This book takes the form of a photo diary starting at 5am with Basra the postman arriving at a large delivery office. Through photos and short sections of text the typical format of his day is shared with readers, from Basra sorting out his post at his delivery frame, to delivering it on his walk. The second half of the book includes a tutorial on how to make your own mailbox and a section on “How you can help the Post Office”, including tips like how to find the correct postcode for an address, or using elastic bands if you’re posting a lot of letters at the same time.
Whilst the photos are great – they look like they were taken in a real sorting office – the text is a little out of date, describing a postal service that doesn’t really exist any more here in the UK (for example talking about two deliveries a day). Then the tutorial looks fun but when M asked me what the mailbox was actually for I was flummoxed – the object to be made is not a postbox (ie a place for posting letters), and yet it’s not clear what else it is meant to be – the term mailbox isn’t used anywhere else in the text, and the only thing I could imagine it was meant to be – a box on a private home where the postman can leave mail – isn’t very common at all in the UK (letters and cards are posted through letterboxes on front doors).
All in all this book wasn’t a great success! In fact I think M learned more about the postal system from the fictional A Giant Hug. Perhaps if I could find a newer edition of this book (this one dates back to 1996) there wouldn’t be so many instances of me having to explain to M that things are not actually as they are described in the book. Perhaps another way of making this book more interesting and relevant would be if I could get hold of a similar book for the postal system in a different country so we could see in what respects some things are different and other aspects of the job are the same.
Having read this book M decided to set up her own post office. We wrapped up several parcels, weighed them, put stamps on them (real but recycled ones, stuck on with glue), and addressed the parcels to various teddies and dolls.
This little project was fun and just perfect for M as she is beginning to read and write.
A Day in the Life of a Postman: * (1 star)
So not a book that we raved about, but it did give us the excuse to listen to some fun post-related music:
And here are some more mail-related ideas for activities with and for your kids:
There is still time to sign up for the International Postcard Swap for Families – the deadline is this Friday, April 30th. We’ve 96 families signed up so far! To ensure that the swap remains international, there is currently a waiting list for families based in the US and England (but not other parts of the UK).
This week’s Nonfiction Monday host is MsMac at Check it Out. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what’s included in today’s round up – and if you want more postcard fun, you might just be in time to sign up for MsMac’s own postcard project…