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1001 Stories Collection

The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters

Added on 30th June 2020

Author Janet and Allan Ahlberg
Illustrator Janet Ahlberg
First Published 1986
Publisher Heineman, UK

The Jolly Postman delivers all the mail and we get to read it! A delightfully illustrated interactive storybook for younger children with letters and invitations to read and even puzzles to complete.

Story

The Jolly Postman delivers letters and cards to the inhabitants of fairy land – and drinks a lot of cups of tea. The book includes six letters in envelopes to pull out and read and on every page are lots of little details to spot.

Why we chose it

The Jolly Postman is full of familiar fairy tale characters. The pages are full of tiny details to spot and there is the additional fun of six pull-out pieces of post to enjoy – who wouldn’t want to read Cinderella’s mail or find out why Goldilocks is writing to the three bears.

Where it came from

Allan had briefly worked as a postman but the idea for the book actually came from noticing how much his two year old daughter liked playing with the post. She loved to take letters out of envelopes and put them back in again. The Ahlbergs were determined that the envelopes and letters would be part of the book. We may take it for granted now that books can be interactive and playful but it took five years to make The Jolly Postman, partly because the Ahlbergs were insistent that all the details would work perfectly.

Where it went next

The Jolly Postman is still in print today and popular all over the world.

Associated stories

Allan and Janet Ahlberg created a number of books together including two sequels to The Jolly Postman, The Jolly Christmas Postman, which won the Greenaway medal and The Jolly Pocket Postman as well as Each Peach Pear Plum which also won a Greenaway medal, Burglar Bill, Peepo, Funnybones, Happy Families.

Allan wrote two volumes of poetry, Heard it in the Playground and Please Mrs Butler and a number of children’s novels. Woof, the story of a boy who shape shifts into a dog became a popular television series in the 1980s and 90s. He told the story of his own childhood in The Boyhood of Burglar Bill. Most recently he wrote The Runaway Dinner (2007) and The Pencil (2018) both illustrated by Bruce Ingman.

Added on 30th June 2020

Author Janet and Allan Ahlberg
Illustrator Janet Ahlberg
First Published 1986
Publisher Heineman, UK