The Jolly Postman

Day 12: Your Favourite Childhood Book

DenaNovember 11, 2013


The Jolly PostmanI loved to read when I was a girl, but my very favourite books were The Jolly Postman and The Jolly Christmas Postman. In the books, the Jolly Postman goes from home to home in a fairy-tale kingdom, delivering letters to such familiar addresses as “Mr. and Mrs. Bear, Three Bears Cottage, The Woods.” Every other page is an actual envelope, with a letter tucked inside. The letter to the three bears, for instance, is from Goldilocks, who apologizes for the trouble she’s caused and invites Baby Bear to her birthday party. Some authors would stop with this cute concept, but the Ahlbergs have given this book their all. The story of the postman’s travels is told in charming verse; the pictures are delightful, full of clever detail; and the results are frequently hilarious. (The wicked witch of “Hansel and Gretel” fame, for instance, receives a circular from Hobgoblin Supplies Ltd. which advertises such appealing products as Little Boy Pie Mix.)The Jolly Postman

I don’t know how I discovered these books, but I did and I had to have them. That year, all I wanted for Christmas were “The Jolly Postman” books. Lucky for me, my mother obliged. I lost the books long ago, but I’ll never forget what my mother inscribed inside the cover — Dear Dena, May you always love to read the way that you do now. I was over the moon that Christmas morning.

As I got older & moved on from picture books to chapter books, I developed new favourites. But the two that have always stuck out in my mind (and frankly, are still favourites of my adult self) were Seal Child and Island of the Blue Dolphins.

Seal Child is the story of Molly whose family spends their first winter on the island in Maine where they usually spend their summers. When Molly meets a mysterious little girl named Meara, they grow close and Meara confides in Molly that she is the daughter of a slain seal, and must eventually return to the sea. It is a beautiful rework of the Celtic selkie myth. Island of the Blue Dolphins is the story of Karana, a native girl who lived alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. Year after year, she watched one season pass into another and waited for a ship to take her away. The story is woven with all sorts of magical details. Both books took me away from the mundane days of my girlhood & transported me to otherworldly places in my imagination. They were most definitely, the beginnings of my lifelong love affair with the written word.

I am so grateful that this challenge asked about my favourite childhood book and not my favourite book of all-time or I surely would have been here all day. Man, I’ve got a knack for complicating these challenge questions!

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If you are participating in my blogging challenge, please leave a link below in the comments so that we can all check it out! Also, you can click here to read all of the posts in this series. xo

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Comments (9)

  • Kay

    November 11, 2013 at 10:48 am

    You did day 12 today instead of day 11, love!

    The Jolly Postman books sounds adorable! I’m gonna see if I can find it and get it for Reagan!

    1. Dena

      November 11, 2013 at 6:32 pm

      Haha!! I totally realized that when I saw your post this morning. Where was my head at!?!?!? I will make it up tomorrow. Some blog challenge leader I am! 🙂

  • Suzy

    November 11, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Have you read the Griffin& Sabine books? Those are letter books as well (for grown ups) and very good!

    1. Dena

      November 11, 2013 at 6:33 pm

      I haven’t read those! Going to check them out now. Thanks for the recommendation. 🙂

  • Scott

    November 11, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Lord of the Flies

    1. Dena

      November 12, 2013 at 9:39 am

      A classic!!

  • dragonfly

    November 12, 2013 at 7:04 am

    I don’t know your books!:-/

    1. Dena

      November 12, 2013 at 9:39 am

      You have to check them out! They’re all lovely. 🙂

  • dragonfly

    November 12, 2013 at 7:31 am

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