Happy animal

Dear Rateriios,

What a lovely collection of personality traits you’ve given to your imaginary animal. I especially like that it can run in a perfect circle. Circles are so hard to run, although sometimes I feel like I’m running in circles. Being happy all the time is also very hard. Extremely hard! You’ve created a very interesting animal to write a story about.

Happy reading,


Child's drawing of a trick bike park

Bike tricks

Hi Ethan,

I suppose if you wear all the right protective gear and take some lessons from an expert about how to properly execute some cool bike tricks, you might not break an arm. It would be fun to write about!

My cousin visited me this past long weekend. He retold the story of a spectacular birthday party gone wrong. He asked all his friends to gather in a field on the prairies. They had no idea why, but there they stood. Then he surprised them by parachuting in (he’d never done that before), like some kind of super hero. Only, he did not pay close attention to instructors, and he hit the ground way too hard. He broke his ankle and had to be rushed to hospital in an ambulance.

It was not the memorable birthday party he was hoping for.

Happy reading,



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.



child's drawing of spaceships

Aliens (from outer space)

Dear Tilman,

Thank you for sharing your reading interests, which certainly covers a rather wide range. I also like your drawing of aliens visiting Earth, maybe even a neighbourhood just like mine.

I suspect that the most exiting thing I’ll get to see this summer when I look up is an especially large-looking Mars on July 27th, because this red planet will be as close in orbit to us as it can get.

No Martians, though.

Happy reading,


Child's drawing of a lobster

Beluga whale

Dear Jonathan,

So many questions! I’m going to pick one: what is my favourite sea creature. Once upon a time, I was out on our boat in a place called Guysborough Harbour, and there we came across an orphaned beluga whale. She came right up alongside us and we reached over and gave her a little head-scratchy. Then she rolled over so that we could scratch her stomach! She was gorgeous and she made a strong fishy smell when she blew from her blow-hole.

Later, her pod came back for her, and I like to think that she’s out there somewhere in the deep blue sea.

Happy reading,



Child's drawing of a book cover

From Grandma

Dear Jadyn,

I like your idea of keeping something precious that your grandmother gave you and saving it for your own children. You can keep her stories like that, too, although stories sometimes change over time, from one story-teller to another. That’s what makes them living, breathing things.

Next time you see me, I’d be happy to give you my autograph.

Happy reading,


Child's drawing of bicyles

Always wear a helmet

Dear Dylan,

You saw a fireball in the sky while you were biking at night? I wonder what it was? My imagination soars!

I love your bike scene. I just came back from vacation where I was mountain biking in Utah and I did a header almost as soon as I started the trail. I hurt myself, but fortunately I was wearing a helmet. Always wear a helmet, Dylan, so you can live to see another fireball.

Happy reading,

Drawing of a child reading a novel called The Missing Dog is Spotted.

Book recommendations

Hi Riley,

I am happy to learn that you are reading a good book now and that you’ll read mine next. I suspect you must have a big stack of books that are standing by to be read. I have a stack, too! I also keep a reading list of books I don’t own but want to sign out from my library.

In response to your request to send a list of books that I’ve written, you’ll find all of them on my website. However, I think it might be fun for me to develop a list of books by other authors for my website. I would call that list “I wish I could write a book like that” and it would include a lot of funny ones that I’ve come to love. Perhaps I will develop that list in a month or two to post.

Happy reading!