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Tales from Deckawoo Drive · Candlewick Press 2014

Tales from Deckawoo Drive

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In this series, two time Newbery Medal winner Kate DiCamillo picks up where the “Mercy Watson” books left off. Aimed at a slightly older audience, each book focuses in on a character from the original series leading off with “Leroy Ninker Saddles Up”. Join Leroy 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.

Excerpts from Reviews

“DiCamillo has always been at her best when dwelling on the good and the bad in relationships between humans and animals, and Van Dusen knows precisely how best to present Leroy to us.” –The New York Times Book Review

“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 art of the Pinocchioesque Leroy and the four-toothed, spaghetti-loving Maybelline.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review

“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.'” –Kirkus Reviews

“DiCamillo’s use of inventive and colorful language and Van Dusen’s stylized gouache illustrations make this story click.” —Booklist

Tales from Deckawoo Drive


  • A Junior Library Guild Selection
  • An Indie Next List Selection

Personal Notes

I was thrilled when I learned that Kate DiCamillo was bringing back Mercy and the gang. I really loved creating the look of her characters. This time the illustrations are black and white, but I created them the same way I did for the original series, by painting the artwork in gouache. Even though they are not full color, I think they still capture the richness seen in the Mercy Watson books.