In the spirit of literacy and letter writing

May 21, 2015 § 8 Comments

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may recall that a while ago I recommended several books for kids featuring letters and sending mail.  Why?  Because books in the hands of children create readers and inspire new interests.  Besides, who among us doesn’t love a good book about mail?  And these have the added bonus of great illustrations!  So, in the spirit of literacy and letter writing, today I recommend four books; three about letter carriers of different flavors, and one about the era when you could mail order a house.


Millie Waits for the Mail by Alexander Steffensmeier

You may think that dogs are the stuff of nightmares for mail carriers, but that’s only because you haven’t yet read about Millie. Oh, yes, she waits for the mail — to be more precise, she lies in wait and takes great glee in scaring the mail carrier. Oh, my.

This book has conflict and a smooshed package, but, fear not, it ends happily.


A Letter for Leo by Sergio Ruzzier

A story about Leo who delivers the mail, makes a friend when he is kind to a stranger, and–finally!–receives a letter of his own.


Mr Griggs’ Work by Cynthia Rylant

Mr. Griggs "spent millions of minutes of his long life shuffling through letters, watching the pictures on the stamps change, punching his First Class puncher, weighting fat brown boxes, and listening to long tales bout 'The Letter That Never Got There.'"

Mr. Griggs “spent millions of minutes of his long life shuffling through letters, watching the pictures on the stamps change, punching his First Class puncher, weighing fat brown boxes, and listening to long tales about ‘The Letter That Never Got There.'” 

Need I say more or is that enough to sell you on getting to know Mr. Griggs?  (I really love this one.)


And the bonus book: The House in the Mail by Rosemary and Tom Wells

This one is less about mail and more about the process of constructing a mail order house, BUT it’s a great slice of history and shows what a wonder mail order merchandise was in the 1920s–something that may not have happened without the USPS’s introduction of Rural Free Delivery in 1896.


Now, run to your library and ask for these books.  Then find a child and share.  Enjoy!

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Alice Through the Pillar-Box and What She Found There

July 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

Oh, oh, oh!  Have you ever had the good fortune to come across Alice Through the Pillar-Box and What She Found There: A Philatelic Phantasy by Gerald M. King?  If you appreciate either Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland or the world of letter-writing, letter-sending, and philatelic pursuits, it’s worth tracking down a copy.

In 1965, Gerald M. King decided that since the G.P.O. was not celebrating the centennial anniversary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland with a commemorative stamp, he would create his own set of fantasy stamp designs.  This idea grew until it evolved into a book brimming with clever references to the story and showcasing Mr. King’s clear love of philately.  In it Wonderland stamps and envelopes sent through the Wonderland post to and from various characters are paired with relevant quotes from the books and various notes about the fantasy artifacts and their origins.  The detail and cleverness are a treat!  The scan below is not of superior quality (I had to be gentle with the spine of the book), but it should be enough to pique your interest.

AliceThroughPillarBox

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