This is such a cute book for the start of the school year! It was released this month, so if you're a teacher, librarian, or otherwise involved with school age kids, you may want to check this one out.
I was hooked at the cover, which is made to look like a large envelope, with postage and all! It even opens like one...what kid wouldn't love that?! Once inside, it reminded me a lot of The Jolly Postman, which I used to enjoy sharing with my kindergartners. The difference with this one is that the letters/post cards are the story, don't come out of the book, and are all written by the same person, until the end.
Michael writes to his teacher before school starts, in response to her "Welcome" letter, that many teachers today write to their students. He uses different correspondence forms: letters, a telegram, and a post card. The book even shows Michael mailing the letters in different mail boxes. Most of the book is made up of letters from Michael, so it would be a good book to use when teaching letter writing as well. Michael always includes a P.S., which is something that a lot of kids don't know about.
Michael's whole intent, is to let his teacher know why he will not be at school on the 1st day, and what an imagination he has! He talks about travels to other cities, countries, climates, etc. Amy Husband does a wonderful job of not only telling about the places Michael travels, through his letters, but also illustrating the highlights of that place. The illustrations are child like, so it really looks like Michael has added drawings to his letters to help his teacher understand where he is and what he's doing. Very eye-catching, bright, vivid illustrations that children are sure to love!
I'm sure there are many children who feel like Michael, not wanting to go to school on the first day, the end to summer vacation, and having to let go of all they have been doing. What a great way to express those feelings, through letter writing! Wouldn't that be a good lesson/activity for the first day/week of school? Write a response to your teacher's welcome letter. You could use any correspondence format: post card, letter, etc. I can see a whole slew of ideas coming from teachers with this book! May be I'll challenge my teachers to see what they can come up with? There's so much: letter writing, geography, story telling, etc.
I'm always on the look out for books to start the school year with, and will definitely be sharing this one with the teachers on my campus!