Item description for House in the Mail by Rosemary Wells, Dan Andreasen & Tom Wells...
Overview In 1927, Emily describes the ordering, arrival, and assembly of a mail-order house for her growing family.
Publishers Description Writing in a scrapbook in 1927, a young girl tells the fascinating story of her family's mail-order house arriving from Sears, Roebuck. Moving out of the little house they share with their grandparents, Emily and her brother, Homer, have a lot of changes in store for them: an electric refrigerator, electric lights, a washing machine, a gas stove, and running water indoors. Luminous illustrations show, in great detail, the process of clearing the land, building a foundation, and creating a house from a kit. Hand-written captions from Emily give the illustrations a cozy, personal feel, showing the reader just how exciting a house in the mail can be.
Citations And Professional Reviews House in the Mail by Rosemary Wells, Dan Andreasen & Tom Wells has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Hornbook Guide to Children - 07/01/2002 page 366
Kirkus Review - Children - 01/01/2002 page 53
Publishers Weekly - 01/14/2002 page 60
Bulletin of Ctr for Child Bks - 02/01/2002 page 223
Booklist - 03/01/2002 page 1137
School Library Journal - 03/01/2002 page 206
Hornbook Guide to Children - 01/01/2002 page 366
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Studio: Viking Juvenile
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 11" Height: 8.25" Weight: 0.85 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 2003
Publisher Viking Juvenile
ISBN 0670035459 ISBN13 9780670035458
Availability 0 units.
More About Rosemary Wells, Dan Andreasen & Tom Wells
Rosemary Wells is the creator of many unforgettable children's book characters, including Max and Ruby, McDuff, and Yoko, each of whom stars in their own book series. She is also the author of perennial favorites about universal childhood experiences, such as Noisy Nora and Read To Your Bunny. Rosemary Wells lives in upstate New York.
Born in New York City, Rosemary Wells grew up in a house "filled with books, dogs, and nineteenth-century music." Her childhood years were spent between her parents' home near Red Bank, New Jersey, and her grandmother's rambling stucco house on the Jersey Shore. Most of her sentimental memories, both good and bad, stem from that place and time. Her mother was a dancer in the Russian Ballet, and her father a playwright and actor. Mrs. Wells says, "Both my parents flooded me with books and stories. My grandmother took me on special trips to the theater and museums in New York. "Rosemary Wells's career as an author and illustrator spans more than 30 years and 60 books.
She has won numerous awards, and has given readers such unforgettable characters as Max and Ruby, Noisy Nora, and Yoko. She has also given Mother Goose new life in two enormous, definitive editions, published by Candlewick. Wells wrote and illustrated Unfortunately Harriet, her first book with Dial, in 1972. One year later she wrote the popular Noisy Nora. "The children and our home life have inspired, in part, many of my books. Our West Highland white terrier, Angus, had the shape and expressions to become Benjamin and Tulip, Timothy, and all the other animals
I have made up for my stories." Her daughters Victoria and Beezoo were constant inspirations, especially for the now famous "Max" board book series. "Simple incidents from childhood are universal," Wells says. "The dynamics between older and younger siblings are common to all families."But not all of Wells' ideas come from within the family circle. Many times when speaking, Mrs. Wells is asked where her ideas come from. She usually answers, "It's a writer's job to have ideas." Sometimes an idea comes from something she reads or hears about, as in the case of her recent book, Mary on Horseback, a story based on the life of Mary Breckenridge, who founded the Frontier Nursing Service. Timothy Goes to School was based on an incident in which her daughter was teased for wearing the wrong clothes to a Christmas concert. Her dogs, west highland terriers, Lucy and Snowy, work their way into her drawings in expression and body position. She admits, "I put into my books all of the things I remember. I am an accomplished eavesdropper in restaurants, trains, and gatherings of any kind. These remembrances are jumbled up and changed because fiction is always more palatable than truth. Memories become more true as they are honed and whittled into characters and stories."
Rosemary Wells In Her Own Words
As far back as I can remember, I did nothing but draw. I discovered very early that making a picture of anything meant people saying, “Look at that!” How else could I get that kind of attention?
After high school, I went to the Museum School in Boston. At nineteen, I left school, married Tom Wells, and began a career as a book designer. Two years later, when my husband applied to the Columbia School of Architecture, we moved to New York City. I found a job as a designer at Macmillan, where I published my first book, Sing a Song, O!
My home life has inspired many of my books. Our West Highland white terrier, Angus, had the shape and expressions to become Benjamin, Tulip, Timothy, and all the other animals I have made up for my stories. He also appears as himself in a couple of books.
My two daughters have been constant inspirations, especially for my Max books. Simple incidents from childhood are universal. The dynamics between older and younger siblings are common to all families. I am also an accomplished eavesdropper in restaurants, trains, and gatherings of any kind.
Writing for children is as difficult as writing serious verse. Writing for children is as mysterious as writing fine music. It is as personal as singing.
Once the story is there, the drawings just appear. I feel the emotion I want to show; then I let it run down my arm from my face, and it goes out the pencil. My drawings look as if they are done quickly. They are not. First they are sketched in light pencil, then nearly rubbed out, then drawn again in heavier pencil. What appears to be a thick ink line is really a series of layers of tiny ink lines. When I finish these lines, the drawing is ready for color.
I have been writing and illustrating for almost 30 years. It has been a pure delight. There are hard parts, but no bad or boring parts — that is more than can be said for any other line of work that I know.
Rosemary Wells currently resides in Briarcliff Manor, in the state of New York. Rosemary Wells was born in 1943.
Reviews - What do customers think about House in the Mail?
"In the days before Junk Mail !* Jul 18, 2006
The baby brother of Emily & Homer was born in 1927, in a hospital instead of at home. He didn't know about living with an icebox, nor wood for heat & cooking, and carrying buckets of water to do the washing. That's because the family built their own modern home just before he was born.
And more surprising: they chose their house from a Sears & Roebucks catalog, ordered it by mail (GUESS HOW MUCH IT COST !!!), and it came by train! That would cause some celebrating, to meet your house at the train station instead of grandparents or cousins. Emily made a scrapbook to tell about all the important happenings in her life. She pasted in part of the floor plan and even a sketch of the secret hiding place her dad built into her closet floor just for her. Emily says the baby won't know how it was "in the old days" - - but the scrapbook 'compiled' by authors Rosemary and Tom Wells will help many of us learn more about those times in rural America. Life changes so rapidly that mail-order houses, and even Sears catalogs, too, will soon be known only to historians!
People will read about them on a search engine and I'll bet that even "Google" hasn't heard of an "A.S.P." ~ ~ "approved sanitary privies" constructed for rural homeowners in the 1930's by W.P.A workers. Those were men who were employed by the government's "Works Progress Administration" during the Great Depression.
Reviewer mcHAIKU hopes this picture book will inspire some old-fashioned scrap-booking and also unlock memories, turning young readers of this book into oral historians! Help your 'grands' experience the fun of learning about the many uses of the Sears catalog, too.
I Love This Book!!! Jan 18, 2006
I love this book!! It is a cute and adorable children's book, which I think should be carried in every library across the United States. Many children will be able to relate to this book and perhaps get a view of how the house that they may live in could have possibly got there. I disagree with two other reviews posted about this book and think that since it is a children's book it needs to be written in a child's perspective which means that it does not need to be "entirely accurate."
The family wrote a check for $2500 - their whole life savings, but they dug their own foundation area and used boulders that they had dug up from the site to make their foundation walls, and they made their own mortar and finished their foundation walls. Suppose they bought the house for $1900.00 and then added $200.00 for wiring and another $200.00 for plumbing and then another $200.00 for furnace and hot water heating. They would have still written Sears a check for $2500, which was probably their whole life savings, because Sears supplied all of that. I would have said Pa wrote Sears a check for $2500 just like Emily did in the book.
The Lincoln Model is a fictitious Sears Home and therefore, it can be any way they want on the outside and on the inside. If they want it to have 22 doors then so be it. If they wanted it to have a second floor - great. Dr. Seuss wanted his cat to live in a hat and he was one of the greatest chldren's writers of all time. The three little pigs each had houses made of straw, sticks and brick and as for Alice she lived in Wonderland - the point is, who cares, it's a children's book. Mork lived on the planet Ork and came to earth in an Egg - I don't even want to discuss him - but every kid I went to school with used "nanno nanno" many times to get on the teachers' nerves.
And then there are the facts: According to pages 26 and 27 of the 1927 Building Materials and Millwork Catalogue by Sears, Roebuck & Co., the hardware for the doors and windows was identical to that which is shown in The House In The Mail and they were then changed to be steel and electroplated with either a Lemon Brass Finish or an Old Copper Finish. 750 pounds of nails in varying sizes were each sent in their own individual containers. I talked to one house builder (Sears House) who said that all of these were in their own individual containers, combined and sent in one large barrel - so it is possible.
Homer used left over scraps to build his tree house - it could have happened. Homer was eight years old at the time - I would like to see a tree house built by an eight year old. My brother and his friends built one when he was about that age and they paid me $3.00 - a lot of money back then - we won't say when - to be the first one to climb up in it and sit for five minutes. I learned later that they wanted to make sure it didn't fall down so they used me as a guinea pig.
The whole point is, I love this book and it is great that it is geared toward children. All they are really going to come away with is the fact that the house was ordered from a catalog and came by train and they built it themselves. They finally got running water and electricity and Homer and Emily got their own bedrooms. The fact that the facts are a little off is irrelevant in a chldren's book. I know that the way it is written captures the attention of children and I recommend this book to all of the places where I give presentations on my book "Additionally Speaking" about Sears Homes in Carlinville's Historic Standard Addition. If I were a child and it was written the other way you'd have to wake me up when the reading was over.
Thanks Tom and Rosemary for a great children's book and I wouldn't change a thing!!! Two thumbs up in my opinion!!!
A House of Their Own..... May 8, 2002
"Hello, whoever you are out there in the world of the future! I wonder how many years will pass before someone reads this. I'm only twelve years old now, but I might be a very old lady by the time you read these pages." Narrated by Emily Cartwright of Enfield, Kentucky, and presented as a family scrapbook, Tom and Rosemary Wells describe how one family picked out and built a mail order house from Sears, Roebuck & Company. The house will arrive by freight train, ready to be assembled, and there will be six rooms, modern appliances like a gas stove, electric ice-box, and washing machine, and best of all indoor plumbing...no more chopping wood, emptying drip pans, and hauling and heating water from the well. The Wells' easy to read and engaging text takes the reader on an exciting adventure as the house comes to life on the page, and is full of charming period details, interesting facts and trivia, and intriguing anecdotes about the early 1900s. Dan Andreasen's beautiful and evocative artwork combines drawings, blueprints, old photographs, advertisements, and mementos, that give the "scrapbook" an old and genuine feeling, and children will enjoy poring over the pictures and exploring all the special details in each illustration. Perfect for youngsters 6-10, or as a read- aloud story the entire family can share together, The House In The Mail is a captivating and entertaining slice of Americana that should open the door to interesting discussions, and a wonderful experience that shouldn't be missed.
cute pictures, but... May 5, 2002
It's a great idea for a story and a worthy story that needs to be told, but...
Some of the information contained in this children's book is not accurate. I know, I know, this book is "just for kids" but aren't children worthy of historically accurate information? The beauty part of historical fiction is that it's a fictional account told within the solid framework of accurate historical details.
THere are many problems with this little book, such as the telling of how one of the children used leftover pieces and parts from the Sears kit house to "build a treehouse."
These were pre-cut kit homes and the only leftover pieces and parts would be small bits of trim moulding (which was approximately sized, but not precisely pre-cut). Hard to build a treehouse from 87 2-inch and 3-inch pieces of window trim and baseboard.
There are other parts of the story that are lacking, too. That being said, I like the pictures a lot. They're cute, colorful and the children look real and happy.