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We are all huge fans of Julia Donaldson's children's range and after a recent trip to the library I felt extremely pleased with myself for finding a short board book story more suitable for my two year old son. As good as the likes of 'The Gruffalo' and 'A Squash and a squeeze' are my youngest son just doesn't have the concentration for them like my four year old. This book was perfect with the wonderful illustrations of Alex Scheffler, a quick simple rhyming story from Donaldson and some fun lift the flaps to engage my son with.
This board book is a decent size to hold measuring roughly 20cms by 16cms and the pages are of a decent thickness without making it look too babyish. It has a total of twelve pages which for a short concentration is perfect. Written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Alex Scheffler it makes a perfect mini book.
*****The story and illustrations*****
Each page has a similar layout of text either above or below a wonderful illustration which includes a fun lift the flap too. The story is very short yet it manages to interact the child and remains fun too. The story is about a bear who writes three letters you then follow him on a short journey of delivering the letters the story comes to a climax at the end as you find out why the letters were sent. Considering the story is very short a lot happens making it a fun yet fast paced book.
Another reason why the book seems fast paced is Julia Donaldson's typical rhyming text she uses is present in this book too. For example the book opens over a double spread and the text reads 'Bear is writing letters. One, two, three. Bear goes out to post them. Who lives in this tree?' Using this format of text means the story flows with ease and makes my life as a reader a lot more enjoyable, which is why I love her books so much!
The illustrations are very typical of this duo. If you have read previous books by these two then you won't be disappointed as they are on the same wave length. For those of you who haven't they are wonderful and capture a young child's imagination. Everything on the page looks alive and compliments the text lovely. The illustrations contain plenty of detail to them yet manage to look so crisp and clean. They are not only admired by my son but me too!
The added bonus to this particular book is the lift the flaps, each double spread containing one. The text encourages your child to join in and look behind them 'Who's behind the door?'. As with all flaps they are delicate when it comes to heavy hands so I did have to watch my son with this book as I hate ripped flaps in books.
This book was always going to be on a winner considering it was by my favourite young child's author but the fact it was aimed more at my younger son was even better. Although it was a little short I enjoyed the experience of being able to share it with my youngest son and even my elder son didn't mind it but he did ask for another story after it. I like the fact it flows very easily and the text engages your child by asking questions too. This story has a number repetitive text, as throughout the book is mentions one, two, three which is brilliant to help young children.
My youngest son loves the book and since hiring it from the library he has asked for it every night. I think the lift the flaps have helped encourage him too. He is very happy to just sit by my side and look through the pictures on his own talking away to himself.
I came across this book at my local library and it isn't something I have come across whilst out shopping but looking on the internet after it is on Amazon and other websites too. And to make me even happier there is a range of these styles she has done which I may just have to purchase for my son. The 'Postman Bear' is currently (April 2012) priced at £3.29 which I think is a fantastic price and I would be very happy to pay for it.
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Post man bear is another book that has been written by Julia Donaldson. My daughter is a huge fan of most of her books and postman bear is probably her favourite to date. We are not knowingly collecting the books written by Julia Donaldson, and it wasn't until I started writing my collection of book reviews that I realised we had so many. Some I didn't even realise were written by her. I think the thing that attracts me to these books is the decorative front covers. Every book we own written by Julia Donaldson and probably those that we don't yet own, have beautifully decorated front covers.
Postman bear is a paperback book and the front cover is illustrated with a fun looking bear, dressed in bright attractive colours carrying three letters in his hands. It also has a little yellow border down one side which contains little pictures that appear throughout the book such as a spoon, letter, butterfly, bowl, present etc. It gives a good starting point of discussing with the child what they think that the story will be about. For example what they think is in the letters, you can use the pictures such as the present etc to guess what they might contain.
The book itself is plainly straightforward. Containing only approximately 15 words per double page this book is ideal for children starting to read, the words are big and very repetitive making the book seem rhythmic, this also makes it easer for learners. The book is a lift the flap book and every page contains a flap. This again, especially with my daughter, keeps children interested and captivated with the book.
The story itself is very simplistic. It begins with the bear writing letters, he then goes out to post the letters to his friends, there are then the flaps hiding his friends underneath them. This is good for getting children to guess, by clues who lives behind each flap. For example it says "who lives in this tree?" so by doing this and by the clues in the picture you can narrow it down to a selection of animals who live inside, or around trees. My daughter still gets excited trying to guess even though we must have read it at least 50 times. Anyway it turns out to be a squirrel in the tree. There are then two other houses, one by a pond and one in a heap of earth ,both times the doors are flaps and a friend is inside. After the letters have been delivered you get to open one and it is a party invitation. Bear then makes a birthday cake, hence the spoon and mixing bowl on the front cover, and then all of his friends come over to celebrate his birthday.
I think it is a really good story and it allows children to use their imagination and knowledge to guess what is hiding under each flap. the illustrations throughout the book are bright and colourful and are a real help for children guessing what could be under each flap. My daughter is a huge fan of this book and I also think that it is excellent. I wouldn't recommend it as an evening book however as my daughter frequently picks this up at bed time and it gets her so excited and with the turning of the flaps etc she does not fall to sleep whilst (or any time after) its being read. The only downside to this book is that the flaps can easly be torn out but I think that this can be a problem with most lift the flap books, a little bit of sellotape however always works wonders. A great simplistic story for young pre school children and a great early reader for older children. It is currently available to buy from Amazon for £2.50. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book.