Child's drawing of 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,





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,


Child's drawing of book cover


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,


Child's drawing of spring scene with tree and butterflies

Butterflies and bees

Hi Lola,

Thanks so much for your drawing of a Spring scene where you are reading under a tree surrounded by bees and butterflies. Even the book you are reading is about butterflies! Nice detail!

I just got back from a walk with my dog Ivy and it was -8 Celsius with blustering winds that whipped crusty (yet wet) brown and yellow leaves into my face. Alas, it is Fall. Late Fall.  So I found your drawing brimming with hope.

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.



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 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 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,


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!