Book Review: Mailing May

Rating: ★★★★☆

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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Publication Information: Tunnell, Michael O.. Mailing May. Rand, Ted (Illustrator). Greenwillow. 1997. ISBN: 0064437248.
Categories: 4 Stars, Age 04-08, Read-Aloud Handbook
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Posted on October 1, 2011

1 Response to Book Review: Mailing May

  • Modesto Jaimes says:

    I love this book. Brings back great memories. Of my old schools…

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