A Piglet Named Mercy

Kate DiCamillo, illus. by Chris Van Dusen. Candlewick, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-76367-753-4
DiCamillo and Van Dusen create an origin story for popular chapter book series star and “porcine wonder” Mercy Watson in this picture book prequel. The Watsons are largely content with their staid lives as “ordinary people who did ordinary things in ordinary ways” until, one night, “something different” happens. A piglet, “very small and not at all ordinary,” arrives on Deckawoo Drive, comically sprung from the back of a truck. Mercy’s appearance briefly causes unease—unpredictability, including the arrival of an undeniably sweet piglet, is unheard of on Deckawoo Drive—but apprehension quickly gives way to wonder and joy. Van Dusen depicts the Watsons cradling the swaddled pig as a new child, declaring her “a wish come true” and offering her a bottle of warm milk provided by kind neighbor Baby Lincoln (“absurd,” sniffs her sister Eugenia). As ever, Van Dusen’s bright colors and bold characterization joyfully accompany DiCamillo’s story, this time of new and evolving familial love. Established fans will find plenty to appreciate here, while newcomers will be charmed, making this a natural stepping stone to the original series. Ages 3–7. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 02/21/2019
Release date: 04/02/2019
Genre: Children's
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