Bookstorm: Leroy Ninker Saddles Up 


In this Bookstorm:

Leroy Ninker Sad­dles Up. Tales from Deck­a­woo Dri­ve, Book 1.

Kate DiCamil­lo, illus­trat­ed by Chris Van Dusen.
Can­dlewick Press, 2014

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, too. But when Leroy for­gets the third and final rule of car­ing for May­belline, dis­as­ter ensues. Can Leroy wres­tle fate to the ground, res­cue the horse of his heart, and las­so lone­li­ness for good? Join Leroy, May­belline, and a cast of famil­iar char­ac­ters — Stel­la, Frank, Mrs. Wat­son, and everyone’s favorite porcine won­der, Mer­cy — for some hilar­i­ous and heart­felt hors­ing around on Deck­a­woo Drive.”

Ear­ly Chap­ter Books. Leroy Ninker Sad­dles Up is writ­ten in a way that begin­ning read­ers will find approach­able and sat­is­fy­ing. There are chap­ters, each one a short tale. The vocab­u­lary is acces­si­ble. In begin­ning read­ers, there are illus­tra­tions for chil­dren who are most famil­iar with pic­ture books but the empha­sis shifts toward read­ing. You’ll find a num­ber of com­ple­men­tary titles in the Book­storm, some of which focus on horses.

Friend­ship. Whether it’s unlike­ly friend­ships between ani­mals, good friends old and young, or com­fort­ing a fear­ful friend, we rec­om­mend books that will pair well with Leroy Ninker Sad­dles Up, in which insep­a­ra­ble friends Leroy and May­belline find joy.

Cow­boys. Leroy Ninker aban­dons his life of crime to work in a dri­ve-in the­ater, but being a cow­boy appeals to him. You’ll find true sto­ries about cow­boys in this sec­tion of the Book­storm™, includ­ing Cow­boy Up! Ride the Nava­jo Rodeo, about fam­i­lies who work hard to be their best on the rodeo circuit.

Hors­es. Leroy Ninker loves May­belline, his horse unlike any oth­er. You’ll find rec­om­mend­ed pic­ture books and chap­ter books about hors­es, fic­tion and non­fic­tion, includ­ing Mar­guerite Henry’s clas­sic, Misty of Chin­coteague.

Dri­ve-In The­aters. There are very few left in the coun­try, but Leroy works at one and many adults remem­ber the fun of watch­ing a movie in your PJs, tucked inside your par­ents’ car, slap­ping at the mos­qui­toes, and eat­ing food from the con­ces­sions stand. We rec­om­mend a web­site that brings the expe­ri­ence to life.

Spaghet­ti. It’s Maybelline’s favorite food and a won­der­ful way to engage your stu­dents in dis­cus­sions about sci­ence and math. We rec­om­mend cook­books for those who enjoy non­fic­tion best.

Size. Leroy is on the short side and May­belline is on the tall side. Books such as Actu­al Size by Steve Jenk­ins will have your stu­dents com­par­ing and con­trast­ing with ease.

Kind­ness. The book inspires dis­cus­sions about being kind and accept­ing oth­ers. We’ve rec­om­mend­ed books that will add to the dis­cus­sion, includ­ing The Name Jar by Yang­sook Choi.

Weath­er. A storm is an impor­tant plot ele­ment in Leroy and Maybelline’s sto­ry. Sev­er­al books about weath­er, rang­ing from pic­ture books to begin­ning read­ers, from fic­tion to non­fic­tion, are includ­ed for your inspiration.

Tech­niques for using each book: