Mail-Delivery Dog

January 28, 2009

Dog lovers, you will enjoy this phenomenal true account of a stray terrier who was adopted by the Albany Postal Service in Owney the Mail-Pouch Pooch (Frances & Foster Books, 2008).  In 1888, Owney began guarding the mail bags and helped the men at the post.  After a time, Owney jumped a mail train car.  Upon returning to Albany several weeks later, the rail workers gave Owney a collar and note asking to attach a depot tag to mark his trip while being gone. Owney seemed to love traveling on the train.  As the reader, you almost feel like you are traveling with Owney on his adventures.  It definitely leaves you wondering what he did and how he knew where to go, when to get on and off.

Based on true events recorded by the major newspapers in the 1890’s, Mona Kerby captures Owney’s travels through the United States and even the world, on a special voyage.  In the author’s note, Mona shared “When Owney died in 1897, his friends had a taxidermist preserve him and sent this body to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.”  Three original pictures of Owney grace the book.  Check out Mona Kerby’s blog that focuses on letter writing and other activities for this newest book based on Owney.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Owney the Mail-Pouch Pooch:

  • Introduction – “In the year 1888, on a cold rainy October night in Albany, NY, a straggly terrier mutt wandered through the empty streets looking for a place to get out of the rain.  He was so skinny his ribs stuck out.”
  • Descriptive action with the Magic of Three – “circled twice, curled up, and went to sleep
  • Hyphenated words – official-looking, lickety-split
  • Historical narrative – a unique story that’s true
  • Passage of Time

(Warsaw Public Library)