Thursday, August 26, 2021

"The Mailbox in the Forest" - a bookwrap



The Mailbox in the Forest (Forest Friends)

by Kyoko Hara

Illustrated by Kazue Takahashi

 Translated by Alexandrea Mallia 

A whimsical story about an unusual
friendship, and one girl’s discovery of the
joy that letter writing can bring



* Ages:  4-8

* Grade Level:  K-3

* Hardcover:  74 pages

* 42 colour & B/W illustrations 

* Reading Age:  4-8

*Publisher:  Museyon

* Distributed by IPG

* Pub. Date:  Oct. 1, 2021

* Language:  English 

Editorial Reviews

"Hara pens a sweet story of magically everyday life and an unexpected friendship. Appropriate to the focus on letter writing and format, each letter is placed on its own page, Mayu’s missives tidy and Konta’s full of misspellings and cross-outs. The illustrations switch between full color and black and white, adding playfulness and whimsy." —Kirkus Reviews

Unwrapping Some Illustrations for you



The Book 

Mayu, a Japanese first grader, is lucky enough to be spending a short vacation with her grandparents.  They live very close to a forest and as Mayu is out playing one day she discovers a very odd and mysterious mailbox embedded in the trees.  The next day she finds that it is still there and now has a letter sticking out of it that she takes home and responds to.  She is excited and pleased when a back-and-forth display of letter exchanging emerges.  

 A friendship develops between her and the unknown, unseen,  phantom penpal.  Will Mayu find out who the secret letter writer is?  

Luckily for the reader the responder is revealed and Mayu not only gains a friend but discovers the joy of writing and receiving letters.  A beautiful twist at the end enables she and her friend to continue corresponding despite the fact that she must return home.  

The whimsical illustrations are created in both colour and in black and white.  I love the whole aspect of kids writing hand-written letters to friends and family not by using text messages and emails.  I highly recommend this book. 


Storywraps Rating - 5 HUGS! 


Meet the Author

Kyoko Hara was born in Tokyo and graduated from Wako University with a degree in art. In 1978 she won the Kodansha Children’s Literature Prize in the KFS Contest. Among her many titles are Haru ni aeta yo (We Met Spring) and Kuma no Bear to chiisana Tatan (Kuma the Bear and Tiny Tatan) series. When she was a child, she wanted to become a fashion designer and did not like writing at all.

About the Illustrator

Kazue Takahashi made her debut as a picture-book author with the acclaimed Kuma-Kuma Chan, The Little Bear in 2001. Her picture books include Risu denwa (The Squirrel Telephone System) and Ne, ohanashi kikasete (Read Me a Story, story with Kyoko Hara). Takahashi’s illustrations embody kawaii—the quality of being cute and adorable, which is prominent in Japanese popular culture.

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