Title: Calico Dorsey: Mail Dog of the Mining Camps
Author: Susan Lendroth
Illustrator: Adam Gustavson
Publisher: Tricycle Press
Concepts: natural resources, public services
Review: Back in the 1880s, brothers Everett and Alwin Stacy lived in the silver mining town known as Calico. Everett ran the post office, and when prospectors found more silver a mile or two away at the Bismarck Mine, Al opened up a small general store there. For company, Al took Dorsey with him, a stray dog that he and Everett had adopted.
Dorsey, however, had other ideas. He missed Calico’s hustle and bustle, and he missed the children there, especially Everett’s daughter Nellie. Because Dorsey knew the way to Calico (he accompanied Al once a week to make mail deliveries between Bismarck Mine and Calico), Dorsey took it upon himself one day to visit Nellie all on his own. He even stopped by Calico’s post office to say hello. After several such trips, Nellie realized that the miners could get their mail more frequently if they trained Dorsey to carry the mail. Could Dorsey manage such a big task without getting lost or distracted on the trail?
Parents and educators can use this unique book to motivate some interesting discussions involving economics concepts, especially public services in the context of mail delivery, and natural resources in the context of gold and silver mining in the U.S. The charming story of a stray dog who found a loving home and a greater purpose adds to the fun.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children