Mail by the Pail
By Colin Bergel
Illustrated by Mark Koenig

In the port city of Manistee on the coast of Lake Michigan, lives a girl named Mary. Mary's father is a sailor who works on a lake freighter called the Big Laker. The Big Laker delivers iron, stone, and coal to the many cities along the Great Lakes. Mary's father will not be home this year for his birthday and Mary Wants to send him a card. But Mary's card can't be delivered by a mail  carrier like other letters. Her father gets his mail by a pail.

This is a delightful story that illustrates the mail delivery system for Great Lakes freighters. The J. W. Westcott Company operates the mailboat for the U.S. Postal Service marine post office in Detroit-the only mailboat that delivers mail to freighters while they are moving. 

Colin Bergei helps young readers understand the special mail delivery system to the Great Lakes freighters through the story of a young girl and her quest to send her father a birthday card. Mail by the Pail helps young readers by: 

  • providing a brief history of the mail delivery system to Great Lakes freighters.
  • highlighting the nontraditional lifestyles of Great Lakes sailors and their families.
  • facilitating letter writing skills in young readers and how an envelope is correctly addressed and processed by the J.W. Westcott Company.

The colorful pictures and expressive words in Mail by the Pail will interest young readers as well as anyone living in the states that border the Great Lakes.

Colin Bergel is a first class pilot -Great Lakes Mate with the Oglebay Norton Company. When he is not sailing, he lives with his family in Manistee, Michigan. This is his first children's book. 

Mark Koenig illustrated Our Michigan Adventure (Hillsdale Publishing, 1999), he has also illustrated a poster for the city of Manistee. He works in the paper industry and lives with his family in Manistee, Michigan. 

[A] charming and informative story for children. . .
a much-needed contribution
to children's literature"
óGail P. Beaver, Librarian,
Huron High School

To order toll-free:
8 1/4 x 10 3/4, 32 pages
27 illustrations
ISBN: 0-8143-2890-3
$16.95, cloth
Ages 6+

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