Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Book picks: ‘The Mailbox in the Forest’ honors letter-writing and friendship

Also, a poignant love story set in a tropical graveyard

Book picks for kids (and adults):

Looking for some reading inspiration? Here’s a peek at what KCLS staff and the young readers in their lives are digging into this month!

All KCLS libraries are open. Plan your next visit at


Adults: “When We Were Birds,” by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo

Set in Trinidad and Tobago, Banwo’s debut novel captivates readers with a poignant love story. Darwin moves to the city of Port Angeles in search of work to support his ailing mother. Unmoored from his home, his religion and his family, he reluctantly takes a job in a graveyard despite his deeply held Rastafarian belief to avoid interacting with death. Yejide is bound by ancient and unwanted family traditions. She must usher dying souls into the afterlife, a destiny she has desperately tried to avoid. Darwin and Yejide’s souls unite in Port Angeles’ graveyard with a fervor, and their lush and vivid journey encapsulates love’s ability to heal.

Kids: “The Mailbox in the Forest,” by Kyoko Hara, illustrated by Kazue Takahashi

Mayu is visiting her grandparents near the forest. While out on a walk, she finds a box labeled “mailbocks” and leaves a note correcting the spelling error. The next day, Mayu finds a letter addressed to her, and so begins her pen pal adventures with Konta the fox. Kyoko Hara’s gentle bedtime read focuses on letters, letter writing and friendship, and is long enough to enjoy over several evenings. This is the first installment of the Forest Friends series, which is sure to become a family favorite.

More book picks for kids (and other book news):

“This is a School” celebrates friendship and learning

“Carpenter’s Helper” a heartwarming story about nature

Dad Next Door: Harry Potter will set you free (from reading tedious bedtime stories to your kids)

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About the Author

Rekha Kuver

Librarian Rekha Kuver is the youth and family services manager for the King County Library System. As a reader, she likes characters with rich internal lives and settings with a vivid sense of time and place. When she’s not reading or listening to audiobooks, she’s making art or spending time outdoors.