Fan Mail Wednesday #57

In a stunning turn of events, I’ve decided to post the “Fan Mail Wednesday” feature . . . on Wednesday.

Just mixing it up, keeping it real, making sure you’re on your collective toes. You click on this site, folks, you have to be ready, prepared for hell or high water.

And look: Here comes Yvonne  and Keel!

Dear Mr. Preller,

I tutor a boy from Russia who absolutely LOVES the Jigsaw Jones books.  When I told him that we could email you he got all excited!  This is what he had to say:

Dear Mr. Preller,

I like your Jigsaw Jones books very much.  I hope you write one about Russia.  I am from Russia and that would make me very happy.  Maybe Mila and Jigsaw and their families can go to Russia in one of your books.  You could call it, “The Case of the Missing Statue”.  Please write back.

From, Keel

These books really keep my student engaged and interested in learning how to read –- thanks so much for your time and your great books!


I replied:

Dear Yvonne and Keel:

First of all, please accept my apologies for not responding sooner. Sometimes I’ll hold onto a letter for too long, in the hope that I’ll find the time for a meaningful reply. And sometimes I simply don’t do well at the administrative side of the business.

Sorry I’m late. I hope you still remember who I am. I’m your cousin Dmitri, the Fish Monger! (No, not really.) I wish I could say that I’ve been away in Russia, researching the next Jigsaw Jones book, The Case of the Pinsk Marshes.

However, that wouldn’t be true. I’ve mostly been hanging around at home, tapping the keyboard, mowing the lawn, being a dad. I’ve never been to Russia. It’s somewhere I’d love to visit. I’ve read about it in books, seen it on television and movies. I imagine that Russia is an amazing place, vast and varied, wild and exotic, full of fascinating sights and people — with bears on every street corner!

I do think, Keel, that you have a pretty cool idea for a story. A trip to Russia, mystery and suspense and a missing statue! However, I think you’d need a different spy/detective than Jigsaw, who rarely leaves the neighborhood. And since you are the guy who actually KNOWS STUFF about Russia, maybe you are the one who should write a short story about it. Don’t turn it into a big huge homework assignment. Just have a little fun with it. Start with one scene, one moment, set in Russia. What does it look like? The weather, the people, the sights and smells? Think of a spy. He can be like Jigsaw, but not exactly Jigsaw. Maybe he’s a little like you. What is he looking for? Why is he in Russia? Does someone hire him to solve a case?

It might be a fun way for you to learn more about your native country, the land of your roots. Thank you for writing to me, Keel. I am very happy that you’ve enjoyed my books, and that in some way they’ve helped you become a better, more enthusiastic reader.


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