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Author: Kate DiCamillo

Illustrator: Chris Van Dusen

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Publisher: Candlewick Press,

Material: hard cover

Summary: It's time for bed, Mercy. But Mercy (the porcine wonder) is afraid of the dark. So she decides to sleep with Mr. and Mrs. Watson, her owners. During the night, in the midst of their wonderful dreams, the bed starts to creak and the floor starts to give way. Mercy escapes, but Mr. and Mrs. Watson are trapped. Can Mercy call the fire department? How can she help? This is an illustrated chapter book for early readers.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read, easy reader

Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 9

Interest Level: 5 to 9

Reading Level: 2.7

Age of Child: Shared with a six-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: Although we had expected to read just a few chapters, our daughter asked us to keep reading until the end. The combination of Mercy's antics and the illustrations captivated her interest.

Adult Reader Reaction: Even Dad liked this one! Because the story is fun (and makes you laugh) you quickly forget about some of the repetitions that are the backbone of these types of emerging reader books. The illustrations are terrific, and the characters' expressions are enough to make you laugh even if you are just thumbing through the pages.

Pros: This is an action-packed story with very short chapters and sentences that are perfect for kids ready to move up from early readers.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is fun to read, and your kids will likely want to read it a couple of times.

If You Liked This Book, Try: MERCY WATSON GOES FOR A RIDE   THE FAIRGROUND GHOST (Usborne Young Reading)   MS. TURTLE THE BABYSITTER (I Can Read! Series, Level 1)

Educational Themes: At its core, this is just a good book for reading, with lots of opportunity for kids to build their reading vocabulary. If you want to pull out some themes, there are several: safety plans and how to call the fire department; dealing with neighbors; and how to handle different personalities.

Literary Categories: Fiction - animal characters, easy reader series, adventure, humor

Date(s) Reviewed: October 2007

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