Posted by: quicksandtimerbookreviews | November 30, 2013

Ahlberg, Janet and Allan: The Jolly Postman and Other People’s Letters

This is a delightful, rhyming, beautifully illustrated story for children of all ages, since it is frequently punctuated with a variety of deliveries by the jolly postman to various characters of fairy-story fame, all part of the tale. Whilst the story will have positive appeal to younger children, for those older, the interest lies in the developing concepts contained in the correspondence some of which is sufficiently complex to challenge older children’s thinking and reading skills. The work, therefore, is highly unusual and the Ahlbergs have produced an extremely clever piece of work not to be missed.

All of these well-known stories, including Goldilocks and The Three Bears, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood etc., form the base of the book and issues arising in these traditional tales are superbly addressed in the form of correspondence to the various characters. Thus creating awareness of outcomes for children which present a moral balance often lacking in such tales.

But this is no ordinary book for intermittent pages are regularly turned into a variety of envelopes each containing surprising, differing paper items which children will love to take from the pockets themselves, to be returned again and again.

The envelopes and their contents are authentic enough to hold adults fascinated. The attention to detail is amazing and I can honestly say in this genre, it is the most unusual, cleverly produced work for children I have ever come across.

If you are looking for something different in children’s books then this is well worth considering. I can very highly recommend the purchase of  it to the point where I shall certainly buy the sequel ‘The Jolly Christmas Postman’ by the same authors, from nothing more than the title.

You will find an excellent, detailed review of ‘The Jolly Postman’ at

I would like to thank the Author of the above mentioned site RLJ Hill for first introducing me to this wonderful work.

ISBN  9780316126441                 Library of Congress Control No.  8680044

Publisher:   William Heinemann  1986 GB

Publisher:   Hachette Book Group, Inc.  Rev.ed  2001 US

Reviewer:  Margaret Henderson Smith

Copyright – all rights reserved

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