Leroy Ninker Saddles Up by Kate DiCamillo

leroy ninker

This book is a “Best of the Best” pick from ourWinter Book FairCLICK HERE to see more gift ideas!

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.

Cautions: none

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

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Betsy is the Managing Editor at Redeemed Reader. When she reads ahead for you, she uses sticky notes instead of book darts and willfully dog ears pages even in library books. Betsy is a fan of George MacDonald, robust book discussions, and the Oxford comma. She lives with her husband and their three children in the beautiful Northwest.

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