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Mailing May Paperback – September 5, 2000


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; Reprint edition (September 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064437248
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064437240
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2. Five-year-old Charlotte May Pierstorff begs to visit her grandmother, but her parents cannot afford to send her. In Idaho in 1914, the train is the only way to make the 75-mile trip over the mountains. The Pierstorffs come up with an unusual solution?mailing May. Sending her as a package is a third of the cost, and since her mother's cousin Leonard handles the railroad mail car, she does not have to travel alone. Children will delight in the fantasy aspects of the tale even after they discover that the story is true. Tunnell describes his research in an author's note. Rand's watercolor illustrations are masterful, as is the design of the book as a whole. The intriguing cover is made to look like a suitcase. With the tweed of the traveling bag as a backdrop, the title is framed in the shape of a postage stamp, and two other old-fashioned stamps and a "photograph" of May holding the same suitcase are featured. The device of the painted photographs or other pieces of realia such as a postal tag or train schedule appear throughout the book's glowing two-page spreads and add to the story's authenticity. This well-crafted presentation provides a brief, but sweet, glimpse into the past.?Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Ages 5^-8. Based on an incident that occurred in Idaho in 1914, this story tells of little May, who longs to visit her grandmother. May's parents cannot afford a railway ticket for the 75-mile trip, but with the help of cousin Leonard, who mans the mail car on the train, May's father takes advantage of the new parcel post regulations: he presents his daughter at the station post office as a package he's mailing to Lewiston. Affixing 53 cents in stamps to the back of her coat, the good-natured postmaster checks May in as poultry ("biggest baby chick on record"), and Leonard delivers her to Grandma's house the next day. Told in the first person from May's point of view, the story has a folksy quality and a ring of truth that will hold children's interest beyond the central anecdote. Rand's watercolor illustrations beautifully evoke the period and the feelings of the well-drawn characters. Particularly helpful in bringing the past to life are his essentially narrative style and the inclusion of small, sepia-toned paintings of photographs beside the large full-color paintings. Carolyn Phelan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 28 customer reviews
A great story for children an adults!
Sharon A. Lee
This is a good story, well written, with nice evocative illustrations.
Arie Farnam
We read it to go along with the flat stanley stories.
Sajmom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 9, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I chose this book to read to a group of children, ages 2 to 11. They all sat, listening, interested, and loved it! The story is so nice and the drawings are perfect. I think a child doesn't have to "believe it" to believe in the passion behind it. They get it. It was great.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
I really liked the book Mailing because it was an interesting, funny, and cute little story. It was about a five year old girl who didn't have $1.55 for a ticket to go visit her grandma. SO instead they mailes her as a baby chick through the US Postal Service. Instead it only cost her $0.53 than the $1.55 it would cost to buy a ticket. The pictures in this book were fantastic, they showed al ot of action. THis was a true story.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on July 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
The story of `Mailing May' is actually based on the true story of the mailing of Charlotte May Pierstorff who was actually mailed (as a baby chick), from Grangeville, Idaho to Lewiston Idaho in 1913. While the author has of course made a few changes here and there, it is never the less based on a true happening and the author has gone to great lengths to portray the era in which May was mailed...January 1, 1913.

Times were hard in Idaho, as they were in most places during that day and time and May wanted to visit her grandmother "who lived a million miles away through the rough old Idaho mountains." The problem though was that the train ticket (the only way of getting there) costs a dollar fifty-five, and as May's father points out, he has to work an entire day for that kind of money; money the family simply did not have.

What to do, what to do?

Between May's extended family, local railroad workers and postal workers they came up with the idea of simply mailing May, which at the time would only cost fifty-three cents. Regulations stated that the postal department could not mail lizards or insects or anything smelly. May pasted the smell test and she most certainly was not an insect or lizard. The postal service could though mail baby chicks and that is what they classified her as...a forty-eight pound and eight ounce baby chick...a record!

This is a delightful story taken from an era long gone. The tale is beautifully written and the art work is some of the best I have seen in a children's book. The author and illustrator have most certainly captured the feel and essence of Idaho during the turn of the century.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 30, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is a touching story of a little girl who can't afford to visit her grandparents. It's set in the early 1900's. Children will learn a little history. They'll enjoy the family's solution to their problem. This is a lovely story. I'm afraid, however, that I enjoyed it a bit more than my children. From their 1990's perspective, the story was a little hard to believe.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shanna A. Gonzalez on October 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
Five-year-old Charlotte May Pierstorff is disappointed when, after promising her a visit to her grandmother's house, seventy-five miles away over Idaho mountains, her parents tell her they cannot afford a train ticket. But she is mystified the next morning when her father wakes her up for an early trip to the local post office. Taking advantage of the new 1914 postal regulations allowing packages as large as fifty pounds, he pastes some stamps and an address card to the back of her coat and leaves her in the care of her cousin Leonard, who manages the mail car on the train, and she gets to visit her grandmother after all.

This charming story is illustrated in Ted Rand's warmly vibrant style, and most of the paintings are supplemented with museum-style images of historical mementos: old-fashioned stamps, the address tag on May's coat, and black-and-white snapshots of people and scenes. Michael Tunnell tells the story from the little girl's perspective, including enough detail to satisfy adult questions about how the feat was accomplished.

The story brings with it a freshness and innocence, and with many positive themes. Among them are courage and creativity in the face of difficulty, a grandchild's devotion to her grandmother, people helping one another, and parents keeping promises. It is targeted for an elementary audience, and their parents may enjoy the humor of the situation at least as much as the children do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bookgirl on March 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
I think with the postal service (as with many other institutions we take for granted), children often wonder "What would happen if . . ." Michael O. Tunnell's "Mailing May" plays with this idea. May, a little girl in the book, wants to visit her grandmother, but her family doesn't have the money for a train ticket, so May's father and Leonard (the post-man) must come up with an alternative solution. Ultimately they mail May like a package, and even the grumpy conductor of the train can't help but laugh at the idea. That the story apparently is true, and not merely a "what if" tale (according to the back of the book) seems to only increase reader delight.

Note on the illustrations: The illustrations are 3/4-page watercolor paintings, with smaller paintings of postage stamps, photographs, tags, and railroad documents, thus adding to the story's sense of reality and historicity. They help establish the early 1900s setting, and develop the characters through facial expressions.
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