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

39 customer reviews

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Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride + Mercy Watson to the Rescue + Mercy Watson Fights Crime
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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 (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kate DiCamillo is the author of The Magician's Elephant, a New York Times bestseller; The Tale of Despereaux, which was awarded the Newbery Medal; Because of Winn-Dixie, a Newbery Honor book; and six books starring Mercy Watson, including the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride. She lives in Minneapolis.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on May 31, 2006
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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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Terri Rowan on November 20, 2006
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TaterTeacher on May 8, 2007
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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