Blue jay

Child's drawing of a treehouse and a blue jay

Dear Austin,

I really enjoyed your drawing of a Blue jay. They are part of the corvid family of birds (along with crows, ravens, magpies and nutcrackers), and I read that members of this family are thought to be some of the most intelligent and curious species of animals in the world. They are very popular at the park where I walk with my dog. I hear them all the time making a big racket when we pass by. To me, they make a sound like the squeaky wheel of a clothesline.

It looks like you’re having fun in your tree house watching the Blue jay. You have a little table set up with drinks and a skylight up above. How cozy! Is that a birdwatching book you’re holding? I bet it is.

Happy reading,

Jessica

Helicopter on Mars

Child's self-portrait as an astronaut on Mars

Dear Vikesh,

I so enjoyed your self-portrait of you as an astronaut on Mars. The classic moon-with-craters and the fiery sun in the sky are nice details, especially with the very creative size-scale you’ve chosen.

Have you been keeping up with the latest developments on Mars? I was thrilled to watch the recent helicopter flight. It must be very lonely on Mars, especially after such a long flight to get there, so I’m glad Perseverance now has a little buddy to help explore the red terrain.

Happy reading,

Jessica

Global warming

A child's drawing of car pollution

Dear Leroy,

I also believe in global warming, mostly because of my deep appreciation of science, nurtured by a solid public education, as well as observing the daily evidence around me.

For example, I just came back from walking my dog Ivy at the park. It’s February as I write, and there’s hardly any snow on the ground. When I first moved here a number of years ago, there would have been giant snow piles where sidewalks and roads had been cleared. There would have been plenty of snow to play in and make snow forts. Now I can’t remember when there was enough ice for outdoor skating.

I hope that we all keep our shared environment in mind with everything we do.

Stay well,

Jessica

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