William Bee’s simple text and bright illustrations offer young readers an accessible and entertaining introduction to the postal system and what remains an important form of communication even in an age of texting and video chatting. One of several in the Stanley series, Stanley the Mailman can stand alone or be read in conjunction with William Bee’s other books. (If one considers the entire Stanley canon, it is conceivable that one might wonder how such a small hamster is able to take on so many jobs—such as a builder, a farmer, or a mechanic—in addition to being a full time mailman, but surely this just indicates what a dedicated and talented rodent he is!)
Many children will be fascinated by the double page spread at the beginning of the book which depicts many utensils necessary for writing and sending mail. While the story depicts a relatively wide range of reasons the animals might receive mail, it does not highlight the other side of the process. A scene in which one of the characters wrote and sent a letter or package would have given a fuller picture of the postal system.
The soft, padded cover and the printed addresses within the illustrations make the book an inviting choice for one-on-one reading, while the humor and themes make it a solid choice for group read-alouds for toddlers and preschool-aged children.
Good introduction to learning about the postal system.