Porcine Wonders and Toast with a Great Deal of Butter


Kate DiCamillo can’t write a bad book. I’m convinced of it. Evidence suggests that she can’t even write a plain old good book. Everything she puts out is at least great, and is more often than not even better.

DiCamillo’s series about Mercy Watson, toast-obsessed pet pig, is no exception. In each of the series’ six volumes, you can find DiCamillo’s standard blend of quirky humor and sympathetic heart. The books also feature a diverse and tremendously vivid cast of characters. There are neighbors, policemen and firemen, an ambitious animal patrol officer and a reformed thief – all of them verging on caricature, but also, when you least expect it, packing a surprising level of depth. Also, of course, there’s Mercy, maybe the most delightful character of them all.

Things had yet to get stale after six volumes of Mercy’s adventures, but as with all series (especially those for such young readers), the possibility of staleness was on the horizon. DiCamillo sensed it, and wisely chose to end the series on a high note. However, unable to keep herself from thinking about the inhabitants of Deckawoo Drive – and unable to keep her readers from clamoring for more stories about them – DiCamillo recently launched a brand-new series, one aimed at slightly more advanced readers (those who, perhaps, became readers with the help of the Mercy Watson books as they first originally came out). As readers of any of DiCamillo’s novels know, with more room to let her stories roam, she only gets better. And no matter what age you are, no matter how advanced your reading is, you won’t be able to help but be delighted by the Mercy Watson and the Tales from Deckawoo Drive series. Enjoying them is as easy as enjoying a piece of toast topped with a great deal of butter.

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