Author: Allan Ahlberg / Illustrator: Janet Ahlberg
The Story: The Jolly Christmas Postman is a classic festive story about a jolly postman delivering letters to all kinds of familiar fairytale characters.
Why is The Jolly Christmas Postman your favourite Christmas book?
The illustrations are full of beautiful little details, which I love, and the simple rhyming scheme makes the book fun to read aloud. It’s great to see all those familiar characters in a Christmassy setting too. What really makes this such a very fantastic book, though, is the interactive element, with cards to read, games to play, puzzles to do, and stories inside stories. You get to open up envelopes and have lots of fun. I like the book’s gentle humour as well. The big bad wolf sends R.R. Hood a gift, claiming to be a “changed wolf”. We later see him “wolfing pies and sherry” and playing games with the little red hen and the three little pigs. “After all, it is Christmas.” Brilliant.
Can you describe a favourite illustration or give a favourite quote from the story and tell us why you chose it.
It’s probably the Christmas card that Goldilocks sends to Baby Bear with the funny little cartoon of bears eating Christmas pudding. “Who’s been eating my pudding?” And, of course, the lovely card that the postman receives at the end of the book. “For he’s a jolly good postman.” Perfectly Christmassy!
Laura Watkinson is a translator with a particular interest in children’s books. This year she was lucky enough to translate one of her favourite picture books, Witchfairy by Brigitte Minne and Carll Cneut, for Book Island (check out their wonderful books!). Some of her favourite longer translations have been Dutch author Tonke Dragt’s children’s classics The Letter for the King, The Secrets of the Wild Wood and The Song of Seven, which she translated for the fabulous Pushkin Press, and Benny Lindelauf and Ludwig Volbeda’s Tortot: The Cold Fish Who Lost His World and Found His Heart, also for Pushkin. She lives in a tall, thin house on a canal in Amsterdam.
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Which book is on your Christmas wishlist this year?
Like so many other readers, I’m a big fan of Philip Pullman, so I’m really keen to read The Book of Dust: La belle sauvage. I’m thinking of waiting to read it, though, until the other two books in the trilogy are out and then I’ll have a big Philip Pullman readathon: reading the whole trilogy all at once, and rereading the “His Dark Materials” books as well. Can I resist the temptation until then? Hmm… In the meantime, I think, for this Christmas, I’ll choose Stephen Fry’s Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold.
2017 Story Snug Advent on Pinterest