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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Thursday, Friday10 am-3 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 4 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

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Picture Books We Love

Writing Letters to Teachers

Hi, It’s Sara from the Carle Bookshop here to share some books on a topic very near and dear to my heart. As a former classroom teacher myself, I know just how much work goes into the creative and essential work that teachers do. I wanted to share these two books as a way to encourage letter writing in general, but specifically writing letters to teachers, (who will definitely appreciate neat handwriting and colorful borders) because they all deserve praise, accolades, and jubilant expressions of gratitude galore! I invite you to read these books as inspiration and then write a letter to your teacher post haste! 

A Letter to my Teacher with a lined sheet of paper and pencil displayed in front. Cover shows teacher smiling at student.

A Letter to My Teacher by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter (Disney Hyperion, 2017) is a heartfelt homage to all the many unseen gifts teachers give us. The book is written as a letter and at the end we see that the letter writer (and former student) is now a teacher herself. 

Interior of A Letter to my Teacher shows a girl whispering to her teacher with images of letters in the background.

The letter details specific memories from her schooldays and we see how even the littlest things a teacher does can impact a child for life. “On the way back, you held my hand and never told anyone how much I was shaking.” The mixed media illustrations show the texture of the brushstrokes, which brings the exploratory art of elementary school to mind. 

Interior of A Letter to my Teacher shows a girl in yellow raincoat and boots clinging to a branch being rescued by her teacher

Dear Substitute book cover shows girl with long pigtails writing the title of the book with a border of apples and pencils.

Dear Substitute by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick (Disney Hyperion 2018) is a funny compilation of letters to many recipients, including the class turtle, all about the surprise presence of the substitute teacher. Chris Raschka’s watercolors create a warm amusing environment for these letters, some of which are addressed to inanimate objects like the Class Rules and Storytime. 

Interior of Dear Substitute shows letter written to StoryTime, a teacher sitting on floor reading with a border of kid's feet

An excellent exploration into the sorts of letters you can write, this book is a celebration of the illustrated letter with colorful borders and words painted with a brush! How many things in your home, or things from school could you write letters to? For example, would your toothbrush like a letter? Grab a sheet of paper and a pencil and write a letter to the sun in the sky, or the birds in the trees or even to yourself!

P.S.  Don’t forget to check under the endpapers of a children’s book, because there are often surprises like these smiling faces waiting to be seen.

watercolor illustration grid of diverse children?s faces






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