Fan Mail Wednesday #165: Ah-choo!

Here’s a face no one could deny . . .

I replied:

Dear Jillian,

Okay, before you get mad, first let me explain. I’ve had a cold all week. Sneezing and sniffling. So when I opened your letter, before I even read a word, I saw that square of material and thought, “Oh goodie, somebody sent me a handkerchief!”

So I blew my nose in it.

Then I read your letter and got a sinking feeling. I looked at the (used, soggy) piece of material. I have to admit: I’m a really good nose-blower! I hope you don’t mind.

Just kidding, Jillian. I was happy to sign the material for your “author’s and illustrator’s quilt.” I even tried to draw a picture of Jigsaw Jones, though I am not an artist. It sort of looks like him! (Kind of.)

Hey, just a thought. Why don’t you forget about all those other crummy author’s and illustrator’s and instead make one, giant “James Preller” quilt? The whole thing could be like, I don’t know, my head — giant-sized. My great, big smiling gob! Listen, Jillian, I’m not an expert, and I don’t work at Bed, Bath, & Beyond, but that sounds like a pretty terrific-looking quilt, if you ask me. Don’t you agree?

It’s just an idea.

I’ll tell you this, Jillian. You are one lucky girl to have an awesome grandma like that. My grandmother just sat around, watched soap operas on television, sipped an afternoon glass of sherry, and challenged us to spell impossible words.

Grandma Bridgie & me. We called her Granny Good Witch. And she always had butterscotch.

She’d suddenly announce, “Arachnophobia!”

“Huh? What was that, grandma?” I’d ask.


Silence. Finally, I’d say something like, “Um, A-R-R-I . . .”

She’d dismiss me with a wave of her bony hand and proudly recite, rapid-fire, “A-R-A-C-H-N-O-P-H-O-B-I-A! The fear of spiders.”

I’ll telling you, Jillian, this happened all the time.

Granny didn’t make any quilts, I’ll tell you that much.

So be sure to give your granny a big hug of thanks. I bet your grandmother thinks she’s the lucky one to have you!

And she’d be right!

Well, I guess you’re both pretty lucky. Me, too.

Ah-choo! No problem, I’ve got a hanky right here — oh, darn. Sorry about that!

My best,


P.S.: Thanks for helping me remember my own Grandma Bridgie. We called her Granny Good Witch. And she always, always had a little dish of hard candy — butterscotch, mostly — at her house in Queens Village, NY.


  1. Yvette Carol says:

    Adorable letter (from her!) and as you say, with a face like that, who could say no? Wow, James, you seem to have the greatest fans. I hope you keep them all!

  2. Yvette Carol says:

    p.s. slight amendment; I hope you keep all the letters. Just to be clear 🙂

  3. jimmy says:

    Ha. Yeah, I keep the letters. The fans have moved on, gotten jobs, most are raising families now.

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