Yippie-i-oh! Saddle up for the first in a spin-off series starring favorite characters from Kate DiCamillo's New York Times best-selling Mercy Watson books. Leroy Ninker has a hat, a lasso, and boots. What he doesn't have is a horse--until he meets Maybelline, that is, and then it's love at first sight. Maybelline loves spaghetti and sweet nothings, and she loves Leroy, too. But when Leroy forgets the third and final rule of caring for Maybelline, disaster ensues. Can Leroy wrestle fate to the ground, rescue the horse of his heart, and lasso loneliness for good? Join Leroy, Maybelline, and a cast of familiar characters--Stella, Frank, Mrs. Watson, and everyone's favorite porcine wonder, Mercy--for some hilarious and heartfelt horsing around on Deckawoo Drive.
Original publication date
This being a Kate DiCamillo story, there's never much doubt that matters will end well, but fans of Mercy Watson will still enjoy watching Leroy find his happy ending. The reading level here is a step up from the Mercy Watson books, making it the perfect next stage for children who have read those adventures and are looking for more. Just as with the earlier series, the artwork here is provided by Chris Van Dusen, although sadly it is in black and white. I thought this was rather a shame, as part of the appeal of Mercy Watson is the vibrantly colorful vintage-feeling artwork. Still, Leroy Ninker Saddles Up is well worth a look for Mercy Watson fans, or for any child looking for entertaining chapter-books.
To be a cowboy, he needs a horse. Finding an ad, he walks and walks and walks to locate the horse. For a good price, he obtains an old, old horse with four teeth.
If you can dispel the need for things to make sense, then you can enjoy this happy tale of a man who makes no plans for his dreams, allowing the horse to stay without a barn, scared of the thunder and lightening.
Leroy and his horse make friends and all is happy ever after.
This is cute with lovely illustrations. I read it because Kat DiCamillo is one of my favorite authors. This is not one of her best.
Personal Response:This book was cute and characteristically "Kate Dicamillo" with really nice character development. My problem with this book was the ending (hence the three star reviews). The story is moving along at a pleasant clip-clop, when all of a sudden we find ourselves on Deckawoo Drive where Mercy Watson, the pig from another of Dicamillo's books resides. If you have no knowledge of that other series of books, the ending seems rushed, and actually quite absurd. Other than that, I love Leroy Ninker as the main character. He is a sweet talking little cowboy who knows how woo his new horse Maybelline.
Curriculum Connections:This is a great book to introduce second and third grade readers to "good-fit" books in the library. Near the beginning of the year we talk a lot about making good choices for ourselves (not our friends) when we are out at the bookshelves. We should take time to look at the cover, read the inside or back cover, and read a page or two to determine if we can read it without too many mistakes, and we can read with understanding. I pull a variety of books and model this type of thinking for the kids as we review various types of "good-fit" books. This will definitely be a book that I will be pulling from the shelves next year to include in our discussion. I know that kids will love the cowboy theme of this book, as we are the "Cowboy" state of Wyoming.
This is a sweet story of a little man who wanted to become a cowboy after seeing so many cowboy movies and the horse, Maybelline that he buys in order to become a real cowboy.
Lovely story !