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 about a young astronomer. 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

Roller coaster

Child's drawing of a roller coaster

Dear Matthew,

Have you tried the roller coaster yet? Your drawing is dizzily accurate!

I rode on one once with a friend whose parents drove us to the fair. It was a long, winding car ride during the high heat of summer, and I felt car sick even before we arrived. Plus, they fed us a boxed lunch at a roadside picnic along the way. We drank grape juice (it was warm) and an egg salad sandwich (plenty of mayonnaise, also warm). I did not care for either, but I politely tried my best. By the time I got on the roller coaster, I was feeling green.

I did manage to go all the way around before I threw up. To this day, I can’t drink grape juice or eat an egg salad sandwich. Still, whenever I have to write about a character who is not feeling well, I can recall precisely that feeling so as to include accurate details.

Happy reading,

Jessica

Colonizing Mars

Dear Alexander,

You’ve drawn such a powerful graphic – a white rocket against a red planet, and a flag that features one of my favourite farmyard animals. So intriguing!

I agree with you about the challenges of colonizing Mars. We would have to bring everything we need with us. Still, NASA is taking the next steps by putting a new generation of astronauts on the Moon with the goal of setting up a space station that would serve as a resting point on a much longer journey to Mars. Maybe one of my readers will be on that future spaceship. Wouldn’t that be out of this world!

Happy reading,

Jessica

Walking the dog

Dear Elyse,

You remind me very much of my sister who is a vet, and she rescues and trains animals all the time. She is very kind.

My dog pulls all her toys (there are many) out of her basket and works hard to evenly distribute them throughout the house. I want to train her to put her toys away when playtime is over, but she just doesn’t get it. Why should she put her toys away when she spends so much of her day making sure they are evenly distributed? Sometimes I think it might be easier if I just picked up her stuff myself. I should probably sign out and read a few training books from my library. And stop buying more toys.

Happy reading,

Jessica