Pony Express!

Pony Express!

by Steven Kroll, Dan Andreasen

Discusses the eighteen month history, officially beginning April 3, 1860, of the mail delivery between Saint Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California, known as the Pony Express. See more details below

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Discusses the eighteen month history, officially beginning April 3, 1860, of the mail delivery between Saint Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California, known as the Pony Express.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
For 18 months during the 1860s the Pony Express delivered the mail between Missouri and California, its riders keeping to a grueling schedule, facing Indian attacks and inclement weather. Kroll and Andreasen, previously paired for By the Dawn's Early Light, dramatically capture the pioneer spirit of this forerunner of the modern postal service while providing an enticing glimpse of American history. A brief introduction fills the reader in on events leading up to the formation of the Pony Express, with succinct references to the effects of the Gold Rush and the Civil War. Then Kroll transports readers to the scene of the Pony's first mail delivery; riders are introduced and their experiences recreated in a deadpan, race-against-the-clock presentation of the facts. Oil paintings set within trompe l'oeil wood frames document important scenes and the actions of individual riders, showing their unflagging spirit and determination as they battled to get the mail through on time. Maps and photos at the end of the book are a useful addition. An absorbing and enlightening dose of history and adventure. Ages 7-10. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
In an attractive format, combining brisk paced narrative with luminous artwork, this book documents the historic first ride of the Pony Express. It also provides insights into the early trials and triumphs associated with what we today take for granted: the mail delivery. An introduction and afterword present a packed summary of information to fill in historical background. A mini photo museum embellishes the back matter of the book. Andreasen's oil paintings capture the thrill of the ride and the very blue blue of the western skies.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-A vivid picture of the mail service whose fame has far outlasted its 18-month actuality. Kroll tells of the first deliveries from the east and west, rider by rider, giving the narrative the thrilling pace of a race and including interesting details. The excitement of the crowds, the display value of the opening ceremonies, and the national changes that were behind the urgency for fast mail delivery are all strongly realized. The author keeps the early drama in perspective with his coverage of the subsequent months of the service and its replacement by the telegraph. An appended "Mini Photo Museum" gives a brief history of mail delivery from clipper ships to jets, while a map of the pony express routes and most of the stations gives children a sense of the distance covered. Andreason's illustrations evoke the Old West of Frederick Remington. Full-page paintings with woodgrain frames put readers right in the center of the action. Far more than a book for reports, this is a stirring title that should appeal to action-loving adventurers.-Louise L. Sherman, Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ
Kay Weisman
Kroll begins with an explanation of the California gold rush and shows how the growth of settlements resulted in a demand for faster mail service between Sacramento and the East; he then explores the history of the Pony Express in this handsome, informative picture book. In 1858 entrepreneur William Russell formed a horse express, operated by a chain of riders who moved the mail across the country in 10 days or less. Kroll highlights the first trip in April 1860, describes some of the problems the service encountered, and offers a short account of postal developments since that time. Dan Andreasen's vivid oil paintings, rendered with near photographic quality, clearly convey the human cost of this effort, while portraying the landscape and equipment in sharp detail. Pair with Geis' "The First Ride" (1994) for another look at an always popular topic.

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Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.74(w) x 11.38(h) x 0.46(d)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

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