Our friends at the Emirates Literature Foundation are focusing on a meaningful activity this weekend…

Whether it’s getting a head start on asking Santa Claus for presents or receiving a long-awaited note from a pen pal overseas, writing letters can be such a fun and meaningful activity — both for the person doing the writing and for the person receiving it.

To celebrate the art of letter writing, our friends at the Emirates Literature Foundation have put together a list of books to help inspire younger readers to pick up the pen and join in on the fun.

If you do want to brush up on your letter-writing skills, why not enter the RGS Guildford Dubai’s Letter Writing competition for a chance to win an exciting prize.

Paddington’s Post by Michael Bond, with illustrations from R. W. Alley

Paddington’s Post by Michael Bond, with illustrations from R. W. Alley

Join everyone’s favourite bear from Darkest Peru as he tells his Aunt Lucy all about his new life with the Brown family as he settles in his new home in London. Follow along as Paddington puts together different items of post, documenting all his new friends and the experiences he’s had along the way — and even receives a special piece of mail all his own.

The warmth in Bond’s writing really highlights how letters can bring people closer while R.W. Alley’s charming illustrations bring Paddington’s whole world to life in gorgeous and colourful detail. The interactive element of certain editions, make this the perfect addition to any collection.

Dear Dragon by Josh Funk and Rodolfo Montalvo

dear dragon

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Part of the joy of having a pen pal is getting to know someone new, and that’s just what George and Blaise discover as they trade letters back and forth, telling each other all about their pets, their birthdays and even their science projects.

However, there’s just one problem: neither of them knows that George is a human and Blaise is a dragon, and they’re soon going to meet one another. Funk’s rhyming tale is full of humour and heart as he showcases the importance of looking past a person’s exterior to find what you might have in common, and Montalvo’s warm, hand-drawn designs capture the hilarity of George and Blaise’s assumptions. It’s a fun read, no matter your age, with plenty of valuable lessons.

The Jolly Postman by Allan and Janet Ahlberg

What would fictional characters say to each other if they could correspond through letters? This Ahlberg classic answers just that question as it tracks the various messages sent between fairytale and Mother Goose characters. Allan Ahlberg reimagines several popular tales from other points of view, while Janet Ahlberg’s vibrant illustrations and designs transform them into a lively and immersive experience as readers get the chance to explore the many letters tucked within.

So grab a copy and see what Goldilocks might have had to say to the Three Bears, or who might be writing to Puss In Boots, the answer might just get you writing.

If you enjoyed this feature on letter writing by Nivea Serrao, Website Content Manager at Emirates Literature Foundation, check out more reviews from her on the Foundation blog. And catch your favourite authors on the latest episode of the Foundation podcasts the Boundless Book Club and the Best of the Emirates LitFest. And follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep up to date with Festival news and Foundation events.