House in the Mail by Rosemary Wells

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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.

About Rosemary Wells

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Rosemary Wells, author and illustrator of several dozen books for children and young adults, was born in 1943 in New York City. She studied at the Museum School at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Wells began her career in publishing, working as an art editor and designer first at Allyn and Bacon and later at Macmillan Publishing. Her first work, which she both wrote and illustrated, was Martha's Birthday, published in 1970. Her first work for young adults was The Fog Comes on Little Pig Feet, published in 1972. Wells is perhaps most famous for the Max series, beginning with Max's First Word, published by Dial in 1979. Although the primary audience for the series is very young children, the books appeal to the senses of humor of even small children. Wells says that the inspiration for these stories is her own children. Wells is the recipient of numerous awards including a Children's Book Council Award for Noisy Nora in 1974, the Edgar Allan Pie award for two young adult books, Through the Looking Glass and When No One Was Looking, and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Shy Charles. Rosemary Wells is married to Thomas Moore Wells, an architect. The couple has two daughters. Dan Andreasen lives in Medina, Ohio, with his wife and three children. He has illustrated more than thirty picture books. When his daughter was asked by her first grade teacher, 'What kind of work does your daddy do?' she replied, 'He colors.' Tom Wells is the author of "The War Within: America's Battle with Vietnam," He lives in Boulder, CO.
Published March 18, 2002 by Viking Juvenile. 32 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for House in the Mail

Publishers Weekly

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Convincing if staid facsimiles of snapshots, advertisements, blueprints, objects in the new house and holiday mementos bolster the period particulars in the story, which speaks also to the strong bond among the members of Emily's family.

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Publishers Weekly

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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.

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