child's drawing of an empty swiming pool

Dear Jahsia,

Oh boy would I like to jump in that pool you’ve drawn. It is unbearably hot here in Halifax right now. Even my puppy doesn’t want to go outside. It could be the heat but it could also be the fact that we have the sprinklers on and she hates anything to do with water hoses. I have no idea what that is about.

I hope you’ve found a pool to read by this summer. Summer reading by water of any kind is the best.



The night sky

Child's recreation of the cover for Martin Bridge: Ready for Take Off!

Dear Joshua,

You’ve drawn me looking very happy, haven’t you! I do love visiting schools and talking about my stories. Martin Bridge: Ready for Take Off! was my first book published. I still am excited by rockets and outer space. I’m now writing a story about a boy who wants to become an astronomer.

Last week, I visited my sister who lives out in the country where there is no light pollution. I went outside after dark with her set of binoculars to look at the stars. I could easily spot the constellation called Orion and I was hoping to find the Andromeda galaxy, but much of the sky was cloudy. It was so quiet out there, I heard an owl hoot, followed by coyotes in the distance. I scrambled back inside. Turns out, I’m not that brave.

Happy reading,


How to find a good book

Dear Chelsea,

I love to read in the car, too – or anywhere that is quiet, like a park or my back deck or in bed at night. I am pleased to report that I’ve read all the books you mention in your letter. I don’t read my own books after they are published, but I do like to read from them when I visit schools.

Like you, if I find a book that I really like, I look for more books by that author, and I am rarely disappointed.

Happy reading,


Pirate tree house


Dear Logan,

I would love to join you in your tree house and drop water balloons! Woosh! Splat!

I recently finished writing a picture book about tree houses, and in my story, one of the ways to bring things up into the tree house is with a bucket on a rope, just like you’ve drawn.

My tree house doesn’t have a pirate flag, but I really like yours. I wish I had thought of that.

I hope you are enjoying your summer and that you are spending some time in your tree fort reading a few of your favorite books in between water balloon launches.

Happy reading,



Dear Jocelyn,

I’m intrigued by your charming drawing. Perhaps this is a house surrounded by a sea of lovely blue grass that is blowing in the wind in great waves? Or perhaps it is a houseboat steaming along a wide river. Either way, I like it very much. Thanks so much for including me in it.

Like artwork, sometimes stories can have more than one meaning, depending on the reader’s point of view. It makes for a really lively discussion!

Happy reading,


PS. My favorite colour is red.

Long car rides

Dear Chalise,

It took me a long time to get used to reading in the car when I was your age, because I often got motion sickness, which was no fun at all for me or anyone else in the car. Now I find that if I am sitting in the front passenger seat, I can most certainly read.

I love how you take advantage of others in the car by asking for the definition of words you don’t know. Sometimes I like to read to the driver. Do you do that, too?

Happy reading,