Fan Mail Wednesday #67

Let’s get right to it . . .

Dear Mr. Preller,

I like your Jigsaw Jones books. My Mom and I have read them all.

I am in second grade. My teacher is Mrs. Brink. She is really pretty and nice.

I am telling my class about you and your books for a class project.

Here are some questions I have for you.

1. What is your favorite car?
Mine is a 1932 Model A

2. Would you pick baseball over skiing or flying paper airplanes?
Mine is a tie between skiing and paper airplanes

3. Who is your favorite president?
I like Ike, and Ronald Reagan.

4. Who is your favorite Noble Peace Prize winner?
I can not tell you yet, we are learning about them now.

5. Do you have pets?
My cat Sunny likes to hear me read your books to him.


Golden, CO

P.S. My Mom helped me write this letter 🙂

I replied:

Dear Jack,

Thanks for your letter. I enjoyed your description of Mrs. Brink, “pretty and nice.” I’m sure Jigsaw feels the same way about his teacher, Ms. Gleason. When I was growing up, I went to a Catholic elementary school. All my teachers were nuns who should have shaved more frequently. They were more scary than nice, or at least I felt so at the time.

Thank you for coming up with such an interesting set of questions. Definitely not the usual stuff.

1. Funny thing about cars: I don’t care about them. They just don’t matter to me. I drive a 2001 Toyota Corolla, happily. That said: a ’68 Ford Mustang convertible would be sweet.

2. Baseball, no question about it. I like cross-country skiing, not a big fan of the downhill kind. I mean, the hills are fine, but I do not like waiting on lines. I’d rather be in the snowy woods alone. My paper airplanes tend to crash to the floor after about three feet. I was never much good at paperwork; that’s why I became a writer.

3. I’m an Abraham Lincoln kind of guy. I remember reading about him when I was your age. I loved that he was a really good wrestler and that he sometimes kept important papers — in his hat!

4. My favorite Nobel Peace Prize winner? That’s a tough one. Honestly, I’m not that intimate with many of the past winners. I do like Barack Obama . . . Jimmy Carter . . . Nelson Mandela . . . Elie Wiesel . . . Mikhail Gorbachev . . . Lech Walesa . . . Martin Luther King, Jr. . . . Albert Schweitzer. And, well, I’m pretty sure most of the other guys were okay, too,  though I was never too crazy about Henry Kissinger. The best of them fought for the little guy, equality for all, and that’s an idea I can get behind.

5. I have two black cats and a Golden Doodle named Daisy. Recently, my kids have decided that our dog should change the spelling of her name to Day-Z, after the rapper, Jay-Z, because we’re all loving the song, “Empire State of Mind.” We’re having trouble teaching her how to rhyme, however. She keeps asking, “What rhymes with woof?” I must add: you have a most excellent cat!

This is Daisy Day-Z. I’m trying to teach her how to hold a rake.

So far, she just chews on the handle. Sigh.

Good luck on your class report. I’m always amazed (and a little alarmed) to learn that I’ve become that thing I once disliked so intensely — homework! It’s sort of like waking up, looking in the mirror, and realizing that you’ve turned into a Brussels sprout!

Be sure to thank your mom for typing. I need one of those for my job. Are you willing to loan her out? My own mom is 83 and no longer types very fast. I had to fire her. “Hit the streets,” I kindly said. Hey, she wasn’t getting the job done. So congratulations on having such a swell mother. Good help is hard to find these days.


P.S. Don’t think I’m not an appreciative son. I did find my mom another job. She’s out raking the backyard yard as I type. I think I’ll keep her!

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