Beanbag chair

Child's drawing of a classroom with desk, bookshelves and beanbag chair

Dear Getruda,

Your teacher sounds wonderful, creating such a welcoming reading space in your class and stocking it with books and comfortable beanbag chairs. I’m so honoured to have one of my books included in your classroom. Thanks so much for sharing your love of reading with me.

Stay well,
Jessica

Tree fort day

Child's drawing of a tree fot with lots of colours

Dear Soia,

It looks like you are having an exciting, fun-filled time with your brother in this tree fort. I can imagine all the shenanigans that you both are up to in this scene. I bet you’re making lots of noise, too! I can hear your laughter all the way from here, and my window isn’t even open!

I hope you write a story about what happens in your tree fort. I’m sure you’ll make your readers laugh out loud. A tree fort day sounds as wonderful as a snow day (when school is cancelled because of blizzard conditions).

Happy reading,

Jessica

Author/illustrator

Dear Gold T.,

I think you have all the talent in the world to be an author/illustrator and handle both jobs for one book. You have excellent story ideas, plus, look at your drawings: the mask in 3-D, the Covid virus, the planet with the paw print (how clever!), and those unique star shapes. Wow!

I will keep an eye out for when your first book is published, and I will buy a copy. I hope you will sign it for me.

Best wishes and happy reading,

Jessica

Not a prison

Child's drawing of a prison yard with a helicopter overhead.

Dear Mason,

At first, I thought you’d drawn a prison, and I admired your attention to detail. Look at that surveillance helicopter! That watch tower! That razor wire! Then I read your letter, and it turns out, you hadn’t drawn a prison at all, but rather the secret military facility known as Area 51, which is rumoured to house aliens from outer space. So, that’s cool.

This reminds me of how we often see something and jump to conclusions, when, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. When that happens, there is unusually something fascinating behind the misperception, something to explore and write about.

That said, as we move into 2024 with artificial intelligence used to make up stories, attacks on news organizations and social media spiralling ever downward, if it is revealed that there really are aliens held in Area 51, I would no longer be surprised.

Happy reading. Stay safe.

Jessica

The Moon has water

Child's drawing of Earth and the Moon with an astronaut

Dear Evan,

I really appreciate the wonderful details you’ve added to your drawing, including Neil Armstrong’s footprints on the Moon’s dusty surface. Isn’t it fun to know that those footprints are still there, undisturbed, even though it has been over fifty years since the first astronauts landed?

I learned that water has been discovered on the Moon’s south pole. Imagine that! I wondered if it would taste exactly the same as here. So I googled it. It turns out that the water on Mars is predicted to be very salty. There is no word yet on the Moon, but chances are it wouldn’t be pure enough to drink. Chemicals from the Moon’s surface along with meteoroids that have slammed into it are likely mixed in with lunar H2O.

All that to say, there’s no place like home. Stay well, and happy reading.

Jessica

Click!

Child's drawing of a photograph of time spent with dad

Dear Noa,

Thank you so much for sharing a happy memory of the time you and your dad spent working on a project together. I love how you’ve captured that happy time with your drawing of a photograph of that moment. I hope you still have the butterfly you made. Sometimes, it is difficult to sort through and decide which moments will matter over the long run, and which ones turn out to be not important, even forgettable.

I say, hang on to happy memories because they will serve you the best especially during periods of uncertainty.

Stay well, and happy reading,

Jessica