Great Plains Press : Children's and Art Books

Reviews

A Lucky Dog

Click to find our more about A Lucky Dog: OwneyBooklist
Wales' account of the U.S. Postal Service's first, and probably only, canine mascot will strike a chord with animal lovers and inspire inquiries into history and geography. In 1887, on a cold, rainy night in Albany, New York, a postal worker takes pity on a shivering dog that has taken shelter in the depot. Although it's against the rules, the supervisor allows "Owney" to stay. One day, the dog jumps aboard a mail train and discovers he likes riding the rails. News of his adventures, which ultimately include a trip around the world, spreads as he travels, and people give him baggage tags from the places he visits. The overuse of exclamation points aside, the narrative is clear and straightforward, and the scratchy, earth-toned illustrations aptly convey both the scraggliness of the stray and the nineteenth-century backdrop of the story. A satisfying tale, all the more pleasing for being true. Diane Foote
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Chicago Tribune
1890s mutt makes good, worldwide. Owney (named after the kindly postal clerk who let him stay that first night in Albany, N.Y.) became quite the traveler, on the big boxcars in which mail was carried and sorted. He received special tags from kennel clubs around the country and was even issued a Japanese imperial passport. Though short on detail about Owney's final days, the story passes pleasantly, riding on the strength of Diane Kenna's illustrations and the quirkiness of the story. Maybe we all like to see a free survivor in bureaucratic space.

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Los Alamos Review of Books
" A Lucky Dog: Owney, U.S. Rail Mail Mascot," written by Dirk Wales of Santa Fe and illustrated by his long-time collaborator Diane Kenna, will charm the hearts of child and adult. It has received favorable national publicity including an American Library Association Booklist recommendation. The story is aimed at children in the early to mid-elementary grades.

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Coalition for Quality Children's Media
KIDS FIRST!™ Adult Juror Comments:
Ms. Kenna's wonderful illustrations lovingly illustrate the text and offer a glimpse of life at the turn of the century from inside the post office where Owney lived for nine years, to mail wagons and mail cars.

KIDS FIRST!™ KID Juror Comments:
Here's a story that could have disappeared like milk bottles and horse-drawn carriages - filled with values of good, old-fashioned human kindness.

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Albany Public Library
The story has drama and pathos and will interest many levels of readers.
Jendy Murphy, Head of Children's Department

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The Storyteller Bookstore
We love selling A Lucky Dog.
Linda Higham, Founder

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Satisfied Reader
Little did I know [when I ordered A Lucky Dog - U.S. Rail Mail Mascot] that I would receive such a treasure. A heart-warming story, wonderfully written and with some of the best illustrations I've seen - it captures the spirit of adventure, while at the same time reminding the reader of the tenderness that exists when we reache out to our four-legged friends.
Kathy Cottier

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