Janet and Allan Ahlberg
This very special book is perfect for sharing at Christmas time. The jolly postman does his rounds on a snowy Christmas Eve. The postman’s round eventually takes him to Father Christmas’ workshop and an exciting trip on his sledge with lots of special deliveries to make. This book is very interactive with interesting Christmas mail and presents to take out of the envelopes and share.
Share the story
The book is a sequel to The Jolly Postman who delivers letters to familiar characters from fairy tales. It’s helpful if children already know this story before reading The Jolly Christmas Postman but not essential. See here for a video of the original book, The Jolly Postman, read aloud
Watch the The Jolly Postman story
Before opening the book look at the front and back covers together and talk about what children can see. Are there any familiar characters? As you read the story aloud you will find children will want to pause to look at the pictures and the contents of the envelopes. See what interests them and read and talk about these things before continuing with the story.
As you re read the story children will enjoy joining in with parts of it. Perhaps the rhyming words, the names and addresses on the envelopes or the jokes on baby bear’s Christmas card.
Talk about the story
Share favourite pages. Try to remember and talk together about all the places the postman visited and people he met. Look closely at the illustration of Father Christmas’ workshop and talk about what you can see. The final illustration with the postman in the sledge has lots to talk about as well.
Things to make and do
Play a game and make a puzzle
Put the Humpty Dumpty jigsaw puzzle together and play ‘What’s the Time Mister Wolf!’ and BEWARE! The gift from the wolf to Red Riding Hood (you will need a dice and counters).
Play the story
Make a postbox together out of a large cardboard box, if possible paint it red or cover in red crepe paper.
Children can make Christmas cards for characters in the story and cards, letters or invitations for the family to in their box. They can pretend to be a postman, sort the mail and make deliveries to members of the family and perhaps to toys representing characters in the story. This is even more fun if they receive replies from the family or even from characters in the story.
Draw a map of the story
On a big piece of paper children could draw a map with the postman’s route and the places he visits. Talk about the map together and all the places the postman visits.
Make a nursery rhyme book
There are lots of rhymes in the story; see how many you can spot together. Say them together and learn some new ones. Print off the nursery rhyme book – your child can illustrate the rhymes they know to create their very own nursery rhyme book.
Do some festive baking together
The postman has lots of festive treats on his round including little mince pies at The Gingerbread Man’s house. Look here for a recipe for mince pies.
Or see here to make gingerbread men.
Find out more
Read more books by Allan Ahlberg, titles include:
The Jolly Postman
*See more lovemybooks ideas
Tell stories together
There are lots of traditional stories referred to in the book. Find times to tell some of them, for example Red Riding Hood. Perhaps in the bath for example – just in your own words. It doesn’t matter if you have to stop to think what happens next, children might like to add bits they remember.