Mercy Watson ~ A Book Review

I don't know if you've heard of Kate DiCamillo or not, but we got her books about a pig named Mercy Watson for Christmas this year. And we have thoroughly enjoyed them. Even I giggle through them.

One of our favorite things to eat is what we call butter bread. Sourdough bread toasted with butter. We use a toaster oven, and butter the bread before it goes in so the butter is nice and melty and warm too. It's amazing and delicious, and I share my sourdough recipe on Homesteading on Grace. But we're talking about Mercy Watson, the pig.

"Mercy Watson loved toast."

"She particularly loved toast with a great deal of butter on it." (Mercy Watson Fights Crime, Book 3, page 8.)

So right away we have something in common! DiCamillo's delightful books are funny, even for me, and engaging. But the reading is not too difficult. Gideon (7, 2nd grade-ish) is reading these books for his reading practice. Eowyn (9, 4th grade-ish) can fly through one, but still enjoys it, and insists on reading them too.

Chris Van Dusen is the illustrator, and they are beautifully done. The pictures are enjoyable and help the younger readers along without giving away the entire story. The hardcover edition is really well done as well. Nice thick paper, a cloth bound spine, and perfect colors (not gaudy, or overpowering, just fun).

The text is large, perfect for a practicing reader, but the words are not simple or dumbed down. She uses a great vocabulary, which made me like it even more. Gideon has to work at some of the words. For example, one of the neighbors is named Eugenia. And every time we come to a part about Eugenia, Gideon asks how to say her name. But even so, it stretches Gideon's abilities and he loves the stories so much that he keeps on reading.

I love a good book that grabs a kid and forces him to read. The pictures add to the story, they don't tell it so that Gideon can get away with just looking. He must read to get the story, and the words are engaging, fun, and just the right amount of difficult. If you are looking for a book to introduce the love of reading to a younger kid, you should try the Mercy Watson books.

DiCamillo is the author of several other books, and even has a spin-off of Mercy Watson called Leroy Ninker. Once the kids finish the Mercy Watson books, we'll be looking for those. We have also listened to the audio version of her book The Tale of Despereaux and loved it too.


  1. We love Mercy too. All of DiCamillo's books are great. Just be aware that many of her longer chapter book deal with deeper themes - often a redemption in community theme - which means a loss somewhere. We are actually listening to The Tale of Despereaux right now. The audio's for Mercy are also great we enjoy the voices especially for Eugenia.

    1. I'm going to have to find the audios for Mercy, just to hear Eugenia's voice!