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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
The people of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are well known for their bright colors. They paint their houses in bright colors, and their doors and window frames stand out with bright colors. These Atlantic Canadians are also revered for their folk art. A leisurely drive through the countryside in either of these provinces reveals a wide range of marvellous folk art structures, not the least of which are their fascinating mailboxes. There are lighthouse mailboxes, doghouse mailboxes, and those that mimic the main house behind. There are mailboxes that demonstrate the art of recycling, using old barrels, even empty propane tanks, painted and added to the artistic effect. There are the more creative mailboxes that depict birds or wildlife, or even a dog climbing into the mailbox. Unique, original and very colorful. But is this creativity doomed: a blight on our ever-changing landscape that is now dominated by alternative means of communication?
Katherine E. Tapley-Milton’s coffee table picture book, The Disappearing Mailboxes of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (A Tour of Mailboxes), takes the reader on a journey through two of Canada’s Atlantic provinces, with colorful images of folk art mailboxes. With interesting trivia and historical information on these two provinces, interspersed with marvellous photographs of the mailboxes, the book is something to treasure and enjoy over and over again. The author poses the question of these delightful, but probably doomed works of art, challenging the reader to ponder the ever declining service of door-to-door mail delivery. The book further compliments the artistry of a people not afraid to stand out as unique, colorful, and creative.