Perfect Picture Book Friday – Sincerely, Emerson: A Girl, Her Letter, And The Helpers All Around Us

Welcome back to Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

Is there anything better than discovering a whole bunch of fantastic picture books in time to go to the library and stock up on great reading material for the weekend? 😊

Especially in winter, it’s lovely to have a big stack of books to curl up with in a nice warm spot somewhere and enjoy.

Given recent events, my choice for today is a book which celebrates letter writing, expressing gratitude, and the fact that someone who is eleven can have the perspective and talent to write a book like this!

Title: Sincerely, Emerson: A Girl, Her Letter, And The Helpers All Around Us

Written By: Emerson Weber (11 years old)

Illustrated By: Jaclyn Sinquett

Publisher: HarperCollins, December 2020

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: non-fiction, letter writing, expressing gratitude, spreading love, being appreciative of others

Opening: “Emerson loved writing letters.
She loved writing “Dear.”
She loved writing “Sincerely.”
Most of all, she loved writing everything that came in between.”

text copyright Emerson Weber 2020, illustration copyright Jaclyn Sinquett 2020, HarperCollins

Brief Synopsis: The true story of eleven-year-old Emerson Weber as she writes a letter of thanks to her postal carrier, Doug, and creates a nationwide outpouring of love, gratitude, hope, and recognition for all the essential helpers we see everyday, and all those who goΒ unseen.

Links To Resources: 11 year old Emerson Weber reads her book aloud (video); write a letter to someone you love and/or appreciate to let them know you notice and care; read with other letter-writing books such as DEAR EARTH…FROM YOUR FRIENDS IN ROOM 5 by Erin Dealey, DEAR GRANDMA, or DEAR SANTA by Susanna Leonard Hill (apologies for listing my own books but they are examples of other ways and reasons for writing letters 😊)

text copyright Emerson Weber 2020, illustration copyright Jaclyn Sinquett 2020, HarperCollins

Why I Like This Book: For starters, I love that this book was written by an eleven year old – how inspiring for other aspiring young writers! And I love that she can have the kind of perspective shown in this book – from the appreciation of letter-writing which is becoming a somewhat lost art, to the desire to share her life and experiences with others, to her belief that people should be appreciated and thanked for all they do. There are a lot of adults who could learn something from a book like this, never mind kids 😊 This is a wonderful book at any time, but especially in the grip of (and hopefully soon in the wake of!) COVID-19 and all the challenges it has brought to so many, I think this true story celebrates all that people do to make our world function as it does and care for each other. As the book says:

There are lots of ways to help the world go round:
Some people collect the trash.
Some stock grocery shelves.
Some drive buses and trains.
Some help people who are sick.
Some deliver our mail.
And some people write letters.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 😊

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific blog links (and any other info you feel like filling out 😊) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! 😊

28 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Sincerely, Emerson: A Girl, Her Letter, And The Helpers All Around Us

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      I was so impressed by her writing, Maria. I couldn’t help thinking, wow! She’s got at eleven what it’s taken me decades of work and practice to accomplish in terms of writing picture books! And such a thoughtful sentiment for someone her age to express so nicely!

  1. candicemarleyconner says:

    Our local bookstore got this book in and I was so impressed with it (and might have gotten a little teary-eyed reading it). So kind, appreciative, and inspiring–exactly what the nation needs right now.

  2. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    Love this! Emerson is a smartie. Mom is not jealous of her at all… A book about letters sounds as much fun as a letter about books. Coincidentally, Mom’s New Years resolution is to write letters – with an actual pen and actual paper. She even got a wax sealer thing to close them up and make them special. We are going to watch Emerson read her story now. Maybe get some pointers…

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      I’m glad you and your mom liked the book, Cupcake! And I hope you have fun writing letters! I think a lot of people are going that route lately. I don’t have a little wax sealer thing, but I have pretty stickers to close my envelopes with 😊 I hope you enjoy watching Emerson read her story – she has a lot of poise and presence for someone so young!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      It really is fun to write letters, Deb, and to receive them! I remember when I used to look forward to getting the mail because there might be a letter. Now I just dread opening my email because there will be so many not-letters 😊 Hope you enjoy the book!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      It really is amazing what a letter can mean to someone, Patricia. I have a friend (this is going to sound bad, but it’s not bad in the way you might think and also a long story for another time) but I have a friend in prison, and there is absolutely nothing he likes better than receiving cards and letters. Makes his whole day. I think you’ll really like the book when you get a chance to read it!

  3. Patricia Tilton says:

    I am getting copies for great grandchildren and a great niece! I have always sent them cards and short letters on their birthdays, because I know they rarely see mail. But this book really shows what how important it is to thank someone who’s done a great job. This would also be a perfect classroom project. Thanks for sharing.

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      I do the same thing, Pat! I send my granddaughters actual mail on their birthdays, and holidays like Valentines Day, Easter, Halloween, and Christmas. I think it’s fun for them (plus likely the only mail they ever get 😊) And you’re right – this would make a great classroom project! When my kids were in 3rd grade they had a project where they exchanged postcards with Truck Driver Debbie – they sent her letters and cards from New York, and she sent the class postcards from wherever she drove in her truck. It was a great exchange and they really had fun with it, plus got postcards from lots of different states, national parks, famous sites etc to put up on the classroom bulletin board!

  4. Jilanne Hoffmann says:

    She sounds like she’s already got her PB writing technique down. Love the pacing in those first few sentences. And to have such perspective for one so young! She’s got a stellar future! Can’t wait to check out this book!

  5. viviankirkfield says:

    I love the idea of a book about letter-writing…when I was young and letter-writing and pen-pals were popular pastimes, I did lots of both.
    And don’t apologize for listing your wonderful books, Susanna…they are awesome!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      I know, Vivian! I used to write letters all the time to my friends from summer camp and my aunts and grandmothers and all kinds of people and occasions. (I also wrote a lot of notes in class, but that is another story 😊) And thank you for your kindness about my books. I generally don’t like to mention my own work, but in this case it was just really related…!

  6. julie rowan zoch says:

    Just before COVID began I started attending a Letter-Writing session at a local cafe – they even mailed everything for us! I loved the act, but also the feeling of writing them alongside others and meeting these people who were equally enamored with letter-writing. Sure hope we can pick it up again. In the meantime I will be looking for this book!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      That is so cool, Julie! I love the act of writing – with a pen in my hand, I mean. It’s so different from typing. My mind works in a whole different way. That’s why I write all my first drafts longhand. I never type them onto my computer until I’ve got the story mostly written the way I want it. Once it’s on the computer I rarely do more than tweak and polish. I wonder if kids today feel differently? Like, if you’ve always done mostly typing if your mind works better that way than with writing?

  7. jeanjames926 says:

    Wow 11 years old, how inspiring. Looking forward to reading this one. I still have a box of old letters from elementary school friends, and awhile back I had a really sick patient, and his granddaughter wrote him a letter, and taped it to the wall in the his hospital room. It was the sweetest letter. I will never forget it. Such a powerful tool.

  8. Ellen Warach Leventhal says:

    This is so great. Thank YOU, Emerson! And thank you, Susanna for sharing this book with us. I do love letters.

  9. marty says:

    Thanks for highlighting this book, Susanna. What an uplifting story for right now. My mom was an avid letter writer ( and card sender extraordinaire ) throughout her life. She kept in touch with EVERYONE and I’ve always felt it was one of her greatest gifts. I love that a young person is not only writing letters (a fantastic heartening bit of news, in and of itself ) but also helping us all to appreciate the under-appreciated folks in our lives. Way to go, Emerson.

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