2007 Giesel Honor book
view an inside spread
read a sample chapter
activity kit
teachers' guide
visit Mercy's website
illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
Candlewick Press, May 2006
Early chapter book, ISBN 0-7636-2332-6

Mr. and Mrs. Watson's porcine wonder, Mercy, loves nothing more than a ride in the car. It takes a fair amount of nudging and bribing and a "You are such a good sport, darling" to get the portly pig out of the driver's seat, but once the convertible is on the road, Mercy loves the feel of the wind tickling her ears and the sun on her snout. One day the Watsons' motoring ritual takes an unexpected turn, however, when their elderly neighbor Baby Lincoln pops up in the backseat in hopes of some "folly and adventure" — and in the chaos that ensues, an exuberant Mercy ends up behind the wheel! Soon there's a policeman on her tail, a struggle for the brake, and a blissfully airborne Mercy. Of course, it's nothing that an extra helping of buttered toast can't fix!

Read the Reviews
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

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, Booklist

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