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Children's LiteratureThe Hop-To-It-Express is the fastest delivery service in the west, with riders like Fast the alligator, and his faithful steed Snappy the frog delivering letters in record time. When the president asks the Hop-To-It Express to deliver an urgent letter announcing that Cactus Gulch is officially welcomed into the U.S.A., Fast and Snappy have their work cut out for them. Although they would usually pass the letter off at the next station to another rider, Gila Joe and his band of rattle snakes are out and causing problems at every turn, and Fast and Snappy end up riding the whole way themselves—battling Gila Joe the whole way. Told in a rip-riding cowboy style, this book is a perfect introduction for young cow-pokes to the Pony Express. The book ends with a fast-n-snappy history of the Pony Express, which is much easier to swallow than the typical dry history lesson, in great part due to the story it follows. The text is accompanied on each page by colorful paintings. 2004, Carolrhoda Books, Ages 5 to 8.