Lost in the woods

Dear Hannah,

I so enjoyed your story idea and the scene of the woods near your home: the squirrel in the tree, the tire swing, the brook winding its way through the woods and, of course, the fish swimming upstream.

I just got back from a walk in our local wooded park with my puppy, Ivy. We try to go off-trail as much as possible, and take small footpaths through the woods. We cross over small brooks, and today I stood for a bit, waiting to hear the spring peepers (little frogs). They are not peeping yet; too early I guess. I bring a whistle with me just in case I get lost, because it is a very big park.

Happy reading,


Young author

Dear Heather,

Your mom sent me your author drawing and biography, and I’m just so impressed with your work that I wanted to post it. I would read anything written by you. I’m sure that after your teeth come in and you grow up, you will become a best-selling author because of your clever observations.

Please tell your mom to keep sending me your best drawings. They bring me such joy! Also, if you ever have any questions about writing that you want to ask, you could send them my way and I will be happy to answer them.

Give your mom a big hug for me.

Happy reading,




Black horse

Child's drawing of a black horse

Dear Kally,

That’s quite a story. I’m so glad you weren’t hurt. Is your horse now okay with birds? Or, maybe it is only certain birds your horse doesn’t like. Me, I’m not fond of the sound of bluejays, which reminds me of a squeaky clothesline. My favorite bird call is by loons. Owl hoots are pretty great, too.

I’m glad you were able to get “back on the saddle.” Be careful!

Happy reading,


Marty the Cat



Dear Devon,

Your letter is so beautifully written that I was inspired to arrange your lines into a poem:

There is someone I love,

and he’s gone.

He’s my cat, Marty.

All I have left is his blanket.

There is still some fur on it.

And his blanket is


And a little


Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am certain that Marty was well loved.

Yours truly,



Pet clinic

Child's drawing of a pet clinic with three vets

Dear Claire,

I think there must be plenty of great story ideas that come from pet clinics. I recently took my dog Ivy for her booster shots, and let me tell you. She couldn’t wait for that chapter to be over. She spent the whole time cowering behind me, her stubby tail wedged between her legs. And what was really heartbreaking was that the vet was being so kind, getting down on the floor and cooing to Ivy, even offering really tasty treats.

Ivy wanted none of it. No gold sticker for Ivy. I’m certain I’ll use this scene in a future novel.

Stay well and happy reading,