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Leroy Ninker Saddles Up

(Tales from Deckawoo Drive #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  2,631 ratings  ·  402 reviews
Yippie-i-oh! Saddle up for the first in a spin-off series starring favorite characters from Kate DiCamillo’s New York Times best-selling Mercy Watson books.

Leroy Ninker has a hat, a lasso, and boots. What he doesn’t have is a horse — until he meets Maybelline, that is, and then it’s love at first sight. Maybelline loves spaghetti and sweet nothings, and she loves Leroy, to
Hardcover, 90 pages
Published August 26th 2014 by Candlewick Press
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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Leroy Ninker wants to be a cowboy. It’s his life dream. A cowboy needs a horse. So he finds an add in the paper for a good horse. Upon seeing the horse, he bonds with it and ultimately taking the quirky little horse home. Events happen and the horse is frightened away, but it’s ok in the end as they reunite again over toast.

Leroy is a character from the Mercy Watson books. This book was longer than the Mercy books, so it’s more of a stop into reading on your own. The book was not quite as fun a
Schizanthus Nerd
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Former thief Leroy Ninker dreams of being a cowboy, which is why he often says, “Yippie-i-oh”. He has a cowboy hat, cowboy boots and a lasso.
“That is the life for me. A cowboy is who I was meant to be.”
What Leroy doesn’t have is a horse, and every cowboy needs a horse. Leroy decides it’s time he found himself a strong, fast horse. Instead, he finds Maybelline. Maybelline runs on compliments and loves spaghetti. She doesn’t like being alone.

Leroy and Maybelline’s story was a really quick read
Henry Martin
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Kate DiCamillo, so, wanting a break this weekend, I went through three volumes of Tales from Deckawoo Drive, her amazing series featuring a cast of repeat characters and one porcine wonder.

As usual, DiCamillo did not disappoint, having me smiling from ear to ear in no time.

This volume centers around Leroy Ninker, a rehabilitated convict who dreams of being a cowboy. When a coworker suggests that every cowboy needs a horse, Leroy sets to get himself one.
Michele Knott
This is why Kate DiCamillo wins awards. This is why she is the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.
She knows kids. She knows how to make them fall in love with books. She knows how to push their thinking and give them new vocabulary.
This book is a winner.
La Coccinelle
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
I expected a cute story when I started this, and I wasn't disappointed. Leroy Ninker Saddles Up tells the story of a man and his horse, with plenty of beautiful words (which is appropriate, since Maybelline the horse loves beautiful words so much). After Leroy brings Maybelline back to his apartment, he realizes she won't fit through the front door. Later that night, there's a storm, and as Leroy goes to fetch an umbrella, Maybelline gets scared and runs away. Then it's up to Leroy to find his h ...more
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s
Perhaps this book is meant as a stepping stone to bigger chapter books, which makes it okay. Leroy Ninker is apparently a spin-off from the popular Mercy Watson pig stories. He really wants a horse and has to learn that horses are a lot of work. Maybelline (the horse) is too big to fit in Leroy's apartment and will eat him out of house and home. She also won't behave until she's been complimented. Fortunately, compliments are something that Leroy can handle.
But I don't know where he's going to
Jul 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Mercy Watson Fans / Beginning Chapter-Book Readers Looking for Entertaining Tales
Leroy Ninker, the reformed thief and would-be cowboy who first appeared in Mercy Watson Fights Crime , the third in Kate DiCamillo's early chapter-book series about an unusual pig, returns in his own adventure here, launching a new series, Tales from Deckawoo Drive. Still hoping to be a cowboy, Leroy sets out to obtain a horse, eventually finding himself the proud owner of an older equine named Maybelline. But when he forgets that his new companion doesn't like to be left alone - especially i ...more
This book is absolutely adorable. As with all of Kate DiCamillio's work I'm a fan.
I'm currently using this book for my ESL students to practice pronunciation and basic comprehension and they absolutely love it! It is such a cute story for any age.
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 7and8bookgroup
Another strong addition to the beginning chapter book selection. Rich vocabulary. Mercy Watson gets a mention.
Carrie Gelson
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Delightfully charming. Would make a great read first of the year aloud in a first - third grade classroom.
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-to-tween
What a hoot! I laughed several times at this story.
Yippie-i-oh! Horse of my heart! I have missed you so.

I love the cover, don't you? OH so cute and colorful. I did want to point out or at least take notice, Leroy use to be a thief? Why would that bit of information be necessary for a children's book? That said, I liked Leroy, the little scamp!

Mrs. Watson, Maybelline, and Stella also star in this little book. Stella is a little girl and Mrs. Watson and Maybelline are more MATURE, one being a lady and one being a lady horse who requires a great
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Yippie-i-oh. Leroy dreams of being a cowboy. He has a hat, boots, and lasso. He works at a movie theater and always watches the cowboy movies. He’s ready to stand up for justice. Yup, the way he figures it, being a cowboy is just about the best life there is. All he needs is a horse and the newspaper want ads have just the one.
Maybelline’s owner is no longer able to care for her. So she places an ad in the newspaper hoping to find just the right owner for her horse. And not any owner will do. M
Steve Holden
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
*I decided to repeat this as a read aloud in a week leading up to spring break. I agree with most all I spoke about a year ago. I love how it's short, to the point, and offers great opportunities for creative interpretation and humor. My class enjoyed it and seemed to be interested in finding out more about the rest of the series. I am too and need to check on finding the other two out now.

I purchased this upon seeing it in my last class book order. I love Kate DiCamillo and like sharing her st
Since I hadn't read a Mercy Watson book in a while, I didn't recognize the main character of this one, and so blinked a bit at the apparently random mention of his former life as a thief, which seemed to have nothing to do with the story. In retrospect I liked the comment; plenty of kids have people in their lives with similar stories, and don't they have dreams, too? But I fear it was there purely to hint at a connection to the other series.

The other baffling thing I couldn't dismiss was the f
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
In this imaginative book, Leroy Ninker learns to "take fate in his hands" and go after his dream. it is a message of "you can do it if you put your mind to it." Of course Leroy has to learn a few lessons on his way to getting his dream of being a cowboy and owning a horse. Humorous and inspirational!
Nov 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
A perfect read-aloud for a kindergarten, 1st, or 2nd grade classroom or perfect for a home read-aloud. Very sweet. Read DiCamillo's Mercy Watson books, too, as Mercy the Pig has a cameo appearance. The repetition of some words could get tiresome, but the "poeticals" are worth it.
Jun 24, 2017 added it
I love this little man with big dreams and and an even bigger heart, but the idea of a horse eating spaghetti and living on the front walk of an apartment bothers me so much I cannot decide how to rate this. And what's up w/ Beatrice; will we meet her in a future book?
Apr 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Kate DiCamillo once again proves that she can write for a wide audience. Fans of Mercy Watson and Bink and Gollie will fall for Leroy Ninker, Maybelline (his horse), and Patty LeMarque.
Oct 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Leroy Ninker is a very small man with a big heart. This book is perfect for second graders who love the Mercy Watson series. Heartwarming and funny!
Feb 02, 2015 rated it liked it
I know to expect greatness from Kate DiCamillo. Name any major prize for children's fiction in the U.S. and she's probably won it, sometimes more than once (as in the case of the biggest annual award of all, the John Newbery Medal). Kate DiCamillo's novels lack for nothing, full of characters exhibiting tremendous courage at seminal moments, moments that poignantly transfer over to our own life experiences as we consider what to make of them in the revealing light of great literature. The lovel ...more
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So A and I were looking for an easy chapter book and it had to have horses in it. As we looked at the public library and this book was the one A wanted. Funny thing is when we finished the book I found the book on my kindle. I totally forgot I downloaded it from the BookIt program from Pizza Hut!

A really loved this book and especially how Leroy would forget the rules on taking care of Maybelline. This is a cute chapter book that will just have you going aww Maybelline and Leroy. Leroy wants a h
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Who couldn’t be drawn to a series called Tales from Deckawoo Drive! Apparently this is a spinoff of the Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo which I haven’t read.

Leroy is a wannabe cowboy who works at the Bijou Drive-in. He gets himself a horse called Maybelline who has 4 teeth and a love of compliments. Charming and cute.
Melissa McAlvey
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very fun cute read aloud. Both girls enjoyed it, but especially Norah (age 4)
Susan Morris
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
Funny, beginning chapter book. A little silly for me, but 1st and 2nd graders would probably enjoy it. (Library)
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
This was a painful listen
Fox Lake District Library
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: radical-readers
The kids loved this book! Everyone gave it 5 stars except 2 kids gave it a million stars. They thought it was so funny that Maybelline had only 4 teeth and eats spaghetti! For our craft we made western style door hangers. Many of the kids recognized Leroy from the Mercy Watson Series by Kate DiCamillo.

This book is great for those who loved Mercy Watson but can handle a little longer beginning chapter books. (2nd and 3rd grade reading level)
Angie Schmidt
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this with my 9 year old. She gave it 5 stars and said it was a good book. I give it 5 stars and basically love any book that happens on or near Deckawoo Drive.
Lara Lleverino
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet beautiful lovely words

I love this story for kids that gives a sweet lesson on the value of affirming words. And it has horses who doesn’t like horses? And a little cowboy. Kate Di Camillo is usually the queen of sad stories but this one is delightful.
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Kate DiCamillo does it again! A fun early chapter book featuring Leroy Ninker and his new horse. Delightful with several laugh-out-loud moments.
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Kate DiCamillo, the newly named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2014–2015, says about stories, “When we read together, we connect. Together, we see the world. Together, we see one another.” Born in Philadelphia, the author lives in Minneapolis, where she faithfully writes two pages a day, five days a week.

Kate DiCamillo's own journey is something of a dream come true. After

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“At the concession stand, Leroy Ninker said, “Thank you very much!” He said, “Extra butter on that?” He also said, “Yippie-i-oh.” Leroy Ninker said “Yippie-i-oh” because Leroy Ninker had a dream. He wanted to be a cowboy. On Wednesday nights, the Bijou Drive-In Theater ran a Western double feature, and Leroy Ninker stood and watched in wonder as the great white expanse of the Bijou screen filled with purple mountains, wide-open plains, and cowboys. The cowboys wore ten-gallon hats. They wore boots. They carried lassos. The cowboys were” 0 likes
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