Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fiction Wednesday - A review of Mercy Watson: Something Wonky this way come

I know that I have talked about the fact that I have a deep fondness for pigs before. I make no apologies for this strange proclivity. One cannot have a pet pig (which I did) and not fall in love with the entire species, perhaps with the exception of those bad tempered animals that like to bite. Being fond of pigs as I am, it should come as no surprise that I love the Mercy Watson books. Like so many of her relatives, Mercy Watson is a single-minded creature who will NOT be put off when she makes up her mind to do something. As you will see when (not if) you read this book.

Kate DiCamillo
Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
Fiction
For ages 6 to 8
Candlewick Press, 2009, 978-0-7636-3644-9
   One afternoon, Mr. Watson is sitting on the porch reading the paper when he sees that there is a movie showing at the Bijou Drive-In called When Pigs Fly. Not only does the movie sound interesting, but the Bijou prides itself on serving “real butter” on their bottomless “all-you-can-eat” buckets of popcorn. Now, the Watson’s have a pet pig called Mercy, and when she hears her people talk about butter and all-you-can-eat, she becomes very excited. Butter is one of Mercy’s favorite things in the world.
   On their way to the Bijou Drive-In, Mr. and Mrs. Watson meet some of their friends, and by the time they get to the outdoor movie theatre, Baby and Eugenia Lincoln, and Stella and Frank are in the pink convertible sitting in the back seat next to Mercy.
   The movie is popular that evening, or maybe it is the bottomless popcorn bucket with real butter that is popular. Whichever it is, there are plenty of other cars parked in front of the big screen. Police Office Tomilello is there with his wife, and Animal Control Officer Francine Poulet is there with her date. Both couples are looking forward to watching the movie, little realizing that their evening is not going to go as planned.
   The reason for this is quite simple. As soon as the pink convertible is parked, Mercy Watson notices that there is a delectable aroma in the air. Mr. Watson and Frank go to get some popcorn, but Mercy decides that she needs to find out where that delicious smelling buttery smell is coming from, and she needs to do so now.
   Readers who have encountered Mercy Watson in her other books are going to love this deliciously funny story. Once again Mercy creates chaos as she steadfastly pursues food. Though she is, without a doubt, a very troublesome animal, Mercy is ridiculously loveable, and one cannot help laughing as one reads about her misadventures.
   What makes this book - and the other titles in this series - so special is that they have something to offer children and adult readers. “Wonky” characters and clever tongue-in-cheek humor makes this a series that will keep on giving for years to come. 

No comments: