Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Philip C. Stead
Illustrator: Matthew Cordell
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
As everyone should know, you can’t just drop an elephant in the mailbox—you have to go to the post office. Sadie is determined to mail an elephant to her Great-Aunt Josephine who Sadie feels is lonely and “could really use the company”. It takes a lot of stamps to send something so fragile in the mail so Sadie decides to find another way. It takes borrowing an airplane, being guided by an alligator, riding a train, and spending some time with bandits, but Sadie is able to achieve her goal in the end.
Special Delivery is silly and sweet. Sadie’s determination to get an elephant to her aunt shows persistence and her love for her potentially lonely family member. Adults can talk to children about looking out for others and keeping promises that they have made. The illustrations by Cordell have a feeling similar to Quinten Blake’s, but still has plenty of individual personality. The illustrations add detail to the story and occasionally provide all of the action without using narrative. Readers young and old can giggle together about Sadie’s adventures.