view an inside spread
teachers' guide
visit Mercy's website
illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
Candlewick Press, August 2006
Early chapter book, ISBN 0-7636-2590-6

Leroy Ninker is a small man with a big dream: he wants to be a cowboy, but for now he's just a thief. In fact, Leroy is robbing the Watsons' kitchen right this minute! As he drags the toaster across the counter — screeeeeech — and drops it into his bag — clannngggg — little does he know that a certain large pig who loves toast with a great deal of butter is stirring from sleep. Even less could he guess that comedy of errors (not to mention the buttery sweets in his pocket) will soon lead this little man on the wild and raucous rodeo ride he's always dreamed of! Nosy neighbors, astonished firemen, a puzzled policeman, and the ever-doting Watsons return for a new tongue-in-snout adventure about Kate DiCamillo's delightfully single-minded pig.

Read the Reviews
Another rollicking adventure starring the porcine wonder. One night, Mercy awakes to the sound of the toaster scraping along the kitchen counter, which can only mean one thing–someone is making toast. Her life revolves around hot buttered toast, so she heads for the kitchen. There she finds a little man in a ten-gallon hat stealing the toaster along with other household items. Hilarity ensues, and all of the familiar characters from the previous books make appearances. Humor abounds in this tale, both the slapstick and more subtle variety, which will keep newly independent readers turning the pages. DiCamillo has creatively woven in the elements that a good easy reader should have: repetition, simple sentence structure, and controlled vocabulary. Van Dusen's stylized illustrations enhance the action through their bright colors and exaggerated appearances of the humans. A great addition. —Elaine Lesh Morgan, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR, School Library Journal

This silly story makes my nearly 9-year-old son laugh out loud at every reading (yes, it’s been requested multiple times). —Denver Post

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