Mailing May (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

Overview

Nowadays it's no big deal or a girl to travel seventy-five miles. But when Charlotte May Pierstorff wanted to cross seventy-five miles of Idaho mountains to see her grandma in 1914, it was a very big deal indeed. There was no highway except the railroad, and a train ticket would have cost her parents a full day's pay.

Here is the true story of how May got to visit her grandma, thanks to her won spunk, her father's ingenuity, and the U.S. mail.

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Hardcover (Library Binding - THIS EDITION IS INTENDED FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY)
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Overview

Nowadays it's no big deal or a girl to travel seventy-five miles. But when Charlotte May Pierstorff wanted to cross seventy-five miles of Idaho mountains to see her grandma in 1914, it was a very big deal indeed. There was no highway except the railroad, and a train ticket would have cost her parents a full day's pay.

Here is the true story of how May got to visit her grandma, thanks to her won spunk, her father's ingenuity, and the U.S. mail.

00-01 CA Young Reader Medal Masterlist and 01 Colorado Children's Book Award (Pic. Bk Cat.)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Necessity, as always the mother of invention, inspired this true story culled from U.S. postal lore. May's parents promise her a visit to her grandmother, but when a train ticket through the Idaho mountains is too expensive, her father comes up with a unique solution: he mails her by parcel post instead. Postal regulations in 1914 prohibit the shipment of "lizards or insects or anything smelly," but say nothing about girls, and so the congenial postmaster duly classifies May as a baby chick, glues fifty-three cents worth of stamps and a delivery tag onto her coat and sends her on her way, under the protective wing of her mother's cousin Leonard (who, not coincidentally, happens to man the train's mail car). Tunnell (The Children of Topaz) recounts this quirky slice of Americana with color and flair (a steam engine is described as "hissing and snorting like a boar hog"). Rand's (Fair!, reviewed below) expressive, slightly sentimental watercolors do justice to the period setting. Brimming with detail, from the clothing styles to the tin ceiling in the general store and the pigeon-holed interior of the railway mail car, they incorporate a scattering of renderings of stamps and sepia-toned photographs as well, adding texture to the fictionalized account. Ages 4-up. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2Five-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 solutionmailing 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
Kirkus Reviews
Based on a true story is this old-fashioned account from Tunnell (with George W. Chilcoat, The Children of Topaz, 1996, etc.), about five-year-old May's railroad journey via parcel post across the rugged Idaho mountains to visit her grandmother. Unable to purchase a first-class train ticket, May has 53ยข in stamps glued to the back of her coat and joins the packages and letters in the mail car. Even a cranky old conductor cannot deter May from making it to Grandma Mary's for lunch. A little-known detail in the history of the postal service inspired this 1914 period piece, and while children may wish for more suspense, the matter-of-fact telling is sure to bring quiet smiles as understanding dawns. Rand's illustrations of homey, wood-grained, braided-rug interiors and bundled-up wintry scenes bring warmth to the narrative; sepia-toned illustrations mimicking old photographs add to the notion of the book as part story, part historical record, while a photograph of the real Charlotte May Pierstorff appears on the jacket.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780613300162
  • Publisher: San Val, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: THIS EDITION IS INTENDED FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

"A heartwarming period piece based on a true incident, lovingly told, beautifully illustrated," raved The New York Times Book Review of Michael O. Tunnell's Mailing May, illustrated by Ted Rand, which was also honored as a 1998 ALA Notable Book. The author of five picture books, two chapter books, two novels, and one documentary, Mike teaches children's literature at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He and his wife, Glenna, have four children and two grandchildren.

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