We love using mentor texts in the classroom to showcase a special skill for our students. This list is filled with mentor texts that model writing a friendly letter. There are even books on the list that make cross-curricular connections with science, social studies, and art. Have fun sharing these books with your students. We hope to hear from you soon!
Team Lucky Little Learners
P.S. – Did you know that a book or story told entirely through letters is called an epistolary text? That’s a fun new word to share with your students!
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Mentor Texts With a Friendly Letter Format
By Drew Daywalt, Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
One day, Duncan opens his crayon box, and all he finds is a stack of letters. The crayons are tired of being mistreated and write to Duncan to explain their case. Will Duncan learn to use his crayons properly?
By Drew Daywalt, Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
In this sequel to the hilarious The Day the Crayons Quit, the crayons set out on their own adventures to explore life outside the crayon box. What will they discover? Will Duncan ever get all his crayons back?
Written and Illustrated by Troy Cummings
Meet Arfy, a lovable pup who is looking for his forever home. Arfy writes letters to all the people in his neighborhood to convince them that he is the best dog. Will Arfy find the perfect home?
Written by Josh Funk, Illustrated by Rodolfo Montalvo
When two pen pals exchange letters. they find out they have so much in common with each other. However, neither know what the other pen pal looks like. What surprises will they discover when they finally meet in person?
5. Xo, Ox
Written by Adam Rex, Illustrated by Scott Campbell
Ox is in love with the beautiful Gazelle, and writes her dreamy love letters to share his feelings. Will Gazelle write back?
Written by Julie Falatko, Illustrated by Gabriel Alborozo
Owl loves to read – alone. When his quiet reading time is disturbed by the other forest friends, he must discover a new reading routine. He writes back and forth to the owner of a bookshop for new book recommendations, and ends up receiving so much more than books.
Written by Katie Frawley, Illustrated by Laurie Stansfield
What happens when a tabby cat and an elephant trade places? Will their new lives be a vacation, a disaster, or a little bit of both? This charming and hilarious story is also a great book to compare and contrast characters.
Written by Erin Dealy, Illustrated by Luisa Uribe
The students in Room 5 want to know how they can help take care of the Earth – so they write the planet a letter. Filled with actionable suggestions on how to better care for our planet, Dear Earth… is a wonderful addition to the classroom library for Earth Day (or any day!) celebrations.
Written and Illustrated by Simon James
One morning, a little girl awakes to discover that a whale has landed in her pond. She writes to her science teacher for advice on how to care for her whale. Chaos and kindness ensue.
10. I Wanna Iguana
Written by Karen Kaufman Orloff, Illustrated by David Catrow
Children know how to be persuasive and persistent when they really, really, really, want something. The main character in this book wants – you guessed it- an iguana. Will his wish be granted? A charming story students will want to hear again and again!
Written by Pat Brisson, Illustrated by Rick Brown
Kate heads out on a summer road trip of the east coast with her family. When Kate writes to her best friend about her adventure, students can gain knowledge about interesting state facts. Great for discussing geography and studying the 50 states.
12. Toot and Puddle
Written and Illustrated by Holly Hobbie
Toot and Puddle are best friends. Toot wants to travel the world, and Puddle prefers to stay home. But, staying home can also be filled with adventures! See what happens when the two friends write letters back and forth about their days.
Written and Illustrated by Mark Teague
Ike LaRue, a dog, does NOT believe he belongs at obedience school. He writes letters to his owner trying to explain his way out of the situation. This book is also a great mentor text for persuasive writing and an unreliable narrator.
Now that you have some wonderful mentor texts for friendly letter writing, you’re ready to practice writing letters with your class! Here are some strategies to help you teach friendly letter writing.
AND, check out this friendly letter template on All Access!
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If you like the idea of introducing writing with mentor texts, we’ve listed kid-favorite texts to introduce opinion writing as well!