December 16….. ‘Herman’s Letter’ by Tom Percival

Herman’s Letter‘ by Tom Percival (published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books)

IMG_7775This is one of the sweetest books we’ve read this year and the great thing is that it’s not overly wintery or Christmassy, so you can legitimately bring this out on any day of the year!

The story describes the very close friendship between Herman and Henry which is put to the test when Henry moves away.  The pals agree to write to each other, but as can often be the problem with long-distance relationships, some sentiments get lost in translation and Herman is soon feeling jealous of the exciting new life he imagines Henry is leading and finds it hard to motivate himself to write back.

As hibernation draws closer, things are looking gloomy.  However, just as he’s about to close his eyes, another letter arrives in which Henry openly declares that Herman is definitely still his best friend and he would love it if he’d pay him a visit.

IMG_7776This boost is just what Herman needs and he rushes off to see his friend.  There are a few obstacles along the way, not the least of which is Herman bumping his head and accidentally going into hibernation.  Luckily, some kind passersby decide to help him out and come up with an innovative way to reunite him with Henry, so all is well in the end.

Aside from the lovely plot, the illustrations in this book are utterly delightful.  We hadn’t seen any of Tom Percival’s books prior to this one, but he’s definitely on our radar now.  There is lovely depth to his pictures and they’re bright and colourful without every being garish – just totally yummy!

Another BRILLIANT feature of this book is the way the ‘real’ letters are attached to the pages, which as others have also pointed out, gives a nod to one of my own very favourite childhood books, ‘The Jolly Postman‘ by Janet and Allan Ahlberg (and also ‘The Jolly Christmas Postman‘ by the same legendary partnership, which we’ll be getting out this week).  This is a book that warrants repeated reading and poring over – perfect for popping under the Christmas tree 🙂


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