Thursday, August 14, 2014

Herman's letter by Tom Percival

One of my favourite ways to discover new books is when they are recommended by the readers in my school library.  A few weeks ago we held our annual library Donate-a-book.  A big thank you to the generous parents who supported our library in this way. We have been able to add over 800 new books into our collection.

Among these books was Herman's letter and when it was returned earlier this week I asked the little girl and her mum if they had enjoyed it.  Their answer was a resounding YES!.  The mum then turned the pages and shared her favourite parts - both especially liked the 'real' letters that form part of this story.

This book shows the way illustrations beyond the text in the best picture books.  Think about these words - "They had great fun inventing their own games and they even had a secret club with a secret code and a TOP SECRET handshake."  Now I will tell you Herman is a large brown bear and Henry is a small, red raccoon.  I adore their handshake.

Life for these special friends is good until one day Henry moves away. Henry misses his friend and so he writes letters but sadly the letters only serve to make Herman feel jealous.  Herman does not write back to Henry until this important letter arrives :

"Dear Herman
I hope you are well.  I haven't received ANY of your letters.  There must be a problem with the post or something.
I miss you so much!
You're my best friend in the whole wide world.
Please say you'll come and visit me soon.
Love Henry"

Herman does write back but then he has a terrific idea - he will deliver the letter himself.  He embarks on a long and dangerous journey made even harder by the fact that it is now time for this bear to hibernate.  The twist at the end will make you smile.  Take time to watch the trailer made by the publisher.  Here is a set of teaching ideas.

If you enjoy Herman's letter then you should also look for Toot and Puddle Wish you were here by Holly Hobbie and Christmas Bear by Sal Murdocca.

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