Elena Topouzoglou, Mr Pegg’s Post, New Frontier Publishing, July 2018, 32 pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781925594195
Anna lives in a lighthouse on a beautiful Greek island far away from neighbours and friends, and is very lonely. When Mr Pegg the pelican who delivers the post has an unfortunate accident, Anna comes to the rescue with her trusty rowboat, and helps Mr Pegg deliver the mail across the island. In turn, Anna makes even more friends along the way, but soon realises just how lonely she is when her helpful turn comes to an end.
Will she be forgotten by her newfound friends, and return to reading books and rowing her boat by herself?
Elena Topouzoglou lovingly shares her childhood memories of life on the Island of Mykonos and captures Anna’s loneliness with muted watercolour illustrations and thoughtful text. Blue as the central colour throughout the book, from the sea to Mr Pegg’s postman hat, provides for a calming read, perfect for a bedtime story.
The central theme of loneliness opens the door to explore the value of making friends, the isolation that comes from living in remote locations, and the importance of human connection, particularly in today’s digital world. Teachers and librarians are provided with plenty of content to explore the central theme with lots of opportunities for activities related to lighthouse keeping, letter and postcard writing, the sea, and pelicans!
Sentimental in thought and execution, Elena Topouzoglou has created a timeless story about the value of friendships and an important platform for younger children to talk about any feelings of loneliness they may have at home or at school.
Reviewed by Shelley Stephens