Child's drawing of fantastic creatures

Pixies and demons

Dear Claire,

I will look for all your fantastic creatures this afternoon when I go for a walk with my dog Ivy in the woods. We walk everyday (unless it’s blowing rain) and although I haven’t come across a pixie yet, I’ll keep looking. Like you, I think the woods are magical, and whenever we spend time there, Ivy runs around like a speed demon. Perhaps that counts?

Happy reading,

Jessica

Goldie

Dear Grace,

You write so beautifully about your horse Goldie using all of your senses to describe her. I sense that you could write a wonderfully emotional story about your adventures with her.

Just the other day, I was walking in downtown Halifax, and a police officer on a black horse clippity-clopped by. It was adorable, and the horse was so calm and elegant despite the busy traffic. I stopped and took a long moment just to watch and appreciate the combination of beauty and duty that they demonstrated. Both horses and dogs are a lucky addition to any police force.

Happy reading,

Jessica

Child's drawing of a room with a desk and bookshelves

Stuffed bookshelves

Dear Kim,

You’ve drawn a wonderful room to write in. I especially love the cozy rug and the well-appointed desk. Your bookshelves look as stuffed as mine do. I have several rows of books that I haven’t even read yet. I vowed that this year I would tackle those shelves, one book at a time.

I think that the more reading one does, the better author one can become.

Happy reading,

Jessica

Child's drawing of room with giant white bear

Big white bear

Dear Katie,

Both your letter and your drawing are so pleasantly descriptive of the place you like to read the most. I can easily imagine being there. It is so nice to see the scene out your window, and also the roller chair that you use at your desk.

I think everyone needs a big white bear to lean on as they read. Lovely!

Happy reading,

Jessica

Child's drawing of a bicyclist running into a tree

Everyone’s the same

Dear Jaheim,

I think you’ve come up with a lovely idea for your story. I agree with you that everyone has different needs, abilities and goals, but at the same time, everyone is the same: we are all human beings, we are equal and we deserved to be loved.

Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful insights.

Happy reading,

Jessica

Adventurous and shocking

Dear Sheppard,

I’m thrilled to read that you find my stories both adventurous and shocking. And funny. That, too.

I’ve selected your letter today because we had a blizzard yesterday and are only now digging out from under all that snow. I wanted to be reminded of blue skies and green grass and that’s what your drawing did. Just like a good story, your drawing helped me escape, even for only a little bit.

Now, I must get back to shoveling.

Happy reading,

Jessica

Child's drawing of book cover

Slime

Dear Jack,

I love your cover version of Martin Bridge: Blazing Ahead. Like you and Martin, I also like making slime. I made plenty of it when my son was small. I made a lot of play-dough for him, too.

Did you try the recipe that I included on page 108? It is a great use of green gummy bears, sweetened condensed milk, and cornstarch. If not, definitely give it  try.

Happy reading,

Jessica

Green polka-dot room

Dear Klara,

I so enjoyed the description of your room. You have it set up perfectly for someone who loves to read. I can see why you would want to spend so much time there.

I picked your letter today because of what I could see out the window of your bedroom. You’ve drawn a bouncy trampoline and the sun is shining and it looks nice and warm. But still, you’re reading inside that amazing room.

I admire your spunk. Of course, you and I both know you can’t be reading all the time. That trampoline beacons! It’s okay. You can put your book down. It will most certainly be there when you come back. That’s the great thing about books.

Happy reading,

Jessica

Child's drawing of ziplining

Ziplining

Dear Ashlyn,

Like you, I’m not a big fan of heights, but it is fun to watch others ziplining or bungee jumping. I was watching a group of bungee jumpers on a very high bridge a month ago. Someone up there decided that she didn’t want to jump, but there was a large line-up behind her so the guides actually nudged her over the edge. Can you believe it?

Here’s what we all heard: ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Then she bounced around while upside down, dangling off the bungee cord like everyone before her, and she was all smiles.

It’s fun to write or draw about scary or exciting experiences, though. You’ve done an excellent job capturing the moment.

Happy reading,

Jessica