Mercy, a pig, is the beloved ‘child’ of Mr and Mrs Watson. They call her “Mercy my darling, my dear, my porcine wonder”. Each Mercy adventure involves the elderly next door neighbours Eugenia and Baby Lincoln, I admit the name Baby for such an elderly lady is rather surreal, yet it adds humour to the storylines. Every adventure often includes the local fire brigade or police. At the conclusion of each story Mercy always enjoys hot buttered toast, her favourite treat with her ‘family’, neigbours and fellow adventurers. The books are totally humorous and appealing, with various mix ups resulting from the Watsons treating Mercy as a child. Though Mercy is clearly a pig, she never speaks, never takes on a ‘people persona’, it is the Watsons who are irrational.
The illustrations are bright and attractive, the cartoon style portraying a 1950s setting. The books are picture heavy, published on bright glossy white paper, making them very attractive. The text is not overwhelming and the words are double spaced, not daunting at all. Whilst many of the words are easy for the new reader to read, there are also a few challenging and interesting words, good vocabularly additions. Considered suitable for 6 to 9 year olds reading ability.
Written by Kate DiCamillo they are a great transition from beginner readers to chapter books.
Bink & Gollie and it’s sequel Bink & Gollie: Two for One by Kate De Camillo are humorous and entertaining. The print wasn’t large but there were only a few lines on each page accompanied by bright pictures.
HT: When discerning whether the print will intimidate an early reader or not, I find it useful to use Amazon’s ‘Look Inside’ feature
Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad series was a huge hit! Simple, humorous stories about two friends, humour is always a winner with Jelly Bean. Print is large, pictures too, non-intimidating. Four books; Frog and Toad Together, Frog & Toad Are Friends, Frog and Toad All Year, Days with Frog & Toad comprise the series. JB also loved Owl At Home by the same author.
Sally Rippin’s Billie B Brown books. The Soccer Star caught our transition reader’s interest first and then she devoured them all. (there are a lot) Large print with smaller pictures, aimed at the 7 year old age group, whilst these books are dubbed by our teens as complete twaddle, they do fill a need.
Sally Rippin has also written a series to capture boy’s interest too, Hey Jack!
Ella & Olivia – Yvette Poshoglian
Whilst not great literature (dubbed twaddle again) they helped in encouraging our new reader to continue enjoying the world of print. Large print but a ‘step up’ with more lines on each page compared to the above books.