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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Back on Deckawoo Drive

The neighbor kids wanted to read the Mercy Watson books this summer. Sitting in our sunny library, we traveled to Deckawoo Drive, revisiting Mr. and Mrs. Watson, Baby and Eugenia Lincoln, their neighbors Stella and Frank, and of course, Leroy Ninker, that popcorn-selling former night-time visitor to the Watson's home. Kate DiCamillo set her latest book - Leroy Ninker Saddles Up - back on Deckawoo Drive. I was glad to travel back to that friendly street, and my young reader friends will be delighted when they open this book.

Leroy Ninker longed for a horse. He shared his wish to be a cowboy with Beatrice Leapaleoni, ticket seller at th Bijo Drive-In Theater where he sold soda and buttered popcorn (and where Mercy and her parents went in Something Wonky This Way Comes). Wise Beatrice pointed out that in order to be a cowboy, Leroy would need - besides a cowboy hat, boots, and a lasso - a horse. And so, with a "Yippie-I-oh!" he begins the search. "Take fate in your hands," Beatrice tells him. He does. He acquires Maybelline. Not quite the horse he dreamed about, but just the right horse for him. All he has to do is remember the three items Maybelline's former owner told him: talk sweet to her, feed her A Lot Of Grub, and keep her company. 

Filled with humorous lines, more than a few interesting words, and quite an adventure, the book brought me back to that street I enjoy visiting. This time, Chris Van Dusen's illustrations are in monochrome, but they still perfectly capture the tone of the story. A story that ends with hot buttered toast on Deckawoo Drive is bound to be good.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for that Ford quote last post. I missed it. Now, I didn't. I've set it aside with other memorable lines.