Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Mercy Watson to the Rescue

Mercy Watson to the Rescue

Kate DiCamillo
Illustrator:  Chris Van Dusen 
Picture Book  Series
For ages 6 to 8
Candlewick Press, 2005   ISBN: 978-0763622701

Mercy is a much loved and cosseted pig who lives with Mr. and Mrs. Watson. Every night Mr. and Mrs. Watson sing Mercy to sleep but unfortunately their song does not stop Mercy from being afraid of the dark. So, one night Mercy decides to go and get into bed with Mr. and Mrs. Watson. All goes well until Mercy’s additional and not inconsiderable weight makes the floor of the bedroom rather unstable. The Watson’s wake up to discover that their bed is about to fall through the floor and they dare not move.

Mercy, having the vision of hot buttered toast in her head, decides to go to visit Miss Baby Lincoln next door. Baby always has tasty snacks for the pig. So, off Mercy goes in the middle of the night to see her dear friend and neighbor.

Alas for Mercy for things do not go as planned. First of all Baby does not express joy at seeing her and then Baby’s decidedly grumpy older sister Eugenia starts to chase Mercy around, trying to get her to go home. Eugenia is one of those most unsympathetic people who think that pigs belong on a farm and not in a house. Meanwhile, back at the Watson home, Mr. and Mrs. Watson are calling for help. They seem to be under the impression that Mercy is going to rescue them in some way. And, in a roundabout sort of way, this is just what happens.

There can be no doubt that Mercy Watson is a very loveable pig. In fact you cannot help liking her even when she abandons her imperiled family in her quest to find hot buttered toast. After all, you say to yourself, a pig’s stomach does have a tendency to come first and it is not really Mercy’s fault that she is more interested in finding food than in finding a way to save Mr. and Mrs. Watson from their precarious situation. Young readers will love the way in which Mercy does, in fact, end up saving the day – even though that was clearly not her intention.

With a deliciously funny story, energetic characters, and delightful illustrations, this book is perfect for young readers who want a chapter book to read which has some bite to it. There can be no doubt that Mercy Watson, “porcine wonder,” is going to have a lot of readers wondering what she is going to do next.