The Post Office Pup, Marg Gibbs (author), Alicia Rogerson (illus.), M J Gibbs, June 2021.

The Post Office Pup

Set in author Marg Gibbs’ local Mapleton community, The Post Office Pup is a delightfully told story of Shilo, the Post Office’s Cocker Spaniel, and his postal mission to sniff out some goodies from the delivery van each day.

Gibbs pens this story with a charmingly playful element; referring to the parcels as ‘surprises’, and Shilo’s longing for a surprise of his own that would make him ‘jiggle with joy’. Her language caters perfectly as a read aloud story for pre-schoolers with its onomatopoeia and sequential events of the busy Post Office each day of the week. We meet real life workers; David, Yyvonne, Elizabeth, Anika and Xanthia, who tend to the daily customers and keep the mail sorting organised. In the meantime, curious and cheeky Shilo sniffs and snuffles about with all the delicious and interesting smells that come his way. Interwoven throughout the text and across the spreads are Alicia Rogerson’s adorable, finely painted acrylic illustrations that beautifully capture Shilo’s energetic, inquisitive and gentle nature. Neutral tones are aptly used within the Post Office setting, and then Shilo pops from the vibrant greens and blues of the outdoor spaces when he finally receives the surprises he’s been waiting for. In and outdoors, there’s plenty for Shilo, and his readers, to discover and explore.

The Post Office Pup delivers a fun and fascinating insight into the antics of the real life Shilo and his contributions to the Mapleton community Post Office. The book provides scope for its early years audience to investigate the services around their own local community and the roles of the people (and animals) that work there. It may also encourage children to connect with friends and family via letters and parcels that they too, can surprise someone special with.

A friendly family story of play and surprise, curiosity and love, for dog-lovers around the world, delivered straight to your heart.

Review by Romi Sharp.

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