Roller coaster

Child's drawing of a roller coaster

Dear Matthew,

Have you tried the roller coaster yet? Your drawing is dizzily accurate!

I rode on one once with a friend whose parents drove us to the fair. It was a long, winding car ride during the high heat of summer, and I felt car sick even before we arrived. Plus, they fed us a boxed lunch at a roadside picnic along the way. We drank grape juice (it was warm) and an egg salad sandwich (plenty of mayonnaise, also warm). I did not care for either, but I politely tried my best. By the time I got on the roller coaster, I was feeling green.

I did manage to go all the way around before I threw up. To this day, I can’t drink grape juice or eat an egg salad sandwich. Still, whenever I have to write about a character who is not feeling well, I can recall precisely that feeling so as to include accurate details.

Happy reading,


Colonizing Mars

Dear Alexander,

You’ve drawn such a powerful graphic – a white rocket against a red planet, and a flag that features one of my favourite farmyard animals. So intriguing!

I agree with you about the challenges of colonizing Mars. We would have to bring everything we need with us. Still, NASA is taking the next steps by putting a new generation of astronauts on the Moon with the goal of setting up a space station that would serve as a resting point on a much longer journey to Mars. Maybe one of my readers will be on that future spaceship. Wouldn’t that be out of this world!

Happy reading,


Walking the dog

Dear Elyse,

You remind me very much of my sister who is a vet, and she rescues and trains animals all the time. She is very kind.

My dog pulls all her toys (there are many) out of her basket and works hard to evenly distribute them throughout the house. I want to train her to put her toys away when playtime is over, but she just doesn’t get it. Why should she put her toys away when she spends so much of her day making sure they are evenly distributed? Sometimes I think it might be easier if I just picked up her stuff myself. I should probably sign out and read a few training books from my library. And stop buying more toys.

Happy reading,


Angels and devils

Dear Kassidy,

I selected your letter this week because Halloween is coming up and your drawing caught my attention. I hope that lots of children come to our door in terrific costumes like the ones you’ve drawn. Drawing your parent dressed like a giant is also brilliant!

Then I read your letter. You weren’t drawing costumes at all! You were illustrating a terrific story idea. I hope you do write it. It would make a truly spooky story, also good for Halloween!


Earth seen from the Moon

Child's drawing of the Earth as seen from the Moon

Dear Emilio,

I think you should write your astronaut cat story. It is sure to be a bestseller, especially for readers who like cats and outer space. You’ve done a wonderful job showing what the view would look like from the Moon. Earth is wonderfully drawn as is our cat hero.

I did read that astronauts wouldn’t be able to see stars from the Moon because the Sun would block out their light. So that’s a bit sad to think about, because I love to see stars on clear nights. Still, your craters, the flag, the rocks and the lunar car are all fantastic. Well done, you!

Happy reading and writing,



Child's drawing of a unicorn

Dear Emma,

Your unicorn is darling with its fancy tail bow. How big are unicorns, anyway? Are they the size of a horse, or more like a pony? Or a donkey? Or a small goat?

Today’s weather was so glorious, I almost think I saw a unicorn while walking my dog in our local woods. I hope you write a story about one. I’m sure your story would make unicorns feel very real to skeptics like me. Your drawing almost has me convinced!

Happy reading,