“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

Sadie – The Air Mail Pilot

SADIEWritten and Illustrated by:  Kellie Strom

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.


About Diane Tulloch

Known also as the Patientdreamer I am a writer who loves to dream, and is passionate about writing stories for the young so that they may join me in the wonders of adventure in countries and cultures afar, and in special moments to remember.
This entry was posted in Children's literature, Picture book, Picture Book Review and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to “Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

  1. Haven’t seen a book like this since I was a child. Does put a smile on your face! I saw a story on TV about a postman who has the longest route in America 187 miles in a remote desert area — didn’t hear the town. He’s been doing it most of his life. Don’t see stories like that anymore. You have access to some cute books! Oh, and we just had 6-8 in of snow today – crossing many states.

  2. I love getting mail! And I love the postal lady who brings the mail! She’s a lot like Sadie I think.

  3. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    What a cute book. We checked out an older Disney cartoon recently from the library and it had a cute little plane struggling to make his first solo delivery. It was a cute cartoon. The cover reminds me of this. I love getting mail, so I’m a big fan of supporting the mail system.

  4. What a great topic. I hope the library has this book. THanks.

  5. Love your design a stamp idea! Bummed I can’t get this book through my library.

    • Thanks, Julie. Design a stamp idea is something we have held here in New Zealand a few times over the years. Often to promote Child Health.

      • My son just mentioned a how coolitwould be to design stamps on the ride home from school yesterday. You know, one of those moments where I have to keep quiet to hear teens say anything good. They were discussing the tangibility of knowledge!

  6. This sounds like a really great nonfiction-y book! 🙂

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