Kate DiCamillo (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Realistic Fiction; Book Themes: Animals, Friendship
"Because of Winn-Dixie" by Kate DiCamillo, a 2001 Newbery Honor book, tells a heartwarming story about love, friendship and tolerance. Main characters of the realistic fiction book are Opal Buloni, a 10-year-old girl, and Winn-Dixie, the dog she has found in the town grocery store. Opal has just moved to Naomi, Florida with her preacher father. Her mother left them seven years ago. Because of Winn-Dixie, Opal makes new friends. Among them are Gloria Dump, a kind old lady called a witch by children, Miss Franny Block, a librarian who loves to tell stories, and Otis, a pet shop worker who plays music to animals. These quirky characters are part of the charm of the chapter book. "Because of Winn-Dixie" appeals to children in 4th grade through 7th grade.
Kate DiCamillo, Timothy Basil Ering (Hardcover)
Genre: Fiction - Animal Fantasy; Book Theme: Animals
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo, a 2004 Newbery Medal award winner, is one of our favorite animal fantasy books. This chapter book tells interwoven stories of three main characters. It is a tale of Despereaux Tilling, a small mouse who doesn't behave like an ordinary mouse. Despereaux likes to read stories and falls in love with a princess named Pea. The Mouse Council banishes Despereaux to a dark dungeon for breaking the mouse rules of conduct. It is a tale of Chiaroscuro, a rat who lives in the darkness of dungeon but has an unusual interest in light. It is also a tale of Miggery Sow, an abused and slow-witted servant girl who longs to be a princess. After discovering the rat's plot to kidnap the princess, Despereaux bravely comes to the rescue. With a well-paced story and memorable protagonists, The Tale of Despereaux appeals children in 4th grade through 7th grade. It is a good chapter book to read aloud.
Kate DiCamillo, Chris Van Dusen (Hardcover)
Genre: Fiction - Humorous Stories; Book Theme: Animals
Mercy Watson to the Rescue, by Newbery-winning author Kate Dicamillo, is a delightful early chapter book for beginning readers. Full of silliness and fun, this humorous story features a lovable pig named Mercy Watson as the main character. One night, Mercy Watson feels afraid when sleeping alone, so he goes in bed with Mr. and Mrs. Watson. With the added weight, a hole opens up under the Watsons' bed. The "boom" and "crack" sounds wake Mercy up and he runs off to the kitchen in search of hot toast with butter on it. Finding none there, Mercy goes to visit the Lincoln sisters who live next door. After a few comical twists and turns, two firemen come and rescue Mr. and Mrs. Watson, who think Mercy has alerted the fire department. Chris Van Dusen's colorful and expressive illustrations complement this easy-to-read story very well. Mercy Watson to the Rescue is a good book for children in kindergarten, first grade, second grade and third grade.