Leroy Ninker Saddles Up: Tales from Deckawoo Drive, Volume One
Written by Kate DiCamillo
Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
Our house adores the Mercy Watson series. The series tells of a funny little couple whose lives are centered around their "porcine wonder" named Mercy (who is always up to something!). Deckawoo Drive, the street they live on, is full of adventure. Imagine how excited I was to see that a new series was coming out with the same characters!
Some of you might remember Leroy Ninker from the Mercy Watson series. Leroy is the reformed thief who works at the popcorn stand at the drive-in movie theater. He dreams of being a cowboy. In this book, Leroy makes his dreams come true by buying a horse named Maybelline. Sweet old Maybelline has distinct characteristics that make her as unique and as lovable as Mercy. Maybelline has four teeth and LOVES spaghetti.
I would highly recommend this book as a preschool read-aloud or as a beginning chapter book. Leroy's attempts at owning a horse in the city make for a delightful story for boys and girls. Amusing pictures are featured on most pages. Unfortunately, the illustrations are printed in black and white, as opposed to the colored illustrations found in Mercy Watson books. Even so, Chris Van Dusen's illustrations captivate young readers, as usual.
Family Fun: Watch a Western movie together and eat popcorn. You might try The Apple Dumpling Gang.
Imagination: Pretend you're living in the Wild West for the day. :)
Food: Eat buttered toast for breakfast, and spaghetti for dinner.
Language Arts: Write sweet compliments for Maybelline using similes and metaphors.
Math: Cook up a variety of lengths of spaghetti noodles and measure them in centimeters and inches.