Sadie – The Air Mail Pilot
Published by: David Pickling Books 2007
Ages: 5 – 8 years
Themes: determination, courage
Opening Lines: Once upon a time a few brave pilots in little planes flew the Air Mail. Early one morning at Air Mail HQ, the Chief was giving orders to every pilot on the base… well almost every pilot.
Synopsis: from Amazon… Sadie is a brave and fearless pilot who overcomes the elements – and even a plane crash – to deliver the mail. Like all the dedicated Air Mail pilots, she is kept busy by the arrival of never-ending sacks of mail and the Air Mail HQ chief who barks orders at his staff. But that won’t stop Sadie from getting it delivered.
Why I Like it: Earlier this year I sent a Birthday parcel to a friend, in what I thought was plenty of time. Only thing was, their Postal system decided to go on strike for three months a week after I had sent it. I was terribly disappointed not only because she would not get the item on time (or earlier), but it reflected the postal system as a whole world-wide. She was delighted of course when it did finally turn up and it was shortly after that I came across this adorable book which renewed my faith in the Postal system. It made me smile! Exquisite colourful, lively illustrations would grab any reader, girl or boy. Such detail one would need to read it more than once for the illustrations alone, combing fact with fiction, with details of inside planes to the whimsical space-like runway and scenery. Kellie cleverly brings many animals such as elephant, cat, pig, ostrich, alligator, mice… and so on, together in a very human situation. The story itself is set in South America and the text, in prose, is broken on a few pages by a rhyming refrain. “Things look grim, but don’t get nervous, Northing scares the Air Mail Service”, and another is; “The winds may blow ice and snow, But still the Air Mail’s got to go!” I also noticed the way in which the text was laid out with more on some pages, less on others, the building up of suspense and page turners. For a young book it has a lot in it to admire from a writers point of view. Even the first line quoted above “Once upon a time…” is written on a page before the title page; interesting!
Resources/Findings: Here is Sadie’s very own website and although it hasn’t been updated since 2009 it shows some of the exquisite illustrations I was talking about and some interesting articles…. http://www.sadiethepilot.com/
Here’s a fun reading of the book with a look at some of the illustrations…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3JmcUR_bUo
A website of historical facts on the early postal air pilots, stamp collecting etc… http://www.postalmuseum.si.edu/exhibits/2c2a_earlypilots.html
A great school activity would be designing Christmas stamps, or hold a Christmas stamp competition.
Pop over and visit the lovely author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books. Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with the books reviewed by many authors. And lastly don’t forget to post early for Christmas.