Few things are more exciting for children than receiving mail—just for them. The joy of knowing that someone is thinking of you and the excitement of finding out what’s inside makes checking the mailbox a treat. The Jolly Postman combines that with the fun of fairytales!
This was one of my favourite books growing up and it's still a hit whenever I read it aloud.
The Jolly Postman or Other People's Letters is the clever story of a postman whose job it is to deliver letters to some of our favourite fairytale characters.
There’s a note of apology to the threee bears from Goldilocks, a letter of warning to the big bad wolf from Red Riding Hood's solicitor and a postcard from Jack to the giant:
'Soon the Jolly Postman,
We hear tell,
Stopped at a door with a giant bell
And a giant
Bottle of milk as well,
With a postcard for . . . guess who?'
The postcard reads:
Dear Giant Bigg,
Having a nice time—me, my mom and your hen what lays the golden eggs. (It’s better than travellers cheques.) Saw a bloke as we was flying down—he was bigger than you! I’ve took note of his address. Take care of yourself—and your talking harp—I’ll be back for it one of these days I shouldn’t wonder.
Bye for now—your (very) little pal,
The letters are creative and funny, with some obscure fairytale connections that older kids will enjoy.
It’s fun to see how all the stories weave into each other—and it's a good jumping off point for kids to try their hand at writing their own jumbled fairytales. You might like to check this post for ideas.
The Jolly Postman is a great gift and yes, there are actual letters tucked into envelopes for little fingers to pluck out!
Book Depository has free postage anywhere in the world and great pricing, but Amazon might be cheaper for North American readers.
THE JOLLY POSTMAN or Other People’s Letters
by Janet & Allen Ahlberg – William Heinemann, 1986
ages 3 to 7 years / picture books + funny, imagination
Names in this book – Jack