I am thrilled to see Leroy Ninker back in the saddle and featured in his own story! (Leroy is one of my favorite characters from the much-loved-by-my-family Mercy Watson series.) Leroy is a cowboy without a horse. When he meets Maybelline he feels his cowboy dreams are complete. The two complement each other. The warmth and love between Leroy and Maybelline floods the pages in DiCamillo’s language and Chis Van Dusen’s vivid, expressive illustrations.
Leroy is funny and sweet. He touches readers’ hearts with his earnest efforts to achieve his dreams while working to be the best person he can be. His genuine affection and respect for who Maybelline is on the inside is evident when she is frightened, bolts in panic and Leroy must search for her to bring her home. She needs Leroy’s love and determination to find her way back to the home they are meant to have together.
The first in a new series by Kate DiCamillo: Tales from Deckawoo Drive, Leroy Ninker Saddles Up is a perfect beginning chapter book. It successfully leads growing readers into more sophisticated language and story structure. The plot–and particularly the characters–in Leroy Ninker are more fully developed than the earliest Mercy Watson books. Leroy Ninker Saddles Up is a stellar opportunity to spur young readers’ excitement about reading and stories.