Thursday, September 22, 2016

SERIES THURSDAY: Tales from Deckawoo Drive #2 & #3 by Kate DiCamillo


Deckawoo Drive’s intrepid Animal Control Officer meets her match—or does she? A funny, heartfelt, and fast-paced romp from the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

Francine Poulet is the greatest Animal Control Officer in Gizzford County. She hails from a long line of Animal Control Officers. She’s battled snakes, outwitted squirrels, and stared down a bear. "The genuine article," Francine’s dad always called her. She is never scared—until, that is, she’s faced with a screaming raccoon that may or may not be a ghost. Maybe Francine isn’t cut out to be an Animal Control Officer after all! But the raccoon is still on the loose, and the folks on Deckawoo Drive need Francine back. Can she face her fears, round up the raccoon, and return to the ranks of Animal Control? Join a cast of familiar characters—Frank, Stella, Mrs. Watson, and Mercy the porcine wonder—for some riotous raccoon wrangling on Deckawoo Drive.


When I first heard about this series I wasn't sure it was going to work.  After all, each of the main characters in this new series are adults.  Don't kids prefer to read about kids?  But having read this one, I think children will like it for three reasons.  First, the ghost racoon is rather an intriguing idea and it's an animal.  Second, Francine Poulet is a sympathetic character who has to face her fears and injuries, who in real life doesn't have to do that?  And third, there are important child characters in the story.  Frank and Stella play an important part in helping Francine face her fears.  And of course, Van Dusen's illustrations are always appealing and fun.  What we end up with here is a fun, quick read about facing one's fears.


What if timid Baby Lincoln broke free of her bossy sister and set off on an unexpected journey? Kate DiCamillo presents a touching new adventure set in Mercy Watson’s world.

Baby Lincoln’s older sister, Eugenia, is very fond of telling Baby what to do, and Baby usually responds by saying "Yes, Sister." But one day Baby has had enough. She decides to depart on a Necessary Journey, even though she has never gone anywhere without Eugenia telling her what to take and where to go. And in fact Baby doesn’t know where she is headed — only that she was entirely happy in the previous night’s dream, sitting aboard a train with a view of shooting stars. Who might Baby meet as she strikes out on her own, and what could she discover about herself? Will her impulsive adventure take her away from Eugenia for good?


I was thrilled to see Baby Lincoln showing some gumption and setting off on a trip.  The trip doesn't turn out to be anything too great, but it has a big impact on Baby as she meets people and learns about enjoying life and telling stories.  I enjoyed getting to know Baby more as she takes her 'necessary journey' and discovers that her grumpy sister, Eugenia, does in fact love and appreciate her.  Van Dusen's illustrations once again nicely highlight the characters and their experiences.

1 comment:

  1. I just read the second title yesterday, and absolutely loved it. The controlling relationship always made me a bit uncomfortable, and I loved the gentle way it was addressed and reconciled.


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