Tree fort day

Child's drawing of a tree fot with lots of colours

Dear Soia,

It looks like you are having an exciting, fun-filled time with your brother in this tree fort. I can imagine all the shenanigans that you both are up to in this scene. I bet you’re making lots of noise, too! I can hear your laughter all the way from here, and my window isn’t even open!

I hope you write a story about what happens in your tree fort. I’m sure you’ll make your readers laugh out loud. A tree fort day sounds as wonderful as a snow day (when school is cancelled because of blizzard conditions).

Happy reading,

Jessica

Basket

Child's drawing of a tree house with red escape slide, basket and rocking chair

Dear Olivia,

I like how you’ve meticulously labelled absolutely everything in your drawing, like a scientist or a museum curator. Also, you’ve really paid attention to details: the straws in the glasses of lemonade, the chocolate chips (or are they raisins?) in the cookies, the flowers in the window boxes and the heart-shaped doorknob. It’s quite wonderful. Authors love details!

I’m intrigued by the basket of wool you’ve included. Do you knit? I knit, and I have just finished a blue sweater. I found that having a craft or two on the go is a nice break from being at my desk, which can feel like all the time!

Happy reading,

Jessica

P.S. I’m pretty sure they’re chocolate chips. Also, I especially like your label “sky everywhere”. That would be a wonderful title for a novel! Very poetic!

Pandemic tree fort

Child's drawing for a tree fort

Dear Scarlett,

I know you drew this for me a few months ago, but I now find that your work beautifully captures what it was like living at home and quarantining during a pandemic.

For example, you have quite a few people crowded into a small home, but everyone, including the gigantic bunny, has found their own private space within it. Second, you’ve drawn arrows to show where to walk or move to maintain social distancing. Lastly, someone is dropping off a basket of food, maybe even baked goods, for the folks inside. Very kind.

That is what I plan to remember the most about the pandemic: the kindness of others. I’ll be forever grateful to organizations and people who have kept me safely occupied and in good health: healthcare professionals, librarians, writing organizations, public parks, government workers, my gym, and letters from my readers. I’ll be sure to include their acts of selflessness in future stories.

Happy reading,

Jessica

All-weather tree fort

Child's drawing of an all-weather tree fort

Dear Sophie,

Your family-made tree fort is very special, indeed. I admire how strongly it has been built, using a tree along with some posts and footings to keep you and your guests safe. I’m sure it will stand up to every kind of weather. You must have had so much fun building it.

Does your dog rush around your tree fort because it is scared of lightning? My dog is fine with lightning. Just don’t bring out a vacuum, or a rake, or a garden hose. Those terrify her.

I hope you get to share your tree fort soon with friends and your granddad who helped you build it. You have a very special place to share.

Happy reading,

Jessica

Tree house with ghost and unicorn

Child's drawing of a treehouse shaped like a spaceship

Dear Aarin,

Thank you for your drawing of a tree house. It looks to me as if the leaves are just coming out. It is Spring.

What I especially like is how you’ve filled your small space with imagination. You’re wearing a wonderful warrior uniform, complete with a sword. You’re pals with a multi-colored unicorn. There’s a friendly ghost lurking in the attic. And there seems to be complicated plumbing beneath your feet. What a lovely mix of fantasy, science-fiction, and a how-to manual. This would make a fine cover for a book you might write. Well done, you!

Happy reading,

Jessica

Yellow slide

Children's drawing of a tree house with a yellow slide

Dear Casey,

I’m very fond of your jaunty tree fort with its yellow slide against a dramatic and blowsy sky. I especially like that you’ve included some important safety features: a strong roof as well as smoke detectors. You mention you have nice manners and are a good hockey player. What a wonderful combination! I hope you like to read, too.

Happy holidays,

Jessica