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Leroy Ninker Saddles Up
Cover of Leroy Ninker Saddles Up
Leroy Ninker Saddles Up
Tales from Deckawoo Drive, Volume One
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Yippie-i-oh! Saddle up for the first in a spin-off series starring favorite characters from Kate DiCamillo's New York Times best-selling Mercy Watson books. Leroy Ninker has a hat, a lasso, and boots....
Yippie-i-oh! Saddle up for the first in a spin-off series starring favorite characters from Kate DiCamillo's New York Times best-selling Mercy Watson books. Leroy Ninker has a hat, a lasso, and boots....
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Description-

  • Yippie-i-oh! Saddle up for the first in a spin-off series starring favorite characters from Kate DiCamillo's New York Times best-selling Mercy Watson books. 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.

About the Author-

  • The theme of hope and belief amid impossible circumstances is a common thread in much of Kate DiCamillo's writing. In her instant #1 New York Times bestseller The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, a haughty china rabbit undergoes a profound transformation after finding himself facedown on the ocean floor—lost, and waiting to be found. The Tale of Despereaux—the Newbery Medal–winning novel that later inspired an animated adventure from Universal Pictures—stars a tiny mouse with exceptionally large ears who is driven by love to become an unlikely hero. And The Magician's Elephant, an acclaimed and exquisitely paced fable, dares to ask the question, What if?

    Kate DiCamillo's own journey is something of a dream come true. After moving to Minnesota from Florida in her twenties, homesickness and a bitter winter helped inspire Because of Winn-Dixie—her first published novel, which, remarkably, became a runaway bestseller and snapped up a Newbery Honor. "After the Newbery committee called me, I spent the whole day walking into walls," she says. "I was stunned. And very, very happy."

    Her second novel, The Tiger Rising, went on to become a National Book Award Finalist. Since then, the master storyteller has written for a wide range of ages. She is the author of six books in the Mercy Watson series of early chapter books, which stars a "porcine wonder" with an obsession for buttered toast. The second book in the series, Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride, was named a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book by the American Library Association in 2007. She is also the co-author of the Bink and Gollie series, which celebrates the tall and short of a marvelous friendship. The first book, Bink & Gollie, was awarded the Theodor Seuss Giesel Award in 2011.
    She also wrote a luminous holiday picture book, Great Joy.

    Her novel Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures won the 2014 Newbery Medal. It was released in fall 2013 to great acclaim, including five starred reviews, and was an instant New York Times bestseller. Flora & Ulysses is a laugh-out-loud story filled with eccentric, endearing characters and featuring an exciting new format—a novel interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences and full-page illustrations, all rendered in black and white by up-and-coming artist K. G. Campbell. It was a 2013 Parents' Choice Gold Award Winner and was chosen by Amazon, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Common Sense Media as a Best Book of the Year.

    Kate DiCamillo, who was 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.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 2, 2014
    Leroy Ninker, the diminutive aspiring cowboy last seen trying to steal a toaster from the Watson household in Mercy Watson Fights Crime (2006), gets his own starring vehicle in this kickoff to a spinoff series, Tales from Deckawoo Drive, featuring characters from DiCamillo’s books about the toast-loving pig Mercy. His thieving days behind him, Leroy works concessions at the Bijou Drive-In Theater and wishes he could ride into the sunset like the cowboys in Wednesday night’s Western double feature. Leroy’s boots, hat, and lasso can only take him so far—he needs a horse. His coworker Beatrice points him in the right direction, and Leroy finds his steed in a well-traveled horse named Maybelline. DiCamillo effortlessly slips back into the comfortable rhythms of Mercy’s world, infusing every chapter with subdued wit, warmth, and heart. Van Dusen matches the text stride-for-stride, delivering caricatured spot art and full-page scenes of the Pinocchioesque Leroy and the four-toothed, spaghetti-loving Maybelline, who Leroy comes to consider “the most splendiferous horse in all of creation.” Ages 6–9. Author’s agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House.

  • School Library Journal

    August 1, 2014

    K-Gr 2-Fans of Mercy Watson will delight in meeting Maybelline, a horse who loves to hear the melody of pretty words, likes the company of others, and enjoys spaghetti noodles. Leroy Ninker is a concession stand worker at the local drive-in movie theater with dreams of being a real-life cowboy. One day-"Yippie-i-oh"-he discovers a horse for sale. Leroy ends up choosing Maybelline for his mount. Adventure ensues as Leroy must learn how to ride her, find her food and shelter, and cure her fear of rain. Van Dusen's black-and-white cartoon pictures provide a lighthearted humor that makes the book a good choice for transitioning readers. Character driven, this fast-paced story is sure to please. A fun new edition to the cast and crew of "Mercy Watson" (Candlewick).-Melissa Smith, Royal Oak Public Library, MI

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2014
    Leroy Ninker dreams of being an honest-to-goodness cowboy as he watches Western movies while working at the concession stand at the drive-in theater.He has some of the lingo down pat, and he knows he will need boots, a hat and a lasso. But his co-worker points out that he is missing the most important element of all: a horse. Providentially, there is a horse for sale. Though she is swaybacked and almost toothless, it is love at first sight when Leroy sees Maybelline. Leroy is given some unusual instructions; he must sweet-talk and compliment the horse, feed her plenty of grub and never leave her alone for more than a few moments. So there he is with a horse that won't fit through his door, gobbles up potfuls of spaghetti and needs constant attention. Adventures and misadventures abound, and both horse and cowboy become lost in a scary storm. But with a little help from some old friends who have appeared in the author-illustrator team's earlier works, it all comes together with the expected happy ending. DiCamillo's quirky, eccentric characters speak in flowery sentiments and employ charming wordplay. Along with Van Dusen's well-matched illustrations, there's a sweet, retro innocence reminiscent of McCloskey's classic Homer Price. Despite the old-fashioned accent, the absurdities will easily appeal to a modern audience.Filled with love and kindness and glorious sweet-talk: "Yippee-i-oh." (Fiction. 6-9)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    July 1, 2014
    Grades 2-4 Reformed robber and would-be cowboy Leroy Ninker (last seen in the Mercy Watson books) lassos his own series. Leroy spends his nights working the drive-in concession stand, dreaming of 10-gallon hats and western boots. Ticket seller Beatrice Leapaleoni convinces him to take fate in your hands and wrestle it to the ground, so he adopts a horse from Patty LeMarque. Patty's instructions on Maybelline's care are to the point: sweet-talk her, feed her a lot of grub, and never leave her alone. The first two instructions go well (Leroy spouts poeticals, and Maybelline loves his spaghetti), but his errand to fetch an umbrella takes longer than expected, and the horse wanders off. Predictably, she ends up at Deckawoo Drive for a happy reunion featuring familiar friends and a lot of buttered toast. DiCamillo's use of inventive and colorful language and Van Dusen's stylized gouache illustrations make this story click. Give this to graduates of the earlier series looking for a bit more of a challenge.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

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    Candlewick Press
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Leroy Ninker Saddles Up
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Tales from Deckawoo Drive, Volume One
Kate DiCamillo
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