Recommended for ages 4-8
Mr. Postmouse loads up his wagon and goes on his delivery rounds. He visits all the animals on his route, from Mr. Bear, who’s having lunch with Goldilocks, to a special delivery at the end of his route. Each animal household is loaded with fun glimpses into their lives: the Rabbit family grows root vegetables on their roof, so they can just pluck them from the ceiling when they’re ready to eat; they have a warren below the house that includes multilayered bunk beds and a toilet; Magpie’s home is loaded with stolen goods, evidenced by the “Wanted” poster on the tree to his home and the “Lost” poster bearing a ring that looks just like one in his home; Pigeon’s planning his next trip and has luggage stamped and ready.
Marianne Dubuc’s artwork is wonderful for young readers because of all the elements she includes in her pictures. Her book, The Bus Ride, was loaded with little winks and smiles to careful eyes, and Mr. Postmouse’s Rounds is just as rich in visual detail. The animal homes are drawn in cross-section, allowing readers a tongue-in-cheek peek into their homes. Some, like the Birds, are naturally located in trees, but the Fly family is located in what appears to be a giant animal dropping. Mr. Octopus lives in a shipwreck, and the Penguin family lives in an igloo. Mr. Bear has a beehive on his roof, with a pipe that delivers honey straight to his kitchen, and the Yeti knits hats and socks to keep warm in his icy mountain home.
This is a fun way to introduce the idea of animal habitats into a conversation. Start with fiction, and work your way to the actual facts, comparing and contrasting the elements Ms. Dubuc brings into play with Mr. Postmouse’s Rounds, and ask children to talk about their own habitats. Have them draw a picture of their room, for instance.
Mr. Postmouse’s Rounds is an adorable book that will appeal to younger readers. It’s a fun read-aloud, but will be even more fun for readers to curl up with and discover Ms. Dubuc’s little gifts on their own.