STAGECOACH SAL by Deborah Hopkinson


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Age Range: 5 - 8
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Sally, so small her feet don’t reach the floorboards of her Pa’s stagecoach, loves to ride and sing (and she can shoot, too). When an encounter with a hornet’s nest leaves only Sal to drive the mail, she sets off with no fear of Poetic Pete, the polite, versifying robber. When she encounters him, she invites him to ride shotgun with her and keeps him from speaking at all by singing “Sweet Betsy from Pike” and “Polly Wolly Doodle,” then neatly cuffs him after he falls asleep. Both the text and the typefaces are as bouncy and lively as the songs and the story, skittering up, down and around the pages. Ellis’s art places primitive-looking figures and landscape on white backgrounds so they float in space, as do pigtails, hats, luggage, feet—nothing is ever firmly planted. The images thus echo the rollicking text, which begs to be read aloud. Based on the real Delia Haskett Rawson, the first and possibly only woman to carry the U.S. mail by stagecoach in California, the story has a wonderful energy and verve. (author’s note) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4231-1149-8
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2009


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