Review: PenPal Notes (and giveaway)

The love of books and the love of reading is big in our house. I think that’s one reason I love doing my weekly Write a Review Wednesday post. I love discovering and sharing new books with my kids. And now that my oldest daughter has discovered the joy of reading on her own, I love to find ways to expand on her love. Books is a given but then I stumbled upon a new product called PenPal Notes.

You’re probably familiar with the idea of pen pals. I know when I was in school we had a pen pal program with kids from different countries. I still have some of those letters, including a letter from Iran which caused a big stir with CSIS (also know as the Canadian Security Intelligence Service), but that’s another post. The point is I loved having pen pals.

Lunchtime pen pals

The idea behind PenPal Notes is a combination of lunch time notes and letters from friends. Instead of writing notes in your child’s lunch why not include a postcard from Tej, a panda who goes on adventures. There are seven different series, from dinosaurs to proverbs to world food, and each series includes 20 or 40 illustrated postcards and sticker stamps. The front of the post card is a message to your child based on whatever series you have. On the back there’s space for you to write your own personal note to your child.

My daughter is a foodaholic. She loves food, from everywhere. The folks at PenPal Notes were kind enough to send the Traveling Taste Buds set for us to review. My daughter loves, loves, LOVES food so these cards were ideal for her. The Traveling Taste Buds series has Tej visiting seven different countries. The first postcard from each country gives a little information on the country and subsequent postcards talk about a specific food from the country.

My daughter loves these cards. She shows them to her friends and keeps all of them to reference later. She loves the idea of getting these notes and discovering new foods. Sometimes I’ve been able to tie food choices to the postcards too. When she was visiting France one card talked about croissants and I included one for her snack. She thought that was the best. One day I forgot to include a postcard (we agreed that Monday, Tuesday and Thursday would be postcard days) and I heard about it all that night. From that moment on my daughter reminds me the night before to include a postcard in her lunch.

I love the postcards. They’re easy to read. I have learned different types of food and I absolutely love food. I liked the messages that my mom wrote on the back too. I share the notes with my class. My teacher things they are neat. I still have all my postcards. I like to go back and read them again. I only get them on Monday, Tuesdays and Thursdays, but I’d love to get them every day. I get really excited on a postcard day. I usually remind my mom to put one in my lunch.

I love how the PenPal Notes get my daughter excited about reading and learning. It shows that reading is more than just for books. Plus she now has developed an interest in starting some real pen pals (she even created a mock postcard and sent it to me).

PenPal Notes for you

The amazing folks at PenPal Notes wants to get your child excited about reading too. They’re offering one set of postcards (winners choice) absolutely FREE. Isn’t that great! Checkout the sets they have available. So if you’re in Canada or the United States all you need to do is comment below and tell me if you have ever sent notes to your child or received lunch time notes as a child yourself. I’ll receive entries until midnight (EST), Sunday October 25, 2009 at which time I will randomly draw a name. Good luck!

Update: We have a winner. has selected and the winner has been emailed. Thanks for your interest.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Those are fun notes! I like the animal facts ones – and I think my 7 year old would get a kick out of them. I write lunch notes occasionally, but not as regularly as I’d like to. Mostly, it’s something simple like, “Never forget how much you are loved.” It must work — on meet-the-teacher night, I saw in one of his notebooks that one of the three things his mother always says, along with “Don’t stand on the fernitur” is “I will always love you!” 🙂


  2. Yes, I have sent my kids notes. This is great! Thanks.


  3. What a neat idea! I don’t remember receiving notes as a child, but I would love to do this with my own daughter…

    And we posted about this:


  4. I never received notes as a kid but I used to write my mom notes…I have written my kids a note or two thanking them for something or telling them I love them 🙂 I havent done that in a while & think I will write them all one today 🙂 This is great!


  5. I haven’t sent notes, but it sounds good.


  6. Great idea – these look really cool! I have put notes in my kids’ lunch boxes, although they are usually smiley faces or pictures b/c they are not reading fully yet (one is in j/k and the other is in s/k). My mom did sometimes put notes in my lunch as a kid, and I always got a big kick out of it. Great giveaway!


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