Sometimes, being helpful is not enough. When the mail van driver walks out, Miss Mickle from the Post Office store is left in a right pickle. Enter Stan, a helpful chap who offers to drive the delivery van. Unfortunately Miss Mickle doesn't give him the chance to explain that he actually can't read and parcel pandemonium ensues!
When the angry recipients storm the Post Office and find out the reason for the mis-deliveries, they decide to band together to help Stan learn to read.
When this book arrived I knew it was going to be a hit. You see my 3 year old is obsessed with anything with wheels. Throw in the fact that this guy not only drives a van he drives a mail van and you have a very excited kid. We live rural so all mail is delivered in the red ban something my 3 year old is obsessed with.
Especially given that the mail man brings parcels so he finds it really exciting. This book has quick become a favorite in this house and has been read daily. It is a pleasure and a giggle to read aloud so I don't mind at all! The simple rhymes make it enjoyable to read it tends to just flow off the tongue. I also love that it has some interesting words like vexing and perplexing and has clever name rhymes like Trinity Tait at flat 28.
The story is sweet and has a happy ending despite troubles along the way. My son found the deliver mishaps quite a giggle especially the Professor receiving ladies underpants. I laughed even louder when I read that everyone kept their mixed up parcels in the end. It was quite interesting going with a storyline of an adult not being able to read which could provoke a few questions with older children although its not something my child noticed.
We love the book and I personally think it is a great book for kindergartens and new entrant classrooms especially in rural areas where the mail man and his van are well known.
We had some review books turn up here, and I hid them away from the kids. I figured I would pull them out in the order I wanted for a change. This of course was totally pointless. One night, I asked my youngest if she wanted a story book for bedtime. She disappeared, so I followed her. She lead me right to the books I had hidden and shuffled through them until she found Stan the Van Man. She turned and saw me, and gave me the "whoopsy" look. How could I be mad!
I asked her why she wanted this book and she said it was a book. She liked the yellow on the cover and the "truck". She is a little obsessed with parcels and whenever a mystery box comes into our house she is the first to ask when we can open it. We sat down with this book, and flicked through the pictures looking to see what it might be about. She loved looking at all the parcels and what people were getting in the post.
She was a little disturbed when people got angry in the book and scared for Stan. She liked the dog and the cat and the little boy characters. We tried to guess what the story line was. And then once we had looked at everything, she asked me to read it. Reading through the book, the words have a good flow to them. I found it easy and fun to read. I also liked that there were some good big words like vexing and perplexing. I like that, because it leads to questions about what the word means and it helps to build your child's vocabulary.
The story itself was quite sad. Stan is an awesome guy, but his secret of not being able to read leads to mistakes. To my youngest, she didn't question the plot at all. She enjoyed the story for what it was and was happy with the ending. My eldest had a different take on the book. Her first question was about why he didn't know how to read. She thought all adults knew how to read and couldn't understand how Stan got to be his age without knowing. I didn't know what to say as that background isn't in the book. But I explained that many people struggle with reading and some adults never learn until they are older.
Like her sister, she enjoyed looking at all the mis-delivered parcels and what was in them. She laughed so loud about some of them. She liked the ending as well. This is definitely one I have re-read a few times to children requesting it. I can see this continuing to be popular in our house and a great way to encourage the wee readers as well. Because let's face it, reading is awesome.
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"Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't."
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)