Friday, July 19, 2024
The Jolly Postman

The Jolly Postman

by Mark Warner
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Buy This Book * More books by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

Sam Collins

The Jolly Postman delivers cards and letters to various fairy-tale characters. He has a letter of apology for the three bears from Goldilocks, a postcard from Jack for the giant, a solicitor’s letter on behalf of Little Red Riding-Hood for the wolf who ate grandma, and so on. There are six envelopes in the book, each containing letters, cards, etc.

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Watch the first minute of this video of Allan Ahlberg talking about how he and Janet got the idea for the book from their daughter playing with the post. Where do you get ideas for stories?
  • Write your own letters, postcards and invitations to the characters in the book, or perhaps characters from other traditional tales.
  • Make a display of the stories referred to in the book.
  • Bring in a selection of different types of mail. What are they for? Sort them into different types. Are any of them the same type of letter as the ones in the book?
  • Write some instructions on how to write a letter.
  • Make a class version of the book by splitting into groups, so that each group can make one section.
  • Look at Cinderella’s biography and write the biography of another traditional tale character.
  • Make a collection of flyers and adverts. What do the children notice about them?
  • Write a letter of apology from another traditional tale character (e.g. the fox in the Gingerbread Man).
  • Read some other books that feature letters, for example, Dear Greenpeace or Dear Zoo.
  • Make a list of words to describe one of the characters.
  • Set up a role-play post office.


  • Make a pictogram based on the different types of mail items.
  • Plan a party and work out problems such as; “how many buns will we need if 4 people are coming and they want 2 buns each?”
  • Add some prices to the ‘Hobgoblin Supplies’ products and use them for money problems.


  • Use the bicycle to investigate pushes and pulls.  How does a bicycle work? What about a scooter? Encourage the children to describe the pushes and pulls involved.


  • Today we often use email and messaging to communicate. Talk about keeping yourself safe online using our free ideas and resources.
  • Use a Beebot, Roamer or other programmable device to navigate a map of the book.
  • Record your own video retelling of the story. Here is one example:

Design Technology

  • Design your own stamps.
  • Design a new vehicle for the Jolly Postman.


  • Look at silhouettes on postage stamps and make your own by cutting them out of black paper.


  • Sing some songs about transport; for example ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ or ‘Down at the Station, Early in the Morning’.
  • Learn the song ‘When Goldilocks went to the House of the Bears’.


  • Make a map of the journey.
  • Learn about how bicycles are used around the world.
  • Find out how a letter gets from its sender to its destination.
  • What is your home address? Can you find your house on Google Earth?
  • Make a list of where people in the class have been on holiday. Can you find the places on a map? Did you send a postcard?
  • What type of house do you live in? Make a poster showing different types of houses.


  • In the book Goldilocks gets a pound note. Investigate some old coins. What do they look like / feel like?


  • Remind the children about road safety. How do you keep safe when you are out on your bike or scooter?
  • Goldilocks writes a letter of apology. When have you had to apologise? When has someone apologised to you?
  • Discuss different birthday traditions in the children’s families.

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