cover image Toddlecreek Post Office

Toddlecreek Post Office

Uri Shulevitz. Farrar Straus Giroux, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-374-37635-2

In words that are spare and to the point, the story of Toddlecreek village and its post office unfolds. Postmaster Vernon Stamps was both kind enough to allow his post office to be used as the town's social center, and wise enough to know that even if a less than interesting person repeats the same anecdotes, perhaps there is a duty to listen. Friends were always welcome--a pair of dogs, a retired lumberman, a lonely old lady whose lamp needed fixing. Into this genial hubbub came the steely postal inspector armed with the twin virtues--accuracy and efficiency. Displeased by this communal atmosphere, she closed the post office for good. More than a gathering place was lost: a way of life disappeared, and Toddlecreek was poorer for it. Shulevitz shows himself once again to be a master of the watercolor medium--each painting glows with inner light. This message is at once age-old and timely, but the subtlety of the narrative and the stylization of the art gear this work toward an older audience. All ages. (Oct.)