Red bird

Child's drawing of a red bird in the jungle

Dear Danica,

Like you, red is my favorite colour. I especially like red shoes, red wine and red maple leaf flags. I do remember you because you asked a question during my presentation. Pro tip: ask a question at anyone’s presentation and you’ll always be remembered.

I also remember that I told you my favorite bird is a puffin. Is that why you guessed that my favorite colours are black, white and orange? Clever you!

Happy reading,

Jessica

Mars

Child's drawing of a starry sky featuring Mars and a Canadian flag

Dear Emma,

I love your dramatic starry sky – so aggressive! I can feel the weight of all that massive, empty space.

It is very considerate of you to think about what a privilege it would be to land on Mars, given that the rest of us won’t get the chance. Still, you shouldn’t feel too bad. There are plenty of artists, including writers, who will happily share their imagination about experiences that many of us will never have.

And that’s the next best thing, right?

Happy reading,

Jessica

American robin

Child's drawing of an American robin in a tree. Not to scale.

Dear Chris,

Do you mind if I call you Chris? Your American robin is wonderful. They do like trees, but I’ve seen even more on the ground in search of worms and other bugs for their next meal.

How do robins hunt for worms? Worms must be hard to find, right? I read that robins mostly use their very good vision. They can spot the tiny end of a worm as it pokes out of the dirt. They can also see small changes in grass as worms move about just below the surface, which tells them that a worm is there. To be sure, they tilt their head to better see with one eye. Then they strike.

They also have very good hearing. As worms wiggle about, they move soil so that small bits of dirt rub together. This makes noise that is way too faint for us to hear, but it’s easy-peasy for robins. I’ll be excited to see them come back this Spring. Look out, worms!

Happy reading,

Jessica

Geese

Child's drawing of birds and a tree

Dear Naomi,

Your letter really makes me think. I love it. You must have been in one of the junior kindergarten classes I visited this past year. Those classes were lots of fun.

I especially like your drawing of the goose. Birders would say that you nailed the GISS (which stands for general impression of size and shape). Your bluejay is also nicely drawn with its three little chicks in the tree. You must spend a lot of time with bird-watchers. You’ve got an eagle-sharp eye!

Well done, you!

Happy reading,

Jessica

100,000 pages

Child's drawing of an alien space craft flying over Earth

Dear Elijah,

I enjoyed your letter very much. I like mystery novels, too. I haven’t kept track of the number of pages I’ve ever read, but I’m impressed with your number: 100,000! That’s staggering! You’re only eight years old! I did some math. On average, you’ve read 12,500 pages per year or approximately 62 books if each book is around 200 pages, like the last one I wrote. I hope you have your very own library card.

Have you started to write your story about aliens?

Happy reading,

Jessica

Yellow slide

Children's drawing of a tree house with a yellow slide

Dear Casey,

I’m very fond of your jaunty tree fort with its yellow slide against a dramatic and blowsy sky. I especially like that you’ve included some important safety features: a strong roof as well as smoke detectors. You mention you have nice manners and are a good hockey player. What a wonderful combination! I hope you like to read, too.

Happy holidays,

Jessica