We hope this letter finds you well and wild-minded! As the weather turns and we turn to our writing desks and our reading chairs, a couple of are new books are reviving our love for books about LETTER-writing!
Same Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani: What starts as a class project penpalship between an Indian girl who has just emigrated to Queens and a boy living on a mountain in the Appalachians buds into an incredible best-friendship. This book is a great primer on activism, what it means to be American, and cross-cultural understanding--all written in letter form! A totally eye-opening look at two unfamiliar worlds for kids growing up in the NW! As a bonus, both of the correspondents are emerging creative writers exchanging artistic ideas by mail like real grown-up writers do!
Letters to Leo by Amy Hest: A totally darling book of letters from spunky fourth-grade budding writer and artist Annie Rossie to her new pup Leo. Annie has a marvelous sense of humor in merry moods and muddy ones. Annie confides in Leo re. normal school things like spelling bees and best friend spats, but also writes about the death of her mother, which Hest treats tenderly and thoughtfully. This book could spur some pretty cool writing prompts too! A good reminder that you can write letters to reveal things to yourself and that addressing them to a real reader is NOT NECESSARY!
Thank You, Miss Doover by Robin Pulver: A riotous book about letter-writing conventions, creative communication, and the role of revision! Jack makes knee-slapping mistake after knee-slapping mistake in thanking his Great Aunt Gertie for a stationary set he was less than ecstatic to receive: "Dear Aunt Gertie, Thank you for the USEFUL gift. It's my own personal paper, in case you forgot. It's not my favorite gift, but I have used it a lot. Just ask my mom. Love, Jack."
The Jolly Postman by veteran children's book authors the Ahlbergs: This interactive "archive" of letters between nursery rhyme characters was my prize possession as a kid and a fledgling epistler! The book contains a series of real pullout letters! Very sophisticated. I made a whole series knockoffs, composing possible exchanges between my favorite storybook personalities! What might a Wild Thing have to say to Stellaluna!?
It's a bit early for Christmas considerations, but J.R.R. Tolkien's collection of Letters from Father Christmas to his own children is stunning, silly, and utterly special. Tolkien wrote and illustrated the book himself, adding a new letter each Christmas until his children were grown! Check out the regular version or the pop-out version, structured like The Jolly Postman.
Visit the store to check out kajillions of accessories to jumpstart creative correspondence--
things like our WORLD'S SMALLEST POSTAL SERVICE kit, cartoony stationary sets, letterpress greeting cards, and Japanese stickers!