Get one free letter - no strings attached!

FAQs about Dear Izzy

When will my first letter arrive?

Your first letter will arrive 5-7 days after you complete the order form.  The order form is one last step after completing payment.  You'll receive a link to a secure form to tell us all about our new pen pal!

Does my child write back?

Yes, each letter comes with a response letter for your child to complete and return.  (We even include the self-addressed, stamped envelope!)

What is my role as a parent?

Support your child in reading the letters and writing back.  Most early readers are not independent enough to do the whole process solo.

You and your child take the lead together.  Most families find that having an adult read the first letter is necessary.  After that, follow the cues from your child about how much support they want reading the letters.  Remember, the goal is to begin to associate joy with reading, so it's okay if they want you to read some of the way.  We think you'll find they've gained much more independent reading momentum after just a few letters.

How much time will this take?

Experiences vary with each child, but on average it takes about 15-20 minutes to read the letter and write the response.

Do I need to pay shipping or postage?

No.  The price of shipping is included in your purchase.  That includes the stamps for mailing the response letters back!

How often will letters come?

Letters should arrive roughly every 7-14 days by snail mail.  On rare occasions, delays occur due to US Postal Service.  You'll receive 10 letters over the course of three months, give or take!

How many letters will my child receive?

Each purchase comes with 10 letters.  The whole series lasts about 3 months.

How do you personalize the letters?

Letters are addressed to your child, by name.  We also use information you provide about your child to add additional personal touches.  For example, we may ask what your child's favorite toy is, the name of their best friend, or more, and use those details to delight your child!  (You might even be tickled by the way we incorporate these personal touches!)

Are the pen pals real people?

No.  Well, not exactly - there is no real "Dr. Kat" or "JJ the Engineer".  All letters are coming from us here at Dear Izzy.  The advantages of this is that you can have 100% trust that your child is safe and not communicating with a stranger, and we will *always* send letters consistently - no sudden stopping of communication.  Read more about the upside of the fictional pen pal, and what you might want to say to your child about it here.

How can I be sure my child is safe?

We are committed to maintaining privacy.  Your child is only communicating with us here at Dear Izzy (and we are two moms and educators).  Please note that, while we'd love to, we can't read every response that is sent to us.  We'd never have time to write letters!  

We take extra precautions to maintain the privacy of your data.  See our Privacy Policy for more details.

Is my child too young or too old for this?

That really depends on the child!  The letter content has been developed by Dear Izzy for early readers, generally between 5 and 8 years old.  You know your child best.  If you have any hesitations, or want to ask us questions, email us at

Should I tell my child a letter is coming?

We recommend letting your child know that you've signed them up for a pen pal through Dear Izzy.  You can explain that they'll get a letter in the mail, just for them!  That's pretty much all it takes.  Sometimes, the simplest answer is best.  You can read more, and get a sample script, on our blog here!

How should I explain to my child why they are getting a letter from a stranger?

It is important for your child to know when it is okay to communicate with a stranger in person, by phone, online or by mail! That is why we recommend letting them know that YOU have signed them up for this, and that it is a safe and appropriate activity.

Can I give this as a gift?

What a wonderful idea! You are a great gifter.  We are working on that!  In the meantime, please email us for support giving this as a gift.

How can I help my child become a better reader?

You will receive emails from us before each letter arrives with great tips for you to help get the most out of each letter.  Check out our blog and follow us on social media for lots of ideas on how to maximize this experience, and other tips for raising a reader!

Can I cancel my subscription?

We encourage you to reach out to us with any concerns first.  We discourage cancellation because a child may be left wondering why their pen pal stopped writing to them, especially without an explanation or a proper goodbye.  You can cancel anytime by contacting us at  Allow us 5-7 days to process the cancellation.  We will refund you a percentage of your purchase cost equal to the percentage of unsent letters.  

What if...

... I lost the response template?

It depends on if you've already had your child fill it out or not!  

  • If you have not yet filled it out, contact us ( and we will email you another one to print out.
  • If your child already filled it out, and you've misplaced it before getting it in the mail, don't fret.  The next letter will be on its way, with or without receiving the response letter from your child.

... my child's name is spelled wrong in the letter?

Oops!  What a terrible mistake.  Please email us immediately to correct it -

... my child doesn't like the letter?

We would love your feedback.  Please let us know what didn't work, and we will do our best to make it better.  

... we are going on vacation?

If your vacation is about a week or less, no action is necessary.  If you wish to pause the service for a longer period, go ahead and let us know by email -

... my child doesn't want the letters to end?

We've learned through experience that 3 months is just the right amount of time for this pen pal service.  We've crafted the series so that the pen pal says an appropriate goodbye, and ends the relationship on a positive note.  However, nothing is stopping you from signing up for another character!

... my child's sibling wants a subscription too?

Dear Izzy works best with early readers.  If the sibling is also an early reader, we recommend signing them up for two different characters.  Otherwise, they'll be getting very similar content.

... there isn't a character that my child will like?

We have many more characters in the works, so stay tuned!  In the meantime, send us an email and let us know if you have an idea or a request for a specific character!

... I haven't received my next letter?

That would be very unusual, and very unfortunate!  Please let us know if you think you should have received a letter.  We will get another one to you ASAP.

... my child wants to write more than is prompted in the response templates?

Please know that Dear Izzy staff are not able to read all of the responses that come in.  We will do our best, but do not guarantee any direct responses to additional content the child might add to the response letter.


Tips on maximizing the experience...

Check out our blog, and follow us on Instagram, for lots of ideas on how to maximize this experience, and other tips for raising a reader!