Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Review: The Jolly Christmas Postman

It's a little late in the season for this one, but it qualifies for both the British Books Challenge and Award-Winning Books Challenge, and I'm about to put it away with my other children's Christmas books until next year, so my window of opportunity is pretty narrow.

The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet & Allan Ahlberg


Jolly Christmas PostmanThis book is the closest thing my family has/had to a Christmas reading tradition, and is the most popular of the books that I still get out each Christmas and place under the tree or in the fireplace.  We no longer snuggle up and read together (on account of my children being too grown up for that now), but they'll still look through it, just as fascinated by the bits and bobs tucked into pockets and pages, as they were when they we wee (well, almost).
It qualifies as a British book and an award-winner, as the couple were both born and lived in the UK (in the Midlands, England, where I grew up) and Janet won the Kate Greenaway Award for illustration for this book in 1991.

The Jolly Christmas Postman was a follow on book to The Jolly Postman, and preceded The Jolly Pocket Postman.  They wrote (either singly, or together) a number of other young children's classics including Peepo!, Each Peach Pear Plum and The Baby's Catalogue.

In this story the hardy postman cycles through the snow delivering seasonal post to the inhabitants of a nursery rhyme and fairy tale land including: a card to Baby Bear from Goldilocks; a board game to Little Miss R Hood from Mr. Wolf; a jigsaw puzzle to a bedridden Humpty Dumpty; a miniature Christmas Annual for the Gingerbread Boy; and A Wolf Spotter's Guide to Mr Wolf from Red Riding Hood and her Grandma. When his deliveries are done, and the postman is lost in the snow, he ends up at Santa's workshop, where he receives a marvellous gift of his own.

The pictures are colourful and fun, but very small, too small for a conventional read-aloud. However the details are fascinating, there is lots to spot, and then there are all the removable bits and pieces to read and play with.  Its a great family heirloom book, but don't think it wouldn't last very long in the public library.



4 comments:

  1. hi,

    thanks for your review for the BBC challenge. Can you email me your postal address for your prize (won't be sent out until the end of the month I think) kirstylouiseconnor (at) hotmail.com

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  2. Ooh! Thanks Kirsty. I promise I'll write about a longer book next time.

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  3. You've sold it to me with this great review. Definitely one to get for my little cherubs. I'm sure they will be delighted and intrigued with it, as I'm sure I will be.
    Sabine

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  4. Yes, It's a lovely little book. Now waiting in the attic for next year!

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