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Calico Dorsey: Mail Dog of the Mining Camps Hardcover – September 28, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Gr 2-5–Illuminating California's silver mining era, Lendroth creates a plausible story line. It is based on a possibility of actual events surrounding the Border collie that came to be an official U.S. Postal Service mail carrier, crossing the Mojave Desert between the town of Calico and the hills where the miners and prospectors worked. Perspectives on the dog's experiences are related by the Stacey brothers, who run the general store and post office; Nellie, the young daughter and niece; and Dorsey himself, which create excitement for young readers. In the author's notes, Lendroth writes that she uses the information she found during her research to create a story based on fact. Gustavson's paintings are intergrated into the text, flowing from page through the centerfold to page, making this obscure story larger than life. The vitality of the characters is enhanced by the artist's accurate, yet expressive details that add humor and sweetness to the faces of both the people and Dorsey.Tina Hudak, St. Albans School, Washington, DC
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In the town of Calico, California, in 1885, two brothers, Al and Stacy, take in a stray Border collie and name him Dorsey. Stacy runs the post office, and after Al sets up a store in the silver-mining camps in nearby Bismarck, the men train Dorsey to carry the mail for the area. Based on a true story, this title, illustrated in realistic, appealing oil paintings and spare, well-paced prose, conveys a sense of the Old West—not the rush for riches but the open trail and the warm details of daily activity. In one picture, for example, the collie gives a miner’s face “an extra lick clean during Saturday night baths in the barbershop tub.” In the story’s climax, the miners welcome the canine mail carrier, whooping for joy when he brings them letters from home. The animal adventure is at the center of the story, and children will eagerly follow Dorsey as he travels the trails alone, with mailbags buckled onto his furry back. Preschool-Grade 3. --Hazel Rochman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.