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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ten Thank-You Letters, written and illustrated by Daniel Kirk. Nancy Paulsen, Penguin. 2014. $18.99 ages 5 and up

Are you finished with
your letter yet, Pig?"

"Well, no.
I thought I'd tell
Grandma about how
I'm helping Mom
with chores."

Have you ever wondered if there might be some mentor book characters to help you get your own kids or students writing letters? Your search might just  end here with Pig and Rabbit. You  have met them in their previous book, Ten Things I Love About You (Penguin, 2012).

Pig is busy when Rabbit arrives with an invitation to play. Pig explains to his friend that he wants to finish a thank-you letter to his grandma fora birthday sweater. If you remember Rabbit, you will know he thinks that's a great idea. He admires his friend a great deal. So, he borrows some paper and a pencil, and his own work begins.

His note is quick; he's ready for play. Pig has other things to tell his grandma: the weather, helping with chores, a loose tooth. Each is of importance to Pig, but the interruptions are distracting him. Pig, in the meantime, has borrowed paper, envelopes, stamps, all to ensure that his thank-you letters get sent to all those helpers that he appreciates on a daily basis. Off he goes to the mailbox, leaving Pig without the necessary supplies to finish his letter to his grandmother.

No problem, Rabbit is soon back with what Pig needs, and a surprise! Anger averted, Pig is finally ready to post his letter. In the final spread, we are privy to his grandma's delight at reading it.

"Dear Grandma,
Thanks for sending the great birthday sweater! Did you know my favorite color is purple? The weather has been cool, so I can wear the sweater every day, even when I am helping Mom wash dishes or sweep the floor ... "

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