It can be difficult for today’s tech-savvy children to imagine a world without smartphones, let alone a time before any telephones or computers. Sally Nicholl’s book does a good job of explaining how telegrams work to a young, modern audience. I’ll admit that reading the story prompted a half hour on YouTube investigating telegraph systems with my five-year-old.
The story of Billy Button, Telegram Boy takes the reader to a busy post office in a country village in a bygone era. When Billy hears of an opening for ‘telegram boy’, he jumps at the chance. He dons his Royal Mail cap, hops on his little red bike, and rides around the village delivering his messages. The story gradually introduces a variety of quirky and charming village characters.
The book is delightfully nostalgic and whimsical, and although somewhat reminiscent of the Alhbergs’ books, it does have a charm of its own. The illustrations are warm and complement the style of the story well. I was delighted to note that the simple font and tinted paper provide support for readers with dyslexia and makes for an enjoyable experience for those beginning their reading journey.