Yesterday I wrote a letter to Charlie (aged 8) in response to a letter he sent me recently. Below is my response to his brother Tommy (aged 7) who also wrote me a letter. See my original post here and their letters in full on their mum's abc Jenny website here
Thank you so much for your wonderful, thoughtful letter. I really enjoyed reading it. The part about your missing teeth made me laugh. That’s what I love about Leigh Hedstrom’s illustrations – the details that kids can relate to that add humour and light to a situation that can feel sad. One of my favourite pages is when the little girl practices her violin- it reminds me of the frustrations of learning something new.
Thank you for the suggestion of putting an age on my book so that people don’t get upset. It is interesting how people of different ages respond. When I speak in schools, it is the older children who seem to understand and be affected by the final pages, the younger grades just really enjoy the story. I wonder if that’s how it was with you when you read it at six and then again at seven?
I like what you say about seeds – how they are something that you used to share with your grandpa and how they are like life. If I were writing this in my book I might have said something like “When I See Grandma I bring her some plants for her dreams to bloom on.” You might think of a better way to say this. I didn’t mention plants in the book, but did you notice the flowers on many of the pages?
I’m glad that you have some fun memories of your grandparents and you can still talk with them anytime and make new memories. It is also lovely that you visit people in a retirement home with your school. I am sure that the people living there look forward to your visits very much.
I would love to hear from you again when my next book comes out in October next year. It is a fun book about being scared. I am excited that I get to peek at the work of the illustrator before the end of this year. I can hardly wait to see what she does with the words I have written!
Thanks so much for encouraging your boys to write these lovely letters. I love them! And thank you for using When I See Grandma in a thoughtful, sensitive way to open up conversations in a difficult time for you all.
Wishing you all the best.