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The Mailbox in the Forest

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

While spending a vacation with her grandparents, Mayu, a Japanese first-grader, finds a mysterious mailbox in the forest near their house. She writes a letter and leaves it in the box. The next day she is surprised to find a letter addressed to her. She responds and a friendship develops between the two-letter writers. But who could this mysterious friend be? Mayu discovers who he is, and discovers the joys of writing and receiving letters. And when the time comes to go back home, she and her forest friend find an unexpected way to exchange letters and to continue their friendship.

Illustrated in the whimsical style that won Kazue Takahashi accolades for her Kuma-Kuma Chan books, The Mailbox in the Forest offers a delightful look into the everyday life of a Japanese girl—with a little magic added!


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.

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.

The Mailbox in the Forest
by Kyoko Hara & Kozue Takahashi
ISBN: 978-1-940842-53-0
Juvenile Fiction
Age 4-8
74 pages, 42 color & B/W illustrations
6 x 7 3/4 inches
US$14.99 CAN$19.99
On Sale: October 1, 2021
Distributed by IPG

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