A girl shares her love for her neighborhood, and finds that love multiplies, in this child-friendly story that encourages mindfulness and gratitude.
Alice loves her street. She loves its tall maple trees and marigolds and its apartment buildings with their colorful balconies. But not everyone feels the same. “Grumble, grumble, more construction, grumble, late, grumble,” she overhears. So Alice decides to write her street a love letter, which she leaves for someone to find. Through the seasons, as Alice encounters people grumbling about other things, she writes those things love letters, too, and leaves them to be found. She writes to her local park, a maple tree and even the snow. Then, one day, when Alice finds herself grumbling, she discovers a letter someone else has written to the spring crocuses. And Alice feels the joy she has been spreading to others come back to her!
Lindsay Zier-Vogel has created a delightful, uplifting story that celebrates how small acts by a single person can make a difference in a community. It inspires readers to pay attention and appreciate what they encounter every day. Caroline Bonne-Müller’s busy color-drenched illustrations beautifully evoke the abundance surrounding everyone (grumbling or not!) every day.
This story was inspired by the international Love Lettering Project created by the author, in which participants write love letters to their communities and hide them for strangers to find. An explanation of the project at the end of the story encourages readers to write their own letters. This heartwarming picture book aligns with social studies lessons on cultures and communities, and character education lessons on caring, empathy and initiative.
Dear Street is a Junior Library Guild pick, a Canadian Children's Book Centre best book of 2023, and is a 2024 Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award nominee.
School/community author visits:
Lindsay is available for school and community visits, in-person in Toronto, and virtually for schools and community groups outside of the GTA. Please contact her at: [email protected]
Note: Lindsay uses The Writers’ Union of Canada’s fee structure for her school visits.
A love letter to the quotidian...Zier-Vogel’s prose is straightforward and uplifting, and Bonne-Müller’s bright illustrations, created with acrylic, pencil, and crayon, rely on a well-paced variety of spot art and spreads, depict a charming, idyllic neighborhood...Gentle encouragement to cultivate mindfulness that leads by example.”
Lindsay Zier-Vogel has created a delightful, uplifting story that celebrates how small acts by a single person can make a difference in a community. It inspires readers to pay attention and appreciate what they encounter every day.”
— Junior Library Guild
Dear Street is a charming and pleasant story of a young girl who writes letters to her street and the people who live on it. Cheerful illustrations round out this story of community and spreading positivity.
— Canadian Review of Materials
A lovely reminder about the little things in our communities that make them special, Dear Street...is a love letter to communities.
— Storytime with Stephanie
- Junior Library Guild pick (more information here)
- CTV's Your Morning: Books to Engage Young Readers This Summer (more here)
- CBC Books' 12 Canadian books for younger readers this summer
- University of Toronto's 2023 alumni summer reading list
- The Tyee's 2023 Summer Reading List
- 49th Shelf's Most Anticipated Books for Young Readers
2023 Canadian Children's Book Centre best book of the year
BookRiot Recommended Books: August 2023
Canadian Children's Book Centre Expert Pick: July 2023
#1 Amazon Bestsellers in the City Books category: May 2023
#1 on the Amazon Hot New Releases in City Books, Where We Live, and City Life categories: May 2023
What teachers are saying
“Dear Street and Lindsay’s Love Lettering project served as the mentor texts to inspire a love lettering campaign for our school’s centennial celebration. Instead of hiding letters, we hung the students’ bilingual (English & French) love notes in the form of postcards in a display for all the guests to see. Former students of all ages were able to share in the love and memories evoked by the display.”
— Sabrina Musa, Core French teacher, TDSB
“Lindsay brought so much joy and excitement to my Grade 2 class when she visited and read her book, Dear Street, a wonderful and inspiring story about the transformational power of community and connection. She had the children share all the places and things they loved in their community (the list was long!), and then write their own love letters to plant somewhere (best homework ever). Lindsay reminded all of us that we can change the world into something more beautiful by paying attention, reaching out, and expressing our love and gratitude.”
—Sayaka Yajima, Toronto District School Board
“Lindsay Zier-Vogel’s visit to my classroom was a highlight for my students and myself! She enthusiastically read her story to the class, taking the time to ask questions to the students and listening to their responses. She was engaging and entertaining!! I would love to have Lindsay visit my class again!!”
—Amanda Bujdos, Toronto District School Board
“My students and I love chatting with Lindsay! She is honest and open about her process, and inspiring to young writers with the real-world story of how she found success as a writer. She is fun and engaging and kept my students laughing.”
— Lauren Simmons, Toronto District School Board
“My students were thrilled to take part in Lindsay's workshop. They were engaged and enthusiastic throughout the workshop, brainstorming about what they loved about their neighbourhoods and communities and writing their letters. It was a great creative writing exercise, and even got the most reluctant writers writing.
“Lindsay has a gift to engage and connect with those around her to find their creativity and express themselves in their own unique ways. Her workshop was powerful and transformative for both the students and for me and my fellow educators.”
—Jessica Romero, Waterloo Regional District School Board
“Writing letters for community members to find after reading Dear Street brought our kids closer to our neighbours and encouraged them to be noticers of their surroundings. The kindness they infused into their messages after being inspired by the story was incredible to be witness to. I am so grateful we took the time to connect to our community in this special way”.
—Laurie McIntosh, Holy Spirit School Division, Lethbridge, AB