Advantages Entertaining and imaginative reading
Disadvantages Might be expensive, "inserts" might get lost
Introduction:My children love waiting for the Postman every morning, they sit at the breakfast table eating their cereals, when suddenly tap, swish, thump the post lands on the door-mat.
The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters by Janet and Allan Ahlberg was first published in 1986. Officially Allan Ahlberg wrote the text and Janet Ahlberg provided the illustrations,
the Ahlbergs themselves though preferred
to be known as bookmakers, a term which seems lacking when describing The Jolly Postman.
This is literary experience for which book is too small a word.
The Journey and who we meet:
The next postcode is for a small cottage, unusually perhaps it appears to be made from gingerbread and sugar-canes, this however is the perfect dwelling for this particular “Occupant” and she is certainly not sweet herself! The circular heading for this cottage gives a clue to its owner, postage paid by “Warlock” and a senders address of “Hobgoblin Supplies” suggests no average woman lives here.
With the pleasingly effective, yet simple rhyming,
so typical of the Ahlbergs the adventure starts.
Our first address is the cottage of the Three Bears, on the page opposite we see a white envelope with the address scribbled in a child’s hand, it has a postmark for “Banbury Cross” and has Old King Cole on its stamp. The best is yet to come however, the envelope has something inside! It is a handwritten and beautifully illustrated apology from Goldilocks herself, she is sorry she ate the “porij” and volunteers her
Dad to fix Baby Bear's chair, so we (and the bears) read the letter and the Postman himself enjoys a cup of tea.
Off then to the next recipient of a special delivery, an air mail envelope for the attn of Mr V. Bigg, who has a very large doorstep and huge milk bottles. Its a colourful postcard from his little friend Jack, the tone of which suggests that this wide-boy is indeed having a wonderful time, meeting even bigger giants, ending on the note that he will be back for his harp, leads you to suspect that this relationship is a little strained!
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The Jolly Postman must surely be one of the most innovative and interactive books for young children. Accompany the Jolly Postman on his rounds as...
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