October picture book of the month: Herman's Letter by Tom Percival - Apply for free copy (CLOSED)

(45 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 02-Oct-13 13:27:46

Join Herman the bear as he embarks upon one epic journey to deliver a very special letter his great friend Henry the raccoon who has moved a long way away.

Herman's Letter is Tom Percival's first picture book his wonderful story, beautiful illustrations and lift-the-flap letters will captivate children of all ages. Download free activity sheets, watch a video of Tom as he illustrates Herman and Henry and learn how to draw them and then apply for one of fifty free copies of Herman's Letter on the book giveaway page. We'll notify everyone whose names are selected on Wednesday 8 October. Don't forget to post your feedback on this thread.

boatclub Wed 02-Oct-13 16:53:05

I hope we win this one it looks fab

femjh Thu 03-Oct-13 08:11:07

This looks really exciting.

Georgethesmartestgiant Fri 04-Oct-13 17:22:12

Done - it looks like a lovely book

mummyto2boys01 Tue 08-Oct-13 23:38:30

Sounds like a lovely story and one my little boy will love too. The illustrations look fantastic. Have applied for a copy, thank you.

PrincessRomy Tue 08-Oct-13 23:53:28

Book looks really good, I think my dd would absolutely love it. Please pick me!

happystory Wed 09-Oct-13 08:33:57

This looks lovely, and I adore the illustrations, just right for my preschool class...

sweetiepie1979 Wed 09-Oct-13 08:56:24

Looks great

RebeccaSMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 09-Oct-13 10:38:11

The book giveaway is now closed. We'll email the 50 people who have been selected to receive books as soon as we hear from the publishers that they have been sent out.

Received our copy this morning...thank you!!!. What a lovely book, I read it to my little boy straight away and we both loved it. He especially loved lifting the little flaps up on the pages. A lovely story will beautiful pictures. This book will definitely get a lot of use in our home and will be treasured, thank you again.

countingdown Tue 15-Oct-13 09:51:04

My boys (aged 4 and 3) loved this book. Beautiful pictures and a really lovely story. They enjoyed lifting the flaps. Lots to talk about, especially since we have recently moved to a new house, far from their friends. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is going to be moving home.

PeterParkerSays Tue 15-Oct-13 09:56:30

Our copy arrived last night. Being a bit "miserable mum", I'm not sure why you'd keep writing letters to a miserable bear who never replied to you, but DS loved it, particularly the flip-up letters, and read it both last night and again this morning so it's a hit with him.

cornflakegirl Tue 15-Oct-13 10:34:20

We got our copy yesterday, thank you. I'm afraid to say that we didn't think it was especially good. I think that the story was maybe trying to do too much. The idea of a friend moving away, and the sadness and jealousy and loneliness would have been a good story. The idea of a friend delivering a letter by hand would have been a good story. The idea of a friend arriving but accidentally being in hibernation and being really annoying, but worth it in the end, would have been a good story. But all three in one meant that, for me, none of them really got the attention they deserved. It also meant that the characters were quite one-dimensional and not particularly engaging.

Having said that, DS (4) likes it, the flip-up letters are a winner and the illustrations are lovely.

AugustRose Tue 15-Oct-13 10:35:06

Our copiy arrived this morning thank you - I'm just annoyed at the postman who didn't knock and bent it to get in the letterbox and has broken the spine and creased it up.

I think this is a lovely story, a little over the head of my 2 year old at the minute but DD will love it as she is 6 and her best friend is very important to her. The pictures are lovely with lots to look at and talk about and the flaps for the letters are a good idea. This will become a very well read book in our house, thank you again!

telsa Tue 15-Oct-13 13:03:48

My 5 year old was thrilled with this book. He loved the little flip up letters and was captivated by the story. It led to discussion about his friend who has recently left the school and moved away and how we could write to him and keep in touch. It was great as a book for launching a discussion about friendship. It was also a good occasion to talk about hibernation and animals in winter. My DS was very glad that it had a happy ending as it was quite an emotional story.

My 8 year old read it afterwards and loved it too. She liked the old stamps on the envelopes, as she is a stamp collector. She liked the portrayal of friendship and how it can endure over time and across distance. She thought the raccoon was really cute.

Both wondered if they stayed living together after this and DS wondered where the bear's family were.

I enjoyed reading it and looking at the details in the pictures. It was engaging and having the little letters was a great idea, even if the old stamps made them seem like they come from a different age - because we all email now. It was a rather timeless quaint story and there could have been a little more detail. For youngsters - under 4 years old - this was probably enough.

MissBartlett Tue 15-Oct-13 13:15:18

My 5 year old loved it - a v sweet story and as they're not too old to enjoy a lift the flap book, really liked opening the letters.

I loved the illustrations and the whole book is v appealing. My only comment would be that it, like many many other books, perpetuates the idea that you need to have a best friend above all others - and as we are negotiating more complex friendships in the playground, I'm trying to help my DC understand that it's great to have several good friends. But I suspect I'm reading too much into it - it's still a lovely story! Thank yousmile

babamummy Tue 15-Oct-13 19:26:33

Thanks so much for the book- lovely illustrations & story. DS hasn't listened to the whole story but it often takes him a while to warm to a new story. I think at 2.5 it's a bit too long for him- he liked to open the letters but didn't want to listen to them. DS loved Henry the raccoon though.

dinkystinky Wed 16-Oct-13 09:05:46

Thanks so much for the book - my 7 year old read it as soon as it arrived and said it was good and he liked the lift the flap letters. It resonated with him as he has recently changed schools and is missing his old friends too so it was a good way to introduce the themes of separation and friendships changing and people moving away. My 4 year old enjoyed the story too - especially the flaps and liked the bear being posted to his friend. I thought it was a sweet story.

Georgethesmartestgiant Wed 16-Oct-13 15:46:29

Our copy arrived this morning. I've read it with DD 2.7 but she found it a bit too long and lost interest part way. I think this is down purely to her age though and once a little older I think she will enjoy it more. She liked opening up the flaps of the letters. Personally, I thought the illustrations were lovely and I like the fact the paper inside the book was matt rather than shiny as it reminded me of an old fashioned story book. I would recommend this book for a child older than 3. Thanks for choosing me to review this book.

Yasmin1 Wed 16-Oct-13 17:24:53

My 4 year old loved the book. Our postman bent the book too as it was posted thru the letter box! She enjoyed the story line and had questions to ask as to why Henry had to go. She was excited about opening the letters. She loved the story that she took it in to school so her teacher could read it to her class.


glenka Wed 16-Oct-13 22:20:47

I gave this to my nephew to read but he did not really like it very much. Having looked at the book I have to say it was a little bit disappointing, the pictures were a bit dark, to much went on in the story and it also seemed a bit of a quick end to the story as well.

OanaChi Thu 17-Oct-13 09:34:05

My four year old loved the book! She waited very late for daddy last night to tell him the postman brought a book for her and "read" it to him. She is fascinated with the letters in the book, we have had a long chat about why and when people send letters(in this day and age, she doesn't see many personal letters, unfortunately). She was a bit sad the two friends had to part ways and thrilled when they met again. I think her favourite part was the last page when she discovered all the things they did together once Herman woke up from her winter sleep. Brilliant gift, thank you so much, Mumsnet and Bloomsbury.

petitefemme Thu 17-Oct-13 14:28:40

Thanks so much for the book! The pictures where lovely and it is a great story. I do agree with other reviews however that the end seems too quick. I would have preferred it to have less postcards sent and an end that was more in tune with the story.
As my little boy is just over 1 he gave very little attention to the story but he loved the bear and the postcard flaps very much! I am sure when he is older he will read it over and over.

lisaneedsarest Fri 18-Oct-13 07:01:03

Thanks for this book, it's a lovely book that my 6,4 and 2 year old enjoyed, the illustrations were lovely and the kids loved the flaps. I agree with some of the other posts though in that the story ended too quickly and was a bit odd, it did feel like it was doing too much and not getting any bit perfect. We enjoyed but I doubt it will become a favourite.

amapola Fri 18-Oct-13 10:15:04

Hi, thanks for my copy. DS, age 4, loves it, the adventure, the pictures and now he wants a tree house to play with his friend (sadly we havent got trees in our garden).
Even better, only last week my eldest son's best friend moved away. He hasnt been willing to talk about it. He is 6 and I thought he might find the book little childish but on the contrary he loved it too and helped him to open up and talk about how he feels about his friend leaving.
Personally I loved the illustrations and I think the wording is very appropriate for 4+. I would very happily recommend this book, specially for boys

boatclub Fri 18-Oct-13 21:24:30

Thanks for our copy which I read with my boys aged 4 and 6. They enjoyed the story and loved the letters, stamps and general look of the book. I have to say I wasn't totally convinced by the story and felt it was slightly a case of style over substance.

slp123 Fri 18-Oct-13 21:52:00

Our copy arrived on Thursday. Thank you. My daughter (4 ½ yrs) was very excited by the fact we had been lucky enough to get the book. She enjoyed the story and really liked the illustrations, especially the photos on the first and last page with the two friends at different stages in their life.
She said her favourite part was when the two friends were reunited. She felt a little sad when the bear was feeling jealous and missing his friend.
She chose the book again this evening for her bedtime story so think it will become a popular choice.
Thanks again.

babyowl Fri 18-Oct-13 23:40:33

Loved the story though not sure why hitting his head sent him to sleep rather than making him concussed.

That aside, I particularly liked how honest the book was about some of the different emotions one can feel post-separation: sadness, jealousy, loneliness, not feeling up to writing and especially remembering the odd quirks of your friends as well as the fun stuff.

As mentioned by others, lifting the flaps of the beautiful letters was an added highlight of the book which 5yr old dd enjoyed very much.

nushcar Sat 19-Oct-13 21:58:23

I thought the illustrations in the book were beautiful and the topic of being sad to leave behind friends and jealous when your old friend makes new friends, a very good idea, especially for kids leaving nursery for school. I do agree that it tried to pack too much into one book, too many themes and maybe a bit too long - on the one hand a picture book with flaps suitable for a younger child and then on the other hand, the length and the letters in smaller print within the story were more suitable for an older child. My daughter is only 2 yrs 10 months. She enjoyed the story when explained to her as we were going along, but she will probably enjoy it more in a year's time. Thanks so much for choosing me, my daughter learnt about friendship, jealousy and hibernation all in one bedtime!

happystory Sun 20-Oct-13 13:19:39

I work with preschoolers aged 2 to 4. IMO this book appealed more to the older children but the younger ones still enjoyed the pictures and lifting the flaps and the character of Herman. A little too long for anyone under 4 I think but this was read in a group situation and maybe 1:1 a younger child would listen all the way through

I thought the illustrations are fantastic and oddly, I really like the paper it is printed on confused have never noticed that specifically in a book before!

BeanoNoir Wed 23-Oct-13 09:39:34

Thank you for sending us this book! The illustrations are lovely and lifting the flaps to read the letters is fun for dd(2). The story is cute too. I do feel there's a bit too much going on in it for her at the moment but it's great to have as a 'special' book, to be kept to look at with an adult and I think we will still be reading it for many years.

I also really liked the paper this was printed on!

There is lots to talk about with this book... seasons, different places, friendships and moving away etc, so although it could be a negative that there is a lot going on in the book, it is also a positive because there are lots of 'themes' so I think this book will keep satisfying dd as she grows and understands it on different levels.

BeanoNoir Wed 23-Oct-13 09:40:44

We do also like the fact there's a page with just one big word on it.. always good to anticipate saying it loudly with mum/dad.

BeanoNoir Wed 23-Oct-13 09:42:33

Oh, one more point. While I really like the paper, I'm not sure if the flaps are sturdy enough to stand the test of time. I will be supervising dd with them at the moment so they don't get damaged.

All in all we are very happy with the book though, thanks.

BeanoNoir Wed 23-Oct-13 09:49:09

My username was PrincessRomy when I applied for this.

thesoupdragon44 Wed 23-Oct-13 10:07:05

We received a copy of Hermans letter and I was very pleased as it is a charming story of a bear and his best friend. I think children will love the mini letters hidden on the pages of the book. I liked the story of friendship, and also a lesson in misunderstanding and communicating with the people you care about. I will say I was a little disappointed with the ending. After such a great build up and story of trials to have the bear fall asleep didn't seem quite as dramatic as I had expected.
I guess though that they learned a lesson in taking friends with their good and bad points! Love the illustrations they are beautiful, and hopefully some more great stories from Herman will follow!

SamsGoldilocks Sun 27-Oct-13 08:41:55

Thanks for ny copy too. My boys really liked the story and have to chosen to read it a couple of times. I think it would be a good tale if you had just moved/were moving/know someone who is new to your area. I loved Herman going to deliver the letter ans the complex emotions involved.

I found the hibernating bit a bit of a distraction fronbthe tale and thought it muddied the pointof being able to stay friends despite distance and therefore found the story ended a bit quickly.

We all liked the illustrations and the little letters to read.

Overall a good book.

sheiladore1 Mon 04-Nov-13 14:34:32

Many thanks for this delightful book,my 3 year old grandaughter loves it.

telsa Mon 04-Nov-13 14:41:14

We (DS, aged 5 and me) read the story again last might and talked some more about friendship, pen pals - whether email and Skype changes things in terms of distance, and all sorts. It is a very charming book, and the flaps/letters are genius. There is nothing my DS likes more in a book than flaps!

sharond101 Mon 04-Nov-13 14:41:51

My DS loves this book. It is beautiful to look at and read and would make a lovley gift IMO. DS loved the pictures and lifting the flaps. It is a touching story.

lorka Mon 04-Nov-13 14:45:10

My daughter loves this book. She loves the lift the flap letters and the lovely colourful illustrations. The story did seem a little confusing at the end but overall a lovely story of friendship no matter the distance.
Thank you for sending us the book.

peanutmum11 Mon 04-Nov-13 22:17:13

I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book.
A really lovely children's book with beautiful illustrations. This book surprising has some grown up issues.
Moving homes, leaving friends and the art of letter writing (not e-mails) and keeping up with those letters when you first do not get a response.
But more importantly the true meaning and a way to be a friend..... a beautiful story to read to a young child, getting them to ‘open’ the letters.
A book that you can read again and again and again.
Ideal if a friend moves away or your child does.

BusyMum101 Wed 06-Nov-13 09:05:46

We think this book is great. My daughter is 13 months so doesn't understand the storyline yet but she absolutely LOVES opening and closing the letters within the book and pointing at the two characters, Herman and Henry. It is one of the few books that she has sat still and paid attention to each page throughout the whole book. We (the parents!) like the fact it covers 'real world' topics of friendship and jealousy. If anything, it could have benefitted from being a little longer as the story moves very quickly at the end, but appreciate that it is aimed at small children whose attention span might not handle too much more. smile

Lightshines Sat 09-Nov-13 15:32:58

I sent this as a gift for a friends 5-year old, who has reported that the 'flaps' were very popular, they really help engage a child with a book. She understood the idea of the importance of friendship and, as her mum and I have been friends for many years but live at opposite ends of the country, how friendships can endure.

mum2jakie Sun 10-Nov-13 21:34:53

Sorry for the delay in offering my feedback after receiving a copy of this lovely book.

I originally intended to share this with my three year old son, thinking the lift the flap letters would make this ideal for him. In actual fact, it is my six year old son who has had the most pleasure out of this cute story.

It is quite a long read and I'm not sure that my youngest son really understood the whole concept of a friend moving away and sending letters etc, although he did like lifting the flaps. My six year old appreciated the actual story line much more and it was pretty fitting as one of his best friends is moving away soon so this was a topic that really meant something to him.

This would be a great gift for a child in that situation, opening up the discussion about keeping in touch and how friendship can survive distances. We found the ending of the story particularly funny!

I'd happily recommend this for children aged between 5-8.

Thanks again for my copy.

mummyto2boys01 Thu 14-Nov-13 00:56:00

Thanks so much for my copy. I read it with my boy as soon as it arrived and he became engrossed with the illustrations right away. He also loved lifting the letter flaps. Story was lovely but a little hard for him to follow at times. Overall, I think this is a book my son will truly appreciate and love when he gets a little older.

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