Toddlecreek Post Office

Toddlecreek Post Office

by Shulevitz

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-- Dexter Shuffles, Charlie Ax, and Mrs. Woolsox--all of whose names fit them to a tee--regularly visit postmaster Vernon Stamps at the Toddlecreek post office. Here, stories are told, pleasantries are exchanged, merchandise is bartered, and the villagers are comfortable with one another. Even Silken and the Mayor, neigborhood dogs, arrive daily to take their places on the sunny spots on the floor. However, all of this ends when an inspector arrives and decrees that there is not enough offical post office business, and closes the building. Shulevitz's fresh, orderly, yet angular, watercolors, which fill up the right-hand pages in complement to the text on the left, are just right for group sharing. They will also inspire ``pore-over'' times for one-on-one readers. The appearance of the postal inspector casts a gloom upon that unsuspecting group, and the characters magnificently become wooden in personality and expression, clearly indicating how stunned they are at the news. Both the illustrations--reminiscent of slow, quiet ways--and the original, easily told tale, create a sense of nostalgia, a celebration of simpler times. The best element is the book's absolute success in recalling ``what was'' and introducing today's children to America's past. Use with Rachel Field's General Store (Greenwillow, 1988), Tracy Pearson's The Storekeeper (Dial, 1988), and Anne Shelby's We Keep a Store (Orchard, 1990) for a more fanciful look at bygone times. --Carolyn Vang Schuler, Monroe County Library System, Rochester, NY

Product Details

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
9.25(w) x 11.55(h) x 0.36(d)
Age Range:
7 - 9 Years

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