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Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride Hardcover – May 9, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews
Book 2 of 6 in the Mercy Watson Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3–Another action-packed escapade staring the porcine wonder. Every weekend, when Mr. Watson takes his pig for a ride in his pink convertible, Mercy must be cajoled out of the driver's seat with the promise of a tasty treat upon their return. One Saturday, their elderly neighbor, Baby Lincoln, stows away in the backseat. Man and pig speed happily along until Baby reveals her presence. Surprised, Mr. Watson takes his eyes off the road, and Mercy seizes her chance, jumps into his lap, and grabs the wheel. The vehicle zooms along, pursued by a police car. With Mr. Watson unable to reach the brake, it takes some heroics from Baby to save the day. Back at the house, the ever-serene Mrs. Watson manages to mollify everyone–including Baby's crotchety sister and the angry policeman–with a stack of hot buttered toast. Written with simple vocabulary and lots of repetition, the quick-paced narrative flows gracefully and is packed with amusing moments. The glossy, full-color gouache paintings provide visual clues to support the text and add greatly to the humor. The characters' facial expressions are laugh-out-loud funny, and the idealized 1950s setting strikes just the right tone of innocence. A fresh, fun-filled must-have for those looking to spiff up beginning-chapter-book collections.–Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. Mercy the pig, who proved herself a worthy child substitute in ercy Watson to the Rescue (2005), is up to her old tricks again. This time the self-absorbed, endearingly naughty Mercy brings many a child's dream to life: she squeezes herself onto Mr. Watson's lap and commandeers his beloved 1959 pink Caddy for a joyride. Van Dusen's larger-than-life characters and retro sensibility extend the dry humor of the situation, and his shiny, rainbow-bright gouache art shoots the energy, especially Mercy's, right off the page. Great for emergent readers. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 390L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press (May 9, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763623326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763623326
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

The theme of hope and belief amid impossible circumstances is a common thread in much of Kate DiCamillo's writing, and no matter their nationality or age, readers around the world have come to appreciate and anticipate the messages of shared humanity and connectedness in her work.

In her instant #1 New York Times bestseller The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, a haughty china rabbit undergoes a profound transformation after finding himself facedown on the ocean floor -- lost, and waiting to be found. The Tale of Despereaux -- the Newbery Medal-winning novel that later inspired an animated adventure from Universal Pictures --stars a tiny mouse with exceptionally large ears who is driven by love to become an unlikely hero. And The Magician's Elephant, an acclaimed and exquisitely paced fable, dares to
ask the question, What if?

Kate DiCamillo's own journey is something of a dream come true. After moving to Minnesota from Florida in her twenties, homesickness and a bitter winter helped inspire Because of Winn-Dixie -- her first published novel, which, remarkably, became a runaway bestseller and snapped up a Newbery Honor. "After the Newbery committee called me, I spent the whole day walking into walls," she says. "I was stunned. And very, very happy."

The author's second novel, The Tiger Rising, went on to become a National Book Award Finalist. And since then, this master storyteller, whose books are now published in more than forty languages, has written for a wide range of ages. Her luminous holiday picture book, Great Joy, is enjoyed by children as young as preschoolers. Three early-chapter-book series demonstrate a quirky humor that appeals to emerging readers, whether the books feature "porcine wonder" Mercy Watson in her obsessive pursuit of buttered toast, or Bink and Gollie, who embody the tall and short of a marvelous friendship. More recently, spin-off characters from Mercy Watson have appeared in Tales from Deckawoo Drive, a series launched in Fall 2014 with the first title featuring the reformed thief Leroy Ninker.

Kate DiCamillo's latest novel and second Newbery Medal winner, Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, was released in Fall 2013 to great acclaim, garnering five starred reviews and an instant spot on the New York Times bestseller list. A laugh-out-loud story filled with eccentric, endearing characters and featuring an exciting new format -- a novel interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences and full-page black-and-white illustrations by K. G. Campbell -- Flora & Ulysses was named a finalist for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize; chosen by Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Amazon, and Common Sense Media as a Best Book of the Year; and designated a Parents' Choice Gold Award Winner.

It's no wonder that Kate DiCamillo was selected to be the U.S. National Ambassador for Young People's Literature for 2014-2015. Of that mission, and on the power of stories, she says, "When we read together, we connect. Together, we see the world. Together, we see one another."

Born in Philadelphia, Kate DiCamillo lives in Minneapolis, where she faithfully writes two pages a day, five days a week.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Mercy Watson is a bit stubborn, a bit spoiled, and a lot of cute. Her "parents," Mr. and Mrs. Watson, think Mercy is a "porcine" wonder (porcine: of, relating to, or suggesting swine). They adore Mercy, and every Saturday after a special lunch that includes her favorite food --- stacks and stacks of butter-oozing toast --- Mr. Watson takes Mercy for a ride in his car.

After Saturday lunch, Mr. Watson likes to drive off the calories in his gorgeous pink Cadillac, and Mercy gets to ride along even though she would rather drive herself. Every Saturday, Mercy enthusiastically hops into the driver's seat and refuses to move --- she wants to drive! Porcine wonder or not, Mr. Watson doesn't think Mercy should drive his car, but she resists all attempts to move her over to the passenger seat. With the help of Mrs. Watson and the promise of more toast when she gets home, Mercy gives in and they back out of the driveway. Mercy will do anything for her favorite food. At least she's going on an adventure, even if she doesn't get to drive. And there will be hot buttered toast waiting when she gets home! Life is GREAT!!

Things happen pretty much the same Saturday after Saturday until one sunny weekend Mercy's regular adventure turns into a big, rollicking affair involving a police car, next-door neighbor Baby Lincoln, and an unexpected tumble when someone isn't wearing a seat belt. Damage is minor, but Mercy gets the chance of a porcine wonder's lifetime when Mr. Watson is distracted while driving. Even a porcine wonder should have some driving lessons first!

MERCY WATSON GOES FOR A RIDE is book two in Kate DiCamillo's series for young readers. Illustrations by Chris Van Dusen are bright, engaging, and reminiscent of patterns and toys from the 1950s.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm sorry, I think Kate DiCamillo has genius in her blood but this book was boring. Written at the 2nd Grade level, it has a plot that might interest a toddler -- pig drives car and gets in trouble-- except for the fact that it is very, very, very long. My son (7 and theoretically in the target range for this book) read a few pages and then lost interest. I tried reading it outloud but for one of the few times in my life, I called it quits because it was just too dull. I finished it though, on my own, out of a sense of obligation. (Must read to review) I thought perhaps there would be some big twist or surprise at the end that might make the time spent worthwhile, but there wasn't one.

Talking Points:::
There are so many good books out there for kids to read, I'd avoid this one.

The artwork is fabulous and fun, but not enough to carry the book.

Besides not finding an interesting story, I particularly disliked that the pig was thrown from the car (wasn't wearing seatbelt) and that this was supposed to be funny.

Try it at the library first.

Pam T~

Accelerated Reading level : 2.7
o Hardcover: 80 pages
o Publisher: Candlewick Press
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Format: Hardcover
Mercy Watson is a "porcine wonder." She's a pig who lives with Mr. and Mrs. Watson. She has her own bed in her own room, loves buttered toast, and enjoys her Saturday routine with Mr. Watson.

Every Saturday, Mercy and Mr. Watson go for a ride in his convertible. Mercy always wants to drive, but Mr. Watson always tells her pigs can't drive. The Watsons' neighbor, Eugenia Lincoln always grumbles about the folly, and her sister, Baby Lincoln, always appreciates the folly.

When Baby sneaks into the car one week, wheeled silliness ensues, a police officer gets involved, and Mercy is in the middle of it all.

The illustrations are as fun as in MERCY WATSON TO THE RESCUE, and Mercy is still fixated on heavily buttered toast. While the Mercy Watson series is a cute concept, MERCY WATSON GOES FOR A RIDE falls a little short of expectations from the author of BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE. Children that are more inquisitive will be left wondering why the police officer didn't write the speeding ticket he was going to give to Mr. Watson, why Mr. Watson was taken home in a police car instead of driving home, and so on. Parents who plan to read this book to their children may find the logic issues annoying enough to make them not want to read it more than necessary.

While this isn't a brilliant read, it certainly isn't bad for young readers. This book will appeal to some kids but not others, rather than appealing to a broad audience. The illustrations are super, and I think that will be a redeeming feature for many potential readers.

Reviewed by Christina Wantz Fixemer

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Format: Hardcover
The large type, heavier page stock and vintage illustrations make this a great quality book physically. Everyone in my college lit class fell in love with it. Books #2 and #3 are definately better than book #1. I am awaiting book #4 due out shortly. The storyline is a little jaded with it's anti-feminist "wife in the kitchen" outlook, otherwise it's simpicity and family values are great. My AP son was able to read this in kindergarten with little trouble. It is a great alternative to some of the chapter series out there that offer more "junk" than quality.
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