In what PW called an "exuberant" volume, narrated by a 12-year-old girl and arranged to resemble a scrapbook, Rosemary Wells and her late husband, an architect, "charmingly detail" the construction of a house built from a kit ordered from the Sears, Roebuck catalogue in 1928. Ages 6-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
This story is about a twelve-year-old girl, Emily, and her nine-year-old brother, Homer. Emily and Homer live in a tiny house in Enfield, Kentucky in 1928 with their Ma and Pa and a baby brother on the way. The family must carry water into the house to take a bath, cook on a wood stove, and carry a drip pan from the ice melting in the icebox. When Ma and Pa order a new house from a catalogue, it comes by train in the form of a kit. The day the house kit arrives, half the town shows up to unload the kit. Work on the house begins in early May, and the house is finished by the end of October. The complete house contains many modern appliances, and the lives of Emily and her family are changed forever. The new house includes a bathroom with running water, a gas stove and a new refrigerator. The illustrations make this book look like a scrapbook filled with family pictures and pages from the old Sears catalogue. While young elementary-aged children will enjoy learning about life in the early 1900s, this nostalgic book will also appeal to many adults. 2002, Viking/Penguin, Ages 6 up.
K-Gr 4-In the early to mid-1900s, it was possible to order entire houses through the mail. In this charming story, the Cartwrights of Kentucky choose, send for, build, and furnish just such a home in 1927. Twelve-year-old Emily has kept a scrapbook to document the procedure. The text is a comfortable blend of information with occasional insights into the life and relationships of the family. Little brother Homer is thrilled that there will be a window onto the roof so he can climb out and watch the stars, but concerned that the indoor running water will mean more baths. Andreasen's illustrations, in appropriate scrapbook format, are chock-full of gracefully rendered details from the period, including a Hoosier cabinet and "modern" icebox. This is a lovely way to introduce today's children to an interesting slice of Americana.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Andreasen (Tattered Sails, 2001, etc.) has chosen to frame this tale about a pre-Depression Kentucky family getting a new mail-order house as a scrapbook, with 11-year-old Emily's narrative running alongside arrays of drawings, advertisements, diagrams, antique-looking photos, small keepsakes, and other memorabilia, all rendered with photorealistic precision. Having spent most of her life sharing the attic with little brother Homer, Emily is understandably thrilled to sit down at the table with her parents and pick out a house from a catalogue-a house with not only a room just for her, but such modern conveniences as indoor plumbing, an electric refrigerator, and a gas range. Half the town turns out when the house arrives in prefabricated parts, and, for Emily at least, the excitement never flags through the months of hard work it takes to put it all together. Her account is more a broad outline than a tally of nitty-gritty details, but like Jane Yolen's Raising Yoder's Barn (1998), it will leave young readers seeing the walls and buildings around them with new eyes. For a sense of period, you could hardly do better than these evocative illustrations. (Picture book. 7-9)