Mercy Watson to the Rescue (Mercy Watson #1)

by Kate DiCamillo (Author) Chris Van Dusen (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Series: Mercy Watson
To Mr. and Mrs. Watson, Mercy is not just a pig she's a porcine wonder. And to the portly and good-natured Mercy, the Watsons are an excellent source of buttered toast, not to mention that buttery-toasty feeling she gets when she snuggles into bed with them. This is not, however, so good for the Watson's bed. BOOM! CRACK! As the bed and its occupants slowly sink through the floor, Mercy escapes in a flash to alert the fire department, her owners assure themselves. But could Mercy possibly have another emergency in mind like a sudden craving for their neighbor's sugar cookies. Welcome to the wry and endearing world of Mercy Watson an ebullient new character for early chapter-book readers in a series that's destined to be a classic.
Select format:
Paperback
$6.99

More books in the series - See All

Other series you might like

Booklist

Starred Review
Appropriate as both a picture book and a beginning reader, this joyful story combines familiar elements with a raucous telling that lets readers in on the joke.

Kirkus Review - Children

Hilarity and hijinks abound.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review
Newbery Medalist DiCamillo ("The Tale of Despereaux)" once again displays her versatility with this jaunty debut to an early chapter-book series. The tale stars Mercy, a pig with personality a-plenty -and a penchant for "hot toast with a great deal of butter on it." When Mr. and Mrs. Watson tuck Mercy into bed at night and switch off the light, their pet no longer feels "warm and buttery-toasty inside" and decides "she would be much happier if she wasn't sleeping alone." So she climbs into the Watsons' bed and dreams of hot buttered toast, until the overloaded bed begins to fall through the floor. Mercy's obsession prompts her to hop off the bed -her devoted owners convinced that she's gone to summon the fire department. Alas, the peckish porcine's single-minded pursuit leads her to the kind next-door neighbor and ultimately does prompt a call to the fire department -but not before a series of comical twists (involving the kind neighbor's sister, Eugenia, who is of the opinion that "pigs should not live in houses"). Van Dusen's ("If I Built a Car", reviewed above) boldly hued, tactically hyperbolic gouache paintings tap into the narrative's wry humor and joie de vivre -a memorable sequence depicts Eugenia in curlers and bathrobe chasing Mercy through the yards and winding up in an exhausted heap atop the porker heroine. Everyone ends up around the Watsons' table where the besotted couple piles up the undeserved toast for their "porcine wonder" -a fitting cap to this animated pig tale. Ages 6-8. "(Sept.)" Copyright 2005 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.

School Library Journal

K-Gr 2 -Mercy Watson, a disarmingly charming pig adopted by a loving human family, makes her debut in this new series of chapter books for beginning readers. After the Watsons tuck Mercy into bed with a sweet song and a kiss, she feels -warm inside, as if she has just eaten hot toast with a great deal of butter on it. - However, afraid of the dark, she snuggles into bed with the couple. Moments later, all three are rudely awakened from their lovely dreams with a -BOOM! - as their bed falls into a hole that has opened in the floor beneath them. In hot pursuit of buttered toast, -the porcine wonder - inadvertently gets help and saves the day. Along the way, she causes great, humorous distress to the next-door Lincoln sisters. Van Dusen's bright gouache illustrations have a jovial exaggerated style and capture the sometimes frantic action and silliness of Mercy's -heroic - escapade." -Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI" Copyright 2005 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

DiCamillo employs enough creative word choices to elevate the story beyond the controlled vocabulary of a first reader, yet the short chapters, large font, double spacing, and easygoing narrative make it approachable for transitional readers.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, The 

DiCamillo's suspenseful yarn keeps readers turning the page, while the retro-folksy illustrations by Chris Van Dusen go for laughs and make for a gentle transition from picture books.
—FamilyFun

All heck breaks loose in this affectionate screwball take on bringing up baby.
—Parenting

This fast-paced tale features a pig named Mercy, a problem neighbor, and piles of buttered toast.
—People Magazine

Short and peppy chapters for reading or read-alouds.
—Chicago Tribune

Mr. and Mrs. Watson live in a charmingly retro world with their adorable pet pig.
—Nick Jr. Family Magazine Best Books of the Year

DiCamillo's tightly woven, outlandish story shows she's a pro at making readers laugh.
—Pittsburgh Post Gazette

With its straightforward story line, repeated text and hilarious illustrations, this new series should delight young readers.
—Book Page

An ebullient new character for early chapter-book readers in a series that's destined to be a classic.
—Midwest Book Review

Porcine merriment.
—Star Tribune

A beguiling blend of slapstick and whimsy.
—Child Magazine's Best Children's Book Award
Kate DiCamillo
Kate DiCamillo is the author of the first two stories starring the porcine wonder, Mercy Watson to the Rescue and Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride. She is also the author of The Tale of Despereaux, which won the Newbery Medal; Because of Winn-Dixie, which received a Newbery Honor; The Tiger Rising, a National Book Award Finalist; and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Chris Van Dusen
illustrates the Mercy Watson series with a nostalgic comic flair. He also writes and illustrates picture books. Chris lives in Maine, USA.
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9780763645045
Lexile Measure
450
Guided Reading Level
K
Publisher
Candlewick Press (MA)
Publication date
December 22, 2009
Series
Mercy Watson
BISAC categories
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV002200 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Pigs
JUV001000 - Juvenile Fiction | Action & Adventure
JUV045000 - Juvenile Fiction | Readers | Chapter Books
Library of Congress categories
Humorous stories
Pigs
Swine
Neighbors
Fire departments
Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award
Nominee 2007 - 2007
Monarch Award
Nominee 2007 - 2007
Beehive Awards
Nominee 2007 - 2007
Buckaroo Book Award
Nominee 2006 - 2007
Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens
Recommended 2006 - 2006

Subscribe to our delicious e-newsletter!