MrsK's Seasoned Reader Picks

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up by Kate DiCamillo

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up: Tales from Deckawoo Drive, Volume One
ISBN: 9780763663391
 Net Galley Synopsis:
Yippie-i-oh! Saddle up for the first in a spin-off series.
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.
"Yippie-i-oh," Leroy Ninker whispered to the screen. "That is the life for me.
A cowboy is who I was meant to be."
MrsK's Review:
Yippie-i-oh, there is so much fun to be had with this "want to be" cowboy.  This delightful tale has so many moments of joyous giggles just awaiting story time discovery.  The plot twists and turns at just the right moments.  The comical, and so characteristically defining illustrations sets the mood, the scene, and of course the pace of frolicking fun.  Add in the tantalizing word play and you have a winner for all ages.  The bonus is the "spin-off" connection to dear, sweet, toast-loving Mercy.

"Listen," said Beatrice. "What you have to do here is take fate in your hands and wrestle it to the ground."

That is all the encouragement that Leroy needed.  "Dang nib it," Leroy was going to get himself the "horse of his dreams."  Never mind that Maybelline, the horse, "enjoys the heck out of a compliment...meaning you got to talk sweet to her."  It didn't matter that Maybelline "eats a lot of grub!"  Or that she "gets lonesome quick."   The moment Leroy is up on her back, why the world was different.

With sweet, oh so sweet talking, Leroy shows Maybelline the way home.  How would you sweet talk a horse into a small apartment?  There just "aren't enough "yippie-i-ohs to describe" Leroy and Maybelline's first story together.  You just have to read to discover what a lightening storm can cause between these newly found friends.  Now, I don't want you worrying none... because... well, our friends Mercy and the Watsons will know just how to make a bad "fright" loose its moment of chaos.

Once again team DiCamillo and Van Dusen have given us the perfect "read- aloud."  Whether you are curled up for story time at home, or felt you were going to "burst" from laughing so hard in the library, or your teacher read this right before the bell rang to go home.  You will want to read this book again, and again, and "dang nib it" again.
  An enjoyable zany read!
Added to our library and classroom shelves.

Meet the author:
Kate DiCamillo  The theme of hope and belief amid impossible circumstances is a common thread in much of Kate DiCamillo's writing. DiCamillo, the newly named National Ambassador for Young People's Literature for 2014-2015, says about stories, "When we read together, we connect. Together, we see the world. Together, we see one another." Born in Philadelphia, the author lives in Minneapolis, where she faithfully writes two pages a day, five days a week.
Mercy Watson to the Rescue (Mercy Watson Series #1)     Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride (Mercy Watson Series #2)   Mercy Watson Fights Crime (Mercy Watson Series #3)
 To Mr. and Mrs. Watson, Mercy is not just a pig — she's a porcine wonder.
 And to the portly and good-natured Mercy, the Watsons are an excellent source of buttered toast,
 not to mention that buttery-toasty feeling she gets when she snuggles into bed with them.
Meet the illustrator:
Chris Van Dusen: I was born in Portland, Maine on St. Patrick’s Day, 1960. As a child, my brothers and I would spend hours drawing pictures. We didn’t have video games or computers to entertain us, so we drew instead. One of my brothers would sketch intricate war scenes. Another would draw animals so realistic you’d swear they were breathing. My specialty was aliens, robots and monsters. Dr. Seuss and Robert McCloskey were my heroes. I loved the rhythm of Dr. Seuss’ words and I was fascinated by the meticulous detail of Robert McCloskey’s illustrations. I had no idea back then that I’d end up writing and illustrating children’s books when I grew up.
"I received this ebook for free from Net Galley for this review.
Candlewick Press

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