My dilemma -- Phoebe loves bedtime stories, which is wonderful, but I am desperately weary of all of our pictures books, which I've been reading over and over and over again for eight years now. (I did decide, recently, that it was well within my rights to refuse to read certain books, such as Richard Scarry's Busy Day [nothing wrong with Richard Scarry, of course, but I prefer a book with a plot] and anything with "Seek and Find" in the title.) Phoebe, however, hasn't been receptive to reading chapter books yet. And Mallory, who should be reading chapter books herself, is similarly uninterested in them, but has taken to calling most of our picture books "babyish" (which sometimes makes Phoebe cry, which is not what you want at storytime).
But in the bookstore this weekend, I found a solution -- Mercy Watson. She's a pig -- well, not just a pig, but a porcine wonder -- who gets into wacky adventures and who loves hot buttered toast. The books are fully -- and beautifully -- illustrated, which pleases Phoebe, and also hilarious, with fairly advanced vocabulary (see: porcine wonder), which appeals to Mallory. We read the first Mercy book over the past two nights, and the girls have begged me to buy the rest of the series as soon as possible. The books are the perfect bridge between picture books and chapter books. Thank you, Mercy Watson! Now I just need to find a few more series just like this...and then maybe we can move on to Ramona the Pest.