Title: Leroy Ninker Saddles Up
Author: Kate DiCamillo
Series: First in an expected series Tales from Deckawoo Drive
Recommended for: Beginning Chapter book readers, 1st-3rd grade
Call Number/Link: J FICTION DiCamillo, K
Synopsis: Saddle up for this first volume in a spin-off series starring favorite characters from DiCamillo’s “New York Times”-bestselling Mercy Watson books. LeroyNinker has a hat, a lasso, and boots. What he doesn’t have is a horse–until he meets Maybelline, and then it’s love at first sight.
I love recommending the Mercy Watson books as great readalouds for families who want something longer, but still want pictures. I also recommend them to kids who are just getting into chapter books. They have short, action packed chapters, lots of illustrations to keep the interest of kids who might have trouble with reading endurance.
Leroy Ninker Saddles Up brings a small character from a Mercy Watson book and tells a goofy story about a horse who only moves if someone is sweet-talking her. Mercy makes a brief appearance, but the focus is on Leroy. This book is slightly longer and more difficult than Mercy Watson, with silly cowboy terms and illustrations on most, but not all pages. The illustrations are also in black and white, indicating it is for slightly older readers than Mercy Watson. It is still a great readaloud; my family listened to audiobook, which the library owns. I would recommend it to any fan of Mercy Watson, of course, but also anyone who likes silly stories with a big dose of whimsy and anyone looking to very gradually move into chapter books.