cover image The Lonely Mailman

The Lonely Mailman

Susanna Isern, trans. from the Spanish by Jon Brokenbrow, illus. by Daniel Montero Galán. Cuento de Luz (Legato, dist.), $16.95 (28p) ISBN 978-84-16147-98-4

A badger mailman rides his bicycle through the forest all day, delivering letters to the local animals. Through the letters, the animals—handsomely dressed in sweaters, button-down shirts, and eyeglasses—resolve misunderstandings, exchange invitations to dinner or tea, and form friendships. One letter reveals that Rabbit is eager to join Bear at the lake but doesn’t know how to swim. “Dear Rabbit, I’ve had a great idea for when I’m bathing in the lake,” begins Bear’s reply. “You can climb up on my back, just as if I were a big old boat.” Back in the badger’s den, readers learn that the mailman is actually writing the letters. In lush, richly rendered paintings, Galán (It’s a Pain to Be a Princess!) creates a enchanting forest community; crisp blue day gives way to a spectacular sunset and a night lit by candles that cast a furious orange glow. Though readers may have logistical questions about the mailman’s altruistic scheme and how he’s so aware of the animals’ needs and troubles, Isern (Bear Wants to Fly) makes plain that the first steps to building community can be as simple as reaching out. Ages 6–8. (Apr.)