbors are planting to beautify their yard. "Where have all the flowers gone?" shouts Eugenia, who is finally ready to take extreme measures—and dial Animal Control! Has Mercy’s swine song come at last? Or will her well-pampered instincts keep her in buttered toast?

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I read this book out of order, since I'm on a wait list for Book 4 at the library. I figured it would be fine to skip one, since each book seems to stand well enough on its own. That was the case here, although I suspect that the neighbour kids, Stella and Frank, were introduced in the book I skipped. No matter. This was still a fun story about the lovable porcine wonder.

One day, while the Watsons are enjoying lemonade in their backyard, the Lincoln sisters are busy planting pansies. Mercy smells them and goes in search of the wonderful scent. Of course, she then eats all the flowers, which is the last straw for Eugenia Lincoln, who calls Animal Control. Francine Poulet sets out to capture a pig, though she's never had to deal with a pig before. So she decides to think like one. (I'm not sure how leaping over hedges and climbing trees is thinking like a pig, but that's part of what makes it so amusing.) She eventually finds Mercy at a disappointing tea party (all the food is imaginary!) and of course the story ends happily with everybody enjoying some hot buttered toast.

As usual, the illustrations are great, and the word choices are stimulating. At one point, the Watsons are running around worrying about "an Unmentionable Horror", thanks to Baby Lincoln's vague warning. (I love how they didn't even stop to clarify what she was talking about, but just ran off in a panic.)

These books are so much fun. While it would've been nice to read them all in order, it's not strictly necessary. Each story stands well on its own.

Quotable moment:

"BABY!" screamed Eugenia.

"Yes, Sister?" said Baby.

"Where have all the flowers gone?" shouted Eugenia.

"Oh, dear," said Baby. "They were here just a minute ago."

Mercy came around the corner.

There was a spring in her step.

There were pansy petals on her chin.

Plot: 3/5
Characters: 4/5
Pace: 4/5
Writing & Editing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.86 out of 5

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