The Jolly Postman by Janet & Allan Ahlberg
This book is a classic and the children love it. It does take a fair chunk of time to get through though because the children insist that you read all of the letters and postcards enclosed in the book.
It has what academics call “intertextual allusion” which just means that it mentions the fairy tales such as Red Riding Hood, Hansel & Gretel, The Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks, Jack & The Beanstalk, and Cinderella throughout the story. This is good because it brings the children’s experience and knowledge of other stories into this story.
The movie Shrek does this too, even though it’s not text, and I don’t know what they call it when it’s a movie not a book. But I remember when the Shrek movie came out, and parents realised that they hadn’t read their children the classic fairy tales, so the children seeing the movie couldn’t access that knowledge to make complete sense of the movie.
You can read more about intertextuality at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intertextuality. It’s fascinating.
A Mum said that at the same time we read this story, their postie changed from being on a motorcycle to going by on a bicycle. Yes! Playgroup changes the world. When was the last time you saw a postie on a pushie?