Leroy Ninker Saddles Up (Tales from Deckawoo Drive #1) by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen. Candlewick, 2014. 96 pages.
- Reading Level: Chapter Books (ages 4-10)
- Maturity Level: 2, 3 (ages 4-10)
DiCamillo consistently creates well-rounded, larger-than-life characters; this time, wannabe cowboy Leroy Ninker and his bonafide horse, Maybelline, are the stars of the show. Yippie-i-oh, ladies and gentlemen! Leroy Ninker first appeared in the transitional chapter book series about Mercy Watson, porcine wonder. Leroy Ninker’s story, though, is more complex in plot, character development, and reading level than the Mercy Watson books. The text is as jaunty and uninhibited as Leroy Ninker himself even though there are some small heart-tugging scenes as Leroy Ninker and Maybelline nearly lose one another. Van Dusen’s boisterous illustrations complement the mood perfectly, appearing every page or two to help aid young readers’ enjoyment. Readers (boys, especially!) ready to transition to chapter books from more heavily illustrated books like the Mercy Watson series will find Leroy Ninker Saddles Up a perfect next step and no doubt will wait eagerly for the rest of the series.
Overall Value: 4.25 (out of 5)
- Moral/worldview value: 4
- Artistic value: 4.5
Categories: Chapter Books, Entertainment, Cowboys, Boys, Gift Books
Cover image from amazon