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Mailing May

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  520 Ratings  ·  104 Reviews
Nowadays it's no big deal for 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 gran
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 1997 by HarperCollins Publishers
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(showing 1-30)
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Apr 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
So, I'm biased. This book is about my great grandmother, and it's a cool piece of family history. My grandmother got to meet and talk with the author, who is a genuinely nice guy. She bought copies of the book for all of her grandchildren, which was also pretty neat. It's a great story, fun illustrations (some of which are almost exact to old family photos, which is strange because the illustrator never saw any photos), and it's all the more fun because it's true.
Feb 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Reading Level: 8 years old and older
It is 1913 and five year old May wants so badly to visit her grandmother in Idaho. The train ticket costs $1.55 - more than her parents can afford. May's ingenious parents come up with a plan - they send May as mail for $.55 as there are no rules excluding sending people. She is stamped and tagged on the back of her coat as a 54lb baby chick. Her uncle is the mail car mailman who escorts her safely. The artwork is a wonderful & charming. A perfect capturin
Melanie Soble
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
1. This book would fall under the category of a picture book, historical.
2. Five year old May wants to visit her Grandma Mary as her parents had promised. The problem was there was no money for a train ticket. She tries to get a job at the local store, but the owner tells her that the jobs are for grown-ups and she is just too little. Her parents decide that they will send May to her grandmother’s house using the US Postal Service!
3. critique
a. The strongest part of this book is its conveyanc
Phally Pech
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Mailing May is a book based on a true story. The book is about a little girl named, May. May's parents had promised her that she would soon be able to go stay with her Grandma Mary. As the day came, May's parents were not able to send her on the train, as they did not have enough money to afford a train ticket. The news greatly upset May, and her parents knew that it would. Knowing how disappointed their daughter were, May's parents thought of a brilliant method to send their daughter to her bel ...more
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 520historicalfic
This true story by Michael O. Tunnell gives life to what it is like to live in Idaho in 1914. May wants to visit her Grandma Mary but her family doesn't have enough money to afford a train ticket. Her father gets an idea to ship her off as if she were a package from the post office. Upon inspection at the post office, there was no rule that said May could not be shipped on the train, she was the right weight and everything! Classified as a baby chick, May travels on the post office train. May re ...more
Jan Polep
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
This picture book was mentioned in connection with a photo posted by of a mailman with a kid in a mail pouch. The US mail discontinued the mailing of children in 1920 (yes, really) but not before Charlotte May Pierstorff was sent by parcel post to visit her Grandma in Idaho (yes, really)...all possible because a clever Dad couldn't afford a train ticket for her. Some company like FedEx or UPS should bring back this needed service for times when you just want to say, "Knock it off or ...more
Sep 14, 2010 rated it liked it
We used this for a 2-3 grade book discussion. Great book!
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This picture book is genuinely delightful. The story is amazing and told in such a whimsical way that children end up giggling through a lot of it. The pictures are gorgeous and so adorably capture the joy of a bright-eyed young girl. The only thing I didn't like: the front cover. For some reason it made the book look boring and un-interesting to my children, but when they cracked it open, they all ended up loving it. So, don't be deterred by the cover, I guess. ;)
I stumbled across this one shelved in the wrong place in the library, and as my children's lit text mentioned it roughly a thousand times, I took it out. It's a cute story; May is actually mailed labeled as a baby chick, and the postal service loophole does work. More amazingly, this is largely a true story. The illustrations were nearly photographic in their realism. On the whole, it was cute.
Lauren Hicks
I really enjoyed this story! I loved that it is based on a true story, the historical time period is brilliantly displayed, and the illustrations are beautiful.
Amber Bartram
This story follows a girl who is mailed to her grandmother's house for 53 cents. This is a fun book i would just keep in my classroom library.
This book is based on true story about a young girl named May. May wanted to visit her grandmother many miles away. However, her parents could not afford a train ticket. May’s Pa had an idea. In 1914, there was no postal code saying you can’t mail a little girl and Ma’s cousin works in the mail car on the train. So her dad took her to the post office and paid fifty-three cents to mail May to her grandma.

This Wide Reading Project has given me the opportunity to read several book
Nov 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Mailing May by Michael O. Tunnell falls into the category a historical fiction based on research. The author provides a lengthy note at the end of the book explaining how she collected her research to tell the story of the young girl May that was mailed to her grandma's when her parents couldn't afford a train ticket. " I learned these facts about May and her incredible adventure from Jim O'Donnel of the National Postal Museum, Lora Feucht of the Nez Peree County (Idaho) Historical Society, Carm ...more
Tammy J
Oct 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-fic
Mailing May is riveting and based on a true story. It won both the Colorado Children's Book Award (2001), and Young Reader Medal Masterlist (2000). This historical fiction picture book has humor and depicts images of the past. Michael O. Tunnell gives life to what it is like to live in Idaho in 1914. May tried to get the money herself by asking for a job at Alexanders store. May wants to visit her Grandma Mary but her family doesn't have enough money to afford a train ticket. Her father gets an ...more
Brittany Trinh
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: project-1
Tunnell, M. O., & Rand, T. (1997). Mailing May. New York: Greenwillow Books.

Review: May is a little girl who loves her grandmother and would like to visit her as soon as possible. It is the year 1914 and May’s family is not in the position to afford a train ticket for May. The cost of a ticket was almost equally the same as her parents’ paycheck per day. There was no way to afford a train ticket and still have food on the table. Lucky for May, her uncle was a mailman in the actual train
Shanna Gonzalez
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-04-08
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 leav ...more
L12 _Lisa
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-fic

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.
The author and illustrator have most certainly captured
Oct 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Okay, I am going to make my challenge this year! I do legitimately read children's books and I am going to want to remember if I liked them or not!! Okay, enough justification.

I read this book to my students before we went on our post office field trip, which was the kickoff to our awesome postcard exchange! This was the (mostly) true story of a girl in 1914. She wants to visit her grandma, but her parents can't afford a train ticket to send her there. Due to postal laws that had just changed, h
This seemingly improbable story of a young girl being mailed to her grandmother as a package carried by train through Idaho in 1914 is actually based on a true story! Mailing May tells the story of 5-year-old Charlotte May Pierstoff, who desperately wanted to go visit her grandmother 75 miles away. But May can only see her grandmother if she travels by train, and her parents cannot afford the cost of a ticket. However, one day May's father gets the idea to send May as a package, and that's jus ...more
Olivia Lavelle
Mar 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a very cute book. I wasn't expecting to learn anything from this book, but I surprisingly did! Back in history I did not know that you could be mailed through the postal service. I personally thought it was pretty neat, and it's amazing how there is a huge difference in the prices of stamps from back then till today. Anyways, this was about a cute little girl who wanted to see her grandmother so badly that she was mailed to her through the postal service by her Uncle. Maybe I haven't re ...more
Oct 21, 2011 rated it liked it
“Mailing May” by Michael O. Tunnel and illustrated by Ted Rand was a funny story about a girl named May making a visit to her grandmother’s house but instead of taking a train there, she was sent as a package. It is base off a true story how the post office clerk made sure May made a safe trip to see her grandmother’s house by categorizing her as a “baby chick” since baby chickens were able to be sent by mail. I thought it was a lovely and fun story to know that it was a true story. The author s ...more
Mar 03, 2011 rated it liked it
The story, Mailing May, takes place in 1913 when transportation was limited to trains and the cost of tickets was too expensive for most families. May, a young girl, wants to visit her grandmother, but her parents tell her she'll have to wait until next year when they have more money. The cost of a train ticket is the same amount her father makes in a day. Then her parents come up with a clever idea. They have a friend, who is a postal worker, and delivers mail via train. They decide to speak wi ...more
Jul 13, 2010 rated it liked it
This was recommended to me by teachers at my school who heard it read aloud by another librarian who visited our school. They gave the book a glowing recommendation so maybe I was expecting too much when I read it? I liked it but it didn't bowl me over. It's a nice enough story of a real event. I did really like the illustrations, which immediately reminded me of Barn Dance! - and made me want to read it again! It's been a while.

The author's note at the end really helps to round out the story. I
The story of a little frontier girl who wants to visit her grandmother. Her family can't afford the train ticket, so they send her by mail!

Ok, the artwork and the story are a bit kitschy. It reminds me of books that my mother would read to me that were more for her and to her taste than to little-kid-mine. Still, there are some really good things here that are usable for older children. The illustrations are full of day to day life in May's cabin home, and the text describes some of the sights a
Nov 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
O. Tunnell's story of May, a young girl who is shipped in a package to visit her grandmother on train, is a must read!

I use it in my classroom to introduce the strategy of questioning. The book provides opportunities for questions before, during, and after the text. After re-reading it, and having just recently read Henry's Freedom Box, I saw some similarities. This sparked the idea of using these books to teach text to text connections.

Rand's illustrations are colorful, realistic, and authen
Emily Wiegman
Feb 07, 2015 rated it liked it
"Mailing May" is a cute story of a little girl who wants to visit her grandmother several towns away in Idaho. The simple watercolor pictures remind me of a simpler time in the past when travel was rare and trains were the extent of technology. A train ticket at $1.55 was too expensive for May's parents to afford in the early 1900s, so they decided to mail her. She spent most of the train ride inside the postal car, but was very excited about the adventure of visiting Grandma. I especially love ...more
Megan Piero
This book is based on a true story about a little girl who was shipped as a package to visit her grandma back in 1913. May's parents had promised we she could go visit her grandma but when it came time to buy the train ticket it was too much! May's father came up with a clever solution and mailed her as a package instead. May experienced a wonderful adventure on her journey. As a teacher, I would use this story to teach children about voice. This author did an excellent job of capturing the voic ...more
Jan 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Based on a true story of a 5-year old girl who was "mailed" to her grandmother's house through the US Postal Service because it was cheaper than a train ticket. It reminded me of "Henry's Freedom Box", the story of Henry 'Box' Brown, the African-American who mailed himself to freedom. The difference, of course, is the context of the mailing (May is going on a trip to visit her grandmother, Henry was trying to escape slavery) and how they traveled (May had the stamps stuck to her back and travele ...more
Nichole Sedler
Dec 04, 2007 added it
Recommends it for: 2nd-4th (Read Aloud K+)

Written by Michael O. Tunnell, illustrated by Ted Rand, published by Harper Collins, 1997.

Summary: Based on a true story about a little girl, May, whose parents mailed her across the Idaho mountains to see her grandmother. May's uncle is the mail carrier on the train route to her grandmother's town so he is her guardian on the trip.

Response: This is an adorable story with an unusual but true solution to the problem of parents not able to afford to send their children to visit relatives.

Jan 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
May's parents have promised her a visit to Grandma, miles away over the mountains in Lewiston, Idaho. But now they find they cannot afford the $1.55 for a train ticket. But ma's cousin Leonard comes to the rescue in an unexpected way (but suggested in the title)! The paintings, glorious watercolors by Ted Rand, accompanied by sepia toned "snapshots," enhance the story (based on a true event) and show lots of Idaho scenery along May's trip. Pair this with _Henry's Freedom Box_ by Ellen Levine and ...more
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