Monday, July 03, 2017

It Came in the Mail

Written and illustrated by Ben Clanton
Simon & Schuster (2016) Ages: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade

Have you ever noticed how much the love of receiving mail changes with age? Of course, as one gets older they are likely  unenthused by mail, as mail for adults typically consists of advertisements, appointment reminders, and dreaded bills. However, for kids, receiving mail is like opening a gift on Christmas. It is a magical experience for them because, as kids, they typically receive much neater items in the mail such as gift cards, letters from grandparents, and many other goodies. Liam, the main character, experienced the magic of receiving neat things in the mail, but perhaps things that are a little out of the ordinary such as dragons, flying wails, talking pineapples, and comical funny bones. One might think that receiving mail such as this is the best gift of all. But the young boy soon finds that there is indeed something better than receiving mail. Check out this book to see what it is! 

This author appears to have a set means of approaching the reader. I admire his style as I found subtle hints of humor an adult may understand and enjoy. It reminds me of childhood movies that I rewatch today as an adult and hind more humor and jokes that I may not have understood as a child. 

The illustrations are clever in my opinion because the picture are clean, organized, and keeps the reader engaged, wanting to turn to the next page to see the next illustration. Ben Clanton very cleverly adds stamps to the mailed animals and other magical creatures that may be found on mail packages. 

I recommend this book to families that love to read to their children before bedtime. It is humorous for both children and adults, it is quick to read, and engages children to be excited and informed about the mailing system. For teachers, it may be a useful way to lead into a letter writing unit.

Reviewed by Katherine McPhillips

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