"Youngsters are sure to delight in the exploits of this butter-loving pig, savoring the ‘wonky in the extreme’ text and energetic, innocent art." -School Library Journal
Some may find it wonky to take a pig to the drive-in. But not the Watsons, who think the movie’s title, When Pigs Fly, is inspirational. And not their beloved Mercy, who is inspired by the scent of real butter from the theater’s Bottomless Buckets of popcorn. As they pull up in their convertible, Mercy lifts up her snout and becomes a pig on a mission, leading a delirious chase that’s trailed by hapless rescuers reunited from Mercy’s earlier adventures.
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Kate DiCamillo is the author of THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX, which won the Newbery Medal; BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE, which received a Newbery Honor; THE TIGER RISING, a National Book Award Finalist; THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE, winner of a BOSTON GLOBE–HORN BOOK Award; and the NEW YORK TIMES best-selling picture book GREAT JOY. She lives in Minneapolis.
Chris Van Dusen has illustrated all the books in the Mercy Watson series. He is also the author-illustrator of DOWN TO THE SEA WITH MR. MAGEE, A CAMPING SPREE WITH MR. MAGEE, and IF I BUILT A CAR. He lives in Camden, Maine.
Grade 2–4—In her sixth adventure, Mercy Watson is in the family's familiar pink convertible on her way to the Bijou drive-in theater, which is showing When Pigs Fly. Mr. and Mrs. Watson are sure she'll find it inspirational, but Mercy is more excited by the prospect of real butter on Bottomless Buckets of popcorn. Familiar characters from other adventures—Police Officer Tomilello, Animal Control Officer Francine Poulet, and reformed robber Leroy Ninker—are also at the Bijou. They leap into action when Mercy, with snout in the air, follows the irresistible scent of butter to waiting cars with windows down. "People screamed. People laughed. People fainted. Mercy kept eating." When the Watsons realize that their porcine wonder is missing, they join the chase, which ends only when two clever firemen catch up to her and suggest a treat of buttered toast. Though no one gets to see the movie, they all eat toast together, which, for Mercy, is a very happy ending. Illustrations are done in gouache using a bright, retro palette of glossy colors, bringing the text vibrantly to life. All of the elements of the earlier stories are here—jovial characters, good-humored mayhem, and effortless repetition that moves the story forward while allowing emerging readers to peruse it themselves. Youngsters are sure to delight in the exploits of this butter-loving pig, savoring DiCamillo's "wonky in the extreme" text and Van Dusen's energetic, innocent art.—Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
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