A girl, her letter and the helpers all around us
By Emerson Weber, Illustrated by Jaclyn Sinquett
Harper Collins Publishers, 2020
My daughter loves books! And she loves sharing them and their stories with her friends. Today she went to the kindergarten with a really special book, so her teacher will read it to all of her collegues. And so, I thought I could share this book with you today.
“Sincerely, Emerson” is a book about a girl, her letter and the people who have been helping us in the last pandemic year. This is the kind of message I felt the need to deliver to all those people helping me and my family, from the moment the lockdown came upon us last spring. The couriers, the trash collectors, the people working in the supermarkets, the ones in the front line. All of them were and still are my heroes. They all felt the same fears and worries as I felt: the fear they will get infected, sick, maybe die. That their loved ones will get sick or die. That you have no idea where or how the invisible little “enemy” will hit. Who says that the pandemy didn’t affected him at all, in my opinion, has a problem! We were all affected by it and we still are. And my guess is that the big side effects are yet to come.
But these guys, these superheroes, they had to do their jobs, every single day, as best as they could. It wasn’t an option for them to stay at home safe, feeling scared or worried. Or to work from home. They had to go there and do what was expected of them. Because they had children to feed and bills to pay. To have a roof over their head at night. So, in my mind they are the real heros of this pandemic year. And we all should thank them. Not pressure them to arrive sooner or demand explanations for little details going wrong.
So, dear all, a big Thank you from me and my family!
And now back to our book. Emerson Weber is a 11 years old girl who lives in South Dakota. She loves writting letters and decorate them and the envelopes she puts them on. Because she thinks that writting and receiving letters is more personal than sending text or online messages. The joy and emotion you feel when you touch the letter that someone wrote especially for you is so much more than reading a text on a screen.
Emerson became famous last year, after sending a Thank you letter to her postman, Doug. She was writing letters to her friends as a way to remain connected during the quarantine. And one day she saw Doug, her postman, picking up her letters and she realised that he was the one making that connection possible. So she wrote him a Thank you letter. Doug shared the letter with his superviser Sarah, who put it in a newsletter to all the postal workers in the U.S. Next week, Emerson received two big boxes of letters from postal workers all over America. They were happy that someone had “seen” them; validated their work and their importance in the community. And so, Emerson story became viral. She received more than 1000 letters and responded to them. She appeared in television shows and news all over the world! She even received a letter from her idol, Taylor Swift! And a small gift she sent to her.
And so, the real story of the girl who loved to write letters became a book. That has beautiful, beautiful illustrations and a powerful message: saying Thank you doesn’t cost a thing and only brings joy and happiness.
And we all should say Thank you more often, especially to those helping us.
I imagine that the story transformed in a children book will become a blockbuster movie sometime soon. If not, we will always have the book to remember us the most important words: thank you!