Do you ever get stuck in a book rut with your kids? I sure do. They find a series they enjoy, read all of the books in the series and are then stuck on what to read next. Sometimes I’ll pull out a classic or just take a chance on a book at the library, but I’ve recently found a great way to introduce children to authors and illustrators that they may not already know–Letters for Kids from The Rumpus.
Letters for Kids is a subscription service that sends children letters from different children’s authors or illustrators twice a month. Each letter is written just for this program and is designed for kids between the ages of 6 and 12. No self-promotion is allowed, so the authors are not trying to sell their books, but just to engage with children in a meaningful way. Sometimes the author includes an address, so your children can feel free to write the author back–and then might get their very own letter in return.
When reading through the letters, I noticed that the authors really took their time to write great letters! Most included fun pictures, silly stories and interesting facts–they definitely held my children’s attention. Each one is completely different from the one before. And not only are the letters unique, but they introduce my kids to new books and get them excited about genre they might normally overlook. While my kids enjoy reading, I was surprised that they had not heard of most of the authors that sent letters. Which made it the perfect way to introduce new books. They loved their first letter (from an illustrator they already know and love–Jim Paillot) and can’t wait to get more!
My new game plan is to take my kids to the library soon after they read one of their letters, let them each choose a book (or more) from the author and then decide if they’d like to write the author a letter. Because they were so excited to get a letter in the mail the first time, I know they will be thrilled if the author responds to their letters! And I can sneak in a little letter writing lesson without nagging!
For more information about this subscription (which I think would make a creative stocking stuffer), check out www.therumpus.net/kids. ***Please note that the Letters for Kids program is completely appropriate for children ages 6-12, but not all content on The Rumpus is appropriate for children as they publish works that might include content only appropriate for adults.