The Jolly Postman (Hardcover)

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The Jolly Postman By Allan Ahlberg, Janet Ahlberg (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Allan Ahlberg, Janet Ahlberg (Illustrator)
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Staff Reviews

The joy of mail is so pervasive that it even creates thrilling language. Special delivery! Hallmark moment! You’ve got mail! No matter if the bill is more likely to be in the mail than the check: Humans love to get mail.

And little humans most of all--which is something illustrator Janet Ahlberg and writer Allan Ahlberg noticed while watching their toddler daughter’s daily exultation over the arrival of the letter carrier. Five years of work later, they’d transformed that observation into a true masterpiece among children's books: The Jolly Postman. It’s a book as interactive as a well-appointed dollhouse, as sweet as a goodnight kiss and as clever as an eggbeater.

The postman of the title rides his bicycle through a fairy-tale kingdom and delivers six bound-into-the-book envelopes that contain six kinds of mail that would delight any child. The Three Bears get a letter of apology/invitation. The Wicked Witch (living in her gingerbread bungalow) gets a catalog from Hobgoblin Supply, Ltd. Goldilocks gets a birthday card (including a one-pound note from the Bank of Wonderland). The postman is welcomed with tea at every stop in his rhymed travels, and while he sips, the book’s readers get to peruse the “other people’s mail,” which is recreated with abundant detail.Child characters use invented spelling; the cease-and-desist letter sent to B.B. Wolf is quiet stern, and the witch’s catalog has the specificity of a cross between Diagon Alley and the Vermont Country Store.)

The book comes shrink-wrapped (so the mail won’t be lost), and bookstore customers tend to overlook it on the shelves where it’s tucked amid the latest fancy pop-ups. That’s a cry-worthy shame. The Jolly Postman is fresher at age 16 than most projects whose ink isn’t dry or whose pixels haven’t loaded. We especially recommend it now--while there is still time for to inspire the sending of handmade Valentines and spread the joy of mail anew.

— Carol Muller


This nostalgic classic, including real letters, is a must-have for every child!

This gorgeously illustrated, full-color classic celebrates a time before email by depicting amusing correspondence between fairy tale and Mother Goose characters. What could possibly be in a letter from Goldilocks to the Three Bears? Who would write to the Wicked Witch? Open this book, take out the letters, and discover what favorite characters would write to each other--and reimagine best-loved tales together.

About the Author

Husband and wife team Allan and Janet Ahlberg created many popular picture books for young readers, including the Jolly Postman series and Each Peach Pear Plum, which was awarded the Kate Greenaway Medal for distinguished illustration in the UK.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780316126441
ISBN-10: 0316126446
Publisher: LB Kids
Publication Date: September 1st, 2001
Pages: 32
Language: English