Mentor texts like these children’s books provide excellent examples and ideas for teaching the format of letter writing as well as voice (tone) and organization.
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Now, here’s your list of children’s books that model letter writing for kids — and make it fun to learn!
Children’s Books to Teach Letter Writing to Kids
Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings
Letters From Maisy by Lucy Cousins
Maisy is exploring the world. As she visits different places, she sends letters to her friends. Reach into the envelopes to pull out the letters. She even sends gifts like the fan for Ella and the horse for Tallulah. Isn’t this ADORABLE? Use this book to prompt your own letter writing!
The Thank You Letter by Jane Cabrera
After her birthday party, Grace writes thank you letters for her gifts. Then she continues her letters expanding to her dog and people all over town. The end shows all the sweet notes she gets in return.
Dragon Post by Emma Yarlett
A boy named Alex writes letters to try to get ideas on how to care for his dragon…letters to the Fire Brigade and World Animal Welfare, for example. How can he take care of a dragon? The story is cute. It’s about what to do with an unexpected dragon in your house — and the illustrations are delightful. But the selling point of the whole book is the five letters that kids can take out of the envelopes.
The Night Monster by Sushree Mishra, illustrated by Sanket Pethkar
Avi tells his sister, Swati, that he’s scared of a monster at night. Swati suggests that Avi write the monster a letter. To his surprise, the monster (who is actually the big sister) writes back. Back and forth (with some lift-the-flaps) Avi and the not-a-monster communicate. Avi soon realizes that the night is not a monster. In fact, he waits for the night to bring him sweet dreams.
Dear Dinosaur by Chae Strathie, illustrated by Nicola O’Byrne
XO, OX A Love Story by Adam Rex, illustrated by Scott Camp
Dear Teacher by Amy Husband
Michael explains in a series of letters to his new teacher all the reasons WHY he will not be attending. And the reasons are hilariously unrealistic. But, you gotta love that kind of imagination!
Pen Pals Forever by CK Smouha and J Lindenberger
I love this darling story of unexpected pen pals — an elephant and a mouse — who become good friends through their letter writing. They even travel to visit each other in real life — and help each other with the difficulties they are having. Cartoon, pastel illustrations.
Dear Pope Francis: The Pope Answers Letters from Children Around the World by Pope Francis
Letters from children (whose names, ages and country are included) ask Pope Francis questions about all sorts of topics such as what makes him happy, why do people suffer, why do parents argue, how to find God . . . Pope Francis replies to each letter with love and thoughtfulness in a conversational, kid-friendly manner.
The Dragonsitter by Josh Lacey illustrated by Garry Parsons
(ages 6 – 8)
Written in increasingly funny (and alarming) letters we learn that Uncle Morton left his pet dragon for Edward and his mom and sister to watch — with no directions!! The dragon poops in their shoes, eats their pet bunny, and causes all kinds of destruction which all are the subjects of Edward’s letters to his nowhere-to-be-found uncle. Finally, Edward hears from his uncle who suggests feeding the dragon chocolate. Will Edward’s mom lose her mind? And will the chocolate work?
Write to Me: Letters from Japanese American Children to the Librarian They Left Behind by Cynthia Grady
When Japanese American children are sent to internment camps with their families during World War II, a librarian gives the children’ leaving books and asks them to write her letters. This story tells about the children’s lives — from their thoughts on the books to what happened to them.