In the days of emails, WhatsApp messages oh and even the odd text messages it is becoming a rarity to receive an actual letter in the post. There is something really exciting about opening an unexpected envelope to discover something hidden inside. I grew up writing letters to friends when I was studying for my exams, away at university and living far away from everyone after university. In my loft I have boxes full of letters that make me laugh, smile and feel warm inside whenever I reread them. So for children today opening a letter is a really magical thing and a book full of letters like the ones in Emma Yarlett’s, ‘Dragon Post,’ waiting for them to discover is just completely delightful. I shared this gorgeous book at storytime this week and the children were completely entertained and enchanted as we opened up and shared each of the replies to Alex’s letters, in his quest to understand the best way to deal with a dragon as a pet.
As Alex opens each letter he is hoping for some sage advice to help him take care of his new friend, but he doesn’t have much luck. The fire brigade are extremely nervous about the thought of having a dragon on the loose, while the butcher seems more excited about the thought of eating, rather than meeting the dragon much to the amusement of the children at my school. The inevitable noisiness and smoke that the dragon brings causes consternation and an official warning, it seems like its only the World Animal Welfare who can offer any sensible advice. A prescription they recommend for a daily flight seems to do the trick, yet Alex know his time with his new friend is running out. It takes words of wisdom from his very best friend Hillary for Alex to realise it’s time to say goodbye and we watch him deal with his loss brilliantly and bravely. There is plenty of humour for children in Emma’s gloriously funny and vibrant illustrations and she sprinkles the story with many funny references for us grown ups to enjoy. This books is a triumph in storytelling, sumptously produced it will prove irresistible to children young and old.
Letter to an imaginary friend…
Growing up did you have an imaginary friend? When I was young, at the end of my garden was a huge tree, that thanks to Enid Blyton’s ‘The Magic Faraway Tree,’ I was convinced was full of fairies and magical creatures. One day I came home from school and was horrified to find the tree had been cut down to make way for a shed. Where would all the people who lived in the tree go now? I dreamed that one day the tree would force itself up through the ground turning the shed into a treehouse for me to live in and then all of the creatures would return. Here’s the letter I would write to them now…
Dear Fairy Folk
I am so sorry that you had to go away, I had no idea that the tree would be chopped down and that you would have nowhere to live? I loved the days I climbed up the tree and we had picnics using rose petals to make that special tea that we shared whilst reading stories together. After you had gone I still left out treats for you to find in case you returned, did you ever come back and find them? Perhaps you went to live with all the other fairy folk in the Enchanted Wood or found another child to look after you. Whenever I see a fairy door hidden in a tree, I would really love to shrink down so that I could squeeze inside and maybe find you there. But I know deep inside that you will only let children see you so it’s not likely I will find you again. Thanks for all the happy hours we spent together, hope you’re happy wherever you are now!
Thank you to Kirsten and Walker Books for sending me a copy of this wonderful book, ‘Dragon Post,’ is available to buy now online and from any good bookshop.