Yep, just as I thought… basically everyone. Now hands up if after deleting the Facebook app you snuck back on. Go on, be honest, it was just a peek right? And then you had to “check” Twitter, while your phone dinged because someone you vaguely know, posted something vaguely cute on Insta. Plus you forgot to add that thing to your Pinterest. You know, THAT IMPORTANT THING.
Well you’re not alone. Apparently more people want to quit social media than smoking. And today’s the moment of truth – QUITTERS’ DAY, that fateful day when New Year’s Resolution falter. It’s damp, it’s gloomy, and let’s face it, you could be on Insta looking at some filtered pic of feet on holiday. Well I’m here to say… DON’T DO IT! Instead… write a letter!
In last year’s Christmas cards, I wrote to friends about meeting up. I even suggested dates. Then lo and behold those friends wrote back confirming dates and et voila – we were sorted. No social media polls. No to-ing and fro-ing on Whatsapp. No emojis. I didn’t even need a Bowie GIF! It all came down to good old-fashioned letter writing. And during December, every time the mailbox flap clanged against the door, we’d find a lovely letter lying on the mat. Suddenly my kids understood that SO much more than DFS catalogues and bills arrive by post.
Emma Yarlett’s picture book Dragon Post gives little people a taste of what it’s like to open lots of lovely letters. You know… letters, with actual stamps and string, or that glorious red and blue chevron edging. The story begins when Alex discovers a dragon in the basement. He’s delighted, albeit a bit out of his depth on how to care for the big brute. So begins Alex’s correspondence with various experts, on the best way to care for his newfound pet.
In a nod to ‘The Jolly Postman’, every few pages we discover an envelope. Inside is a letter to Alex with some timely advice. First up, a dripping reply from the fire brigade with urgent advice to douse the dragon in water. Then… quandary! What do you feed a dragon? Alex dashes off a quick note to Angus the butcher and gets a rather hasty / hungry “nice to meat you” reply! But uh oh… too much roaring. Cue a rather officious looking letter from the neighbour’s lawyer. And so the story goes, until we reach a tender goodbye *sniff*.
Dragon Post is sassy and entertaining! Alex’s childlike, matter of fact account of life with a dragon, sits in contrast to the sometimes punny – and often droll – “urgent” letters of advice. And in addition to great writing, Yarlett’s a great doodler too. Her illustrations are beaut, with each scene brimming with warmth and detail – all drawn and painted by hand.