Penpal Postcard Swap – Write to your favourite book character

Our book characters are getting bored and restless and would love to hear from you! Can you write your favourite book character a postcard? A postcard is a short letter that you send to someone. You can tell the book character anything - your plans for the school holidays, why you like (or don't like!) their books, what you think they should have done that time they made that one dodgy decision, or anything you want! 

The book characters are keen to do some writing themselves, so you may get a response! They will give you some book suggestions. 

Print out this form and return it to any Christchurch City Library or upload it from home or school below. Don’t have a printer? No problem! You can download the .jpg file and use a photo editor. If you do that, be sure you save your changes before sending it back to us!

If you have a printer:

  • print the drawing (the .pdf file might be easier to use)
  • draw and colour it in
  • take a picture of it
  • upload it with the form

If you don't have a printer:

  • download the drawing (the .jpg file might be easier to use)
  • use any photo editing program to do your colouring in. Some popular programs are Microsoft Paint or Canva, but you might use something else. Have lots of fun with this, even if you have to ask a grownup for help.
  • save your picture
  • upload it with your form

Some time after you submit your postcard, you'll get a reply from the book character. Anyone who also submits a picture might also win a prize!
Happy writing!

Letter writing – an old-fashioned practice

Before the internet, before email, before fax machines and phones, there was the mail. Letters were how people kept in touch. This term, the library has done a couple of postcard writing events for tamariki, Monster Pen Pals and Paperback Pen Pals. For further reading about letters, letter writing, and famous letters through history, take a look at these items from our collection:


Dear Justice League Michael Northrop
In this graphic novel, DC Comics heroes answer letters from their fans.

Happy mail Eunice Moyle
Learn how to beautify the letters you write with this craft book!

Socks, sandbags, and leeches: Letters to my Anzac dad Pauline Delven
Family members wrote a lot of letters to each other when separated during war times. This is a fictional view of a young girl’s life in Australia while her father is off fighting in Europe during the first World War.

Daddy-Long-Legs Jean Webster
This is one of the classic epistolary novels – a story told through letters from one person to another. This story is about an orphan who goes to college with the help of an anonymous supporter who asks only that she write regular letters about her studies and progress. Those letters make up this novel.

Letters to children from Beatrix Potter
Beatrix Potter, author of the beloved children’s book The Tale of Peter Rabbit, wrote letters to her young fans. Some of those letters and drawing are shown in this book.

West from home: Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder to Almanzo Wilder, San Francisco 1915
Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of Little House on the Prairie, wrote back and forth with her husband while she went to visit her daughter in San Francisco. You can read about her adventures with traveling and seeing the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

The Walkabout Orchestra Chloe Peraranau

This search-and-find book combines postcards, clues, and orchestra musicians!

And if you still want to see more books about letters, take a look through this excellent list put together by the librarian at Te Hāpua Halswell.

Books with Letters and Letter writing (correspondence)

List created by CCLTeHāpuaHalswell

A selection of books which could be used by teachers when teaching students letter-writing

View Full List

Happy reading – and writing!

Terms and Conditions

  • Competition is open from Sunday 27 March to Sunday 1 May. 
  • Winners will be announced on the Christchurch City Libraries website.
  • Prize allocation is at the discretion of the Christchurch City Council. All decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • Entries must have all correct contact details completed on the entry form.
  • Photos of the entries will become property of Christchurch City Libraries.
  • Winners of the draw will be selected and notified by 21 May.