Last week in an interview that I did for Readitdaddy’s blog one of the questions was “If you had to name one booky person as your complete and utter book idol (Writer, Illustrator, Publisher etc.) who would it be and why?”. I chose Janet and Allan Ahlberg as they have written several of my favourite picture books including The Jolly Postman which my daughter and I have just started reading together.
The Story: The Jolly Postman delivers letters, cards, catalogues and books to a variety of fairytale and nursery rhyme characters (and also stops for a different drink at every house!). His final delivery is to Goldilocks who invites him to stay for her birthday party before he goes home for his tea.
The Jolly Postman has a rhyming text and there are six envelopes for readers to open. My daughter is fascinated by the catalogue that the wicked witch receives and likes identifying all the different characters at Goldilock’s birthday party. I find the solicitor’s letter to the wolf very funny (Red Riding Hood is concerned about illegal occupation at Grandma’s house and the three little pigs are suing him for damages!) although a younger child won’t understand all of the humour. Janet Ahlberg’s illustrations are full of comic touches (my daughter thinks that it is hilarious that the wicked witch’s cat is doing the washing up!) and smaller pictures show little incidents that aren’t mentioned in the text (like the postman pumping up his bicycle tyres).
This is a fantastic book to use in the classroom. I have used this book to teach about letter layout, how to write an address and children have made their own postcards and birthday cards. A lovely spin off activity for older children is to write to their favourite fairytale or nursery rhyme character. It’s also a great book to read when you need to write birthday or Christmas present thank you letters as it shows different kinds of post.
The Jolly Postman is a beautifully written and illustrated, timeless picture book (although most children won’t have seen a pound note like the one that Goldilocks receives for her birthday!).
Age Range: 4 +
Authors: Janet and Allan Ahlberg / Illustrator: Janet Ahlberg