CM . . .
. Volume XXII Number 10. . . .November 6, 2015
Mr. Postmouse's Rounds follows the cheerful letter carrier on his delivery route from the post office to his last stop of the day. Mr. Postmouse will make deliveries to high treetops, deep under the sea, and even to animals he is frightened of, like Mr. Snake. He will also deliver parcels that trouble him, such as a box with a fox’s nose and tail poking out of it to a chicken coop.
The text consists of one or two brief, uncomplicated sentences per page that usually refer to the recipient of a letter or parcel while the illustrations show the houses they occupy and the route Mr. Postmouse follows.
There are many playful details for the reader to discover in the illustrations: a lost shoe and its companion appear on different pages, references are made to fairytales such as “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” or “Little Red Riding Hood”; there is a 'Wanted' poster of Magpie (who wears a yellow bandit mask and keeps "lost" jewelry around the house) on his/her tree, and the pile of packages on Mr. Postmouse's wagon dwindles accurately as his deliveries continue.
Each house reflects some characteristic of its animal occupant in a quirky manner. Mrs. Octopus, for example, lives in a wrecked pirate ship under the sea, Mr. Bear keeps bees, and the Crocs live in a house with an ingenious rainwater-gathering system that ensures that each room of the house is flooded with about six inches of water ("It's so very humid!"). Fantastic creatures such as Yetis are also featured.
Several illustrations contain kernels of information about creatures which can be discussed further, such as a row of heaters in Mr. Snake's house to keep him warm or the “No Moles” sign outside of Earthworm's house.
Overall, the style and atmosphere are reminiscent of Richard Scarry's “Busytown" works, but less crammed with details and a bit more paced. It is a flexible book that would accommodate different uses, such as a lovely bedtime story, an early introduction to postal services, or a good imagination-starter for designing new residences that reflect what we know about (or associate with) creatures.
Saeyong Kim, who has an MA in Children’s Literature and an MLIS, lives in British Columbia.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal
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other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.