Thursday, December 11, 2014

Title: Herman's Letter
Author/Illustrator: Tom Percival
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Publication Date: November 11, 2014
Source: finished copy from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Herman the bear and Henry the raccoon are best friends. But Henry's moving far, far away! So what do they do? Promise to write each other all the time and stay best friends forever, that's what.

But being pen-pals is easier said than done, especially when your best friend seems to be having way more fun than you are. . . .

Filled with interactive lift-the-flaps and great read-aloud potential, this heartwarming friendship story is an ideal pick for a cold night's story-time.

First, I thought we'd start with Katie's thoughts on this book:

I think that they were really, really, really good friends. They liked sending letters because they liked each other and had to be far away from each other.

When asked what she liked best about Herman's Letter, she had this to say:

It was kind of funny that he got mailed. I liked the pictures and that I could read most of it. I liked when they started sending letters to each other, and I also liked the post cards they did.

Herman's Letter is a charming little tale of an adorable friendship between a bear and a raccoon and their dedication to each other, even in the face of adversity. They're separated from each other for the first time in their lives, and they're learning that while absence does make the heart grow fonder, it also makes it that much more difficult to maintain a friendship.

This book was the perfect read for a cold winter night, cuddled up with my Katiebug and some hot chocolate. Katie read the story to me and graciously allowed me to read all of the letters between Herman and Henry. There were only a couple of words she stumbled over, but with a little help, she was able to figure those out herself. Katie will be seven in a few months, and I think this book was spot-on for her reading level, though she is reading two levels above her classmates at school. Even so, it's a sweet story to read to your own little one, even if they're not ready to read it yet themselves.

Tom Percival is best known for his illustrations in the Skullduggery Pleasant series -- which sounds awesome now that I've taken the time to look it up -- but I really enjoyed his fanciful and endearing drawings in Herman's Letter. And the inclusion of those fun little lift-the-flap letters made the story just that much more lovable. Katie loved flipping them up to see the contents as much as I enjoyed reading them to her. It was just lovely and such a colorful and vibrantly illustrated story.

Herman's Letter is such a touching story about the great lengths friends go to for each other. It's full of heart and meaning, and it's such a great story for a child to experience at this age, when they're starting to make lasting friendships and learn the true value of friendship for themselves.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Tom Percival writes and illustrates picture books (you know, for kids) as well as illustrating books written by other people. The most well known of these is probably the excellent Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy.

He grew up in a remote and beautiful part of South Shropshire. On reflection this seemed rather more remote than beautiful, owing to the fact that he lived in a small caravan without electricity, mains water or any sensible form of heating. He thinks that he’s probably one of the few people in his peer group to have learnt to read by gas lamp.

Surprisingly enough he has never been called ‘hippy’ (to the best of his knowledge).

Tom now lives in an actual house with his girlfriend and their two young sons.

His favourite colour is turquoise and his favourite number is usually seven.

Find Tom:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads


  1. That cover is so freaking adorable! Love hearing Katie's thoughts too :-)

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  2. Katiebug is adorable. <3 I love reading her thoughts about this book. My youngest is probably too old for this book now. Lol.

  3. This sounds so sweet! Love the cover and premise. I don't have kids but I love finding awesome picture books, especially holiday ones, for myself... and for someday :) I love the idea of the included letters and postcards too, reminds me of The Jolly Postman!


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