Child's drawing of Lego Land

Dear Bradley,

I’ve never been to LEGOLAND, but I absolutely loved LEGO growing up, as did my son, so I looked it up. It turns out that there are many LEGOLANDS in the world including California, Dubai, Florida, Japan, Malaysia and New York.

I don’t know about you, but the closest one to me is in Florida, which is far, far away. Instead, I visited the website and I learned that guests can trade LEGOLAND figures with employees at LEGOLAND. My favourite LEGO figure is a cowboy, which is attached to my keys. I wouldn’t trade him for anything, even though his foot is now broken.

When I was little, my favourite thing to build from LEGO was house boats. After my son was born, LEGO became more complicated, with kits and a catalogue of instructions to read through. Still, I’ve kept many of those kits and the catalogues, just in case we want to build again.

Happy LEGO catalogue reading,


Truck with orange flames

Child's drawing of truck with painted flames

Dear Willy,

How nice that your brother gave you this beautiful truck. I especially like the orange flames painted on the sides and the detailed hubcaps. Very racy! One of my characters, Martin Bridge, is a big fan of flames and he once suggested that his friend Alex paint them on a model rocket that he made.  Alex did a great job and it looked beautiful. Unfortunately, the launch of that rocket did not go as planned.

If you do bury your time capsule next to your house, be sure to mark where it is. It is so easy to forget secret burial spots, and I wouldn’t want to you misplace your truck!

Happy reading,




Child's drawing of lacrosseDear Hannah,

I don’t know much about lacrosse but I looked it up and read that: it is the fastest game played on two feet; it was invented by North American aboriginals (1600s); and women started playing as far back as 1890. I also read that one of the most important rules in lacrosse is the hand-ball rule. If players other than the goalie touches the ball with their glove, the other team receives possession of the ball.

You are right. I don’t see a lot of protective equipment in the photos I saw. I’m sure that this adds to the excitement of watching from the sidelines (where you would find me).

It is so nice to hear that you’ve taken a keen interest and I hope you keep at it. With practice, you’ll score many goals to come!



Pocket knife with blue handle

Dear CJ,

That’s a cool little pocket knife. A while back, we gave my son his granddad’s pocket knife. It had a leather handle but the blade was rusty, just like yours. Our son polished it up and it looks as good as new.

Do you whittle things with your pocket knife or do you keep it on hand in case you get tangled up in rope or something? We keep a sharp knife on hand when we are on our boat, just for safety, in case we have to quickly cut a line.

I hope you are enjoying your summer.

Keep safe and happy reading,


An ode to green

Dear Cole,

I like green and I have green eyes, but I think red is my favorite colour (not for eyes, though).

I am fascinated that you drew yourself with a green shirt and hair, but not the tree or the grass behind you! You’ve left that to our imagination. Writers do that, too. They provide a few details, but leave plenty to the readers’ imagination. That way, readers can add their own details, and it makes the story more memorable.

By the way, I said, “Aww!” outloud when I zoomed in on your drawing and discovered that you drew three little chicks reaching out their beaks for their next meal. Perhaps it will be a green catepillars for lunch?

Happy reading,



Rocket launch on astro turf

Dear Georgia,

You’ve really captured the exploding drama of a rocket launch. I love the part when the rocket ship seems to hover just inches from the pad after ignition before rising up, up, up into outer space.

Sometimes writing stories feels like that. You are able to write a sentence or two to launch your story, but then things get a bit stuck. The big challenge is to keep going until the story takes off on its own. That’s when writing is really fun and you come along for the ride to explore new worlds.

Happy reading,




Chubby and Ginger

Dear Maddy,

Your cats are adorable. Does the heat bother them in the summer? I have a big puppy who has been flattening herself onto the hardwood floor and shoving her head under furniture to try to stay cool.

I am glad to learn that you have a photograph of your two cats. It is important to keep records, like photographs, of things you want to remember. When I visit schools, that is one of the tips I tell students. It makes it a lot easier to write stories when you grow up if you can look at records so that you can include interesting details about when you were little that you might have forgotten.

Give Chubby and Ginger a tummy rub for me.

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.

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,


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,