The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters

written and illustrated by Janet and Alla Ahlberg

A cheerful mail carrier goes from home to home in a fairy-tale kingdom, delivering letters to characters from traditional children's stories.

This interactive picture book, first published in Britain, uses inventive references to characters from well-known, traditional children's stories. A postman on a bicycle is bringing mail to characters such as the Three Bears, Cinderella, the wolf from Red Riding Hood, and the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk. He often stops for tea and conversation with the recipients of the envelopes.

The rhyming text moves along quickly. Following each sheet of verse and illustration, there is one shaped like an envelope and containing one of the postman's deliveries. These mailings include include letters, cards, games, money, and a tiny book. The reader should take the time to read the contents of the envelope before moving on.

The illustrations are delightful and crammed full of clever details. For example, the wicked witch of "Hansel and Gretel" fame receives a circular from Hobgoblin Supplies Ltd. which advertises such appealing products as Little Boy Pie Mix.

Readers are sure to enjoy the book more if they are familiar with the characters and stories being used as the basis for the letters.