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Mercy Watson Books · Candlewick Press 2005 – 2009

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This series introduces us to an irresistible new hero for early chapter book readers- Mercy Watson, not just a pig, a porcine wonder! Written by Newbery Medal winner, Kate DiCamillo, each book takes us on a madcap adventure with Mercy, Mr. and Mrs. Watson (Mercy’s doting parents), Eugenia Lincoln (the cranky neighbor) and her loving sister, Baby. Readers will delight at the antics which all end with a heaping helping of Mercy’s favorite food, hot buttered toast!

Excerpts from Reviews

“Van Dusen’s boldly hued, tactically hyperbolic gouache paintings tap into the narrative’s wry humor and joie de vivre.” ~ Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Van Dusen’s larger-than-life characters and retro sensibility extend the dry humor of the situation, and his shiny, rainbow-bright gouache art shoots the energy, especially Mercy’s, right off the page.” ~ Booklist, starred review

“DiCamillo’s suspenseful yarn keeps readers turning the page, while the retro-folksy illustrations by Chris Van Dusen go for laughs and make for a gentle transition from picture books.” ~ Family Fun


  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • ALA Notable Children’s Books
  • Theodor Seuss Geisel Beginning Reader Award
  • Junior Library Guild Selection
  • Child’s Best of the Year
  • Book Sense Weekly Bestseller List
  • Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award Winner

Personal Notes

These are the first books I’ve illustrated but not written and I couldn’t have been paired with a better writer. Kate’s stories are wonderful and I have had so much fun coming up with how her characters look.