Talk to DP Forum

Alex From Ann Arbor

October 23, 2016

When I was in 7, my Mom bought me "The Big Orange Splot" and read it with me. I discovered the concept of what it meant to be unique and that accepting that people's differences should embraced. It sparked in me my lifelong identity as a dreamer and introduced me to creativity, I loved it.

When I was 10, my Mom bought me your "5 Novels" book and my personal favorite, "Borgel". She would read them with me at night. Whether it was Borgel, The Last Guru, Alan Meldenson etc…the thing I remember most fondly is that we enjoyed them and laughed together. We bonded over our newly discovered weird sense of humor. I loved it.

Many years later when she was losing her battle with cancer, I read to her. I read "The Big Orange Splot" and "Time of Wonder" by Robert McClousky, two of our favorites. Despite that depressingly heartbreaking situation, reading those books to her brought comfort and an odd sense of serenity to my father, my sister and I. I appreciate your role in that sir.

I suppose the purpose of this is to just say thank you. Thank you Daniel for helping to form my earliest understanding of creativity. Thank you for teaching me about acceptance of the strange. Thank you for being a weirdo (I mean that in the best possible way). Most of all thank you for facilitating some of the best, most fun times my Mom and I ever shared together. I loved them all.

I'm 28 now. I'm sitting here in a comfy chair on a rainy Sunday afternoon drinking a cold beer and listening to your reading of "Borgel". It makes me smile, it reminds me of happy memories. I feel good. I am content.

I owe this moment to you, i figured the least I could do was let you know about it.

Thank you.

Daniel replies:

I've written a lot of things over quite a few years, and this is not the first time I've been told similar things. What always strikes me is that the whole creative undertaking isn't complete until the thing is read, and it's the reader who makes it whatever it is, and makes it worth whatever it's worth. So, while I accept the honor of what you've conveyed, please accept my thanks for taking some stories I put together mostly for my own amusement, and giving them real value in your life.

hemant nayak

October 9, 2016

Hi Daniel

Your awesome fiction has kept us entertained for years, but it was SUPERPUPPY that has saved me!

This super cute terrier mutt from the pound has more energy than all my family combined and I forgot how much energy a puppy has. But she is happily worrying a 3inch beef leg bone as explained in Superpuppy which gives me a few minutes to breath and get a little work done. A great deal of the advice has been helpful though I have not tried the glycerin suppositories.

thanks again and please keep writing!

Daniel replies:

Superpuppy is a little bit outdated, I think, even though we revised it once a few years ago. One thing I would change today is offering the choke chain as the primary choice as a training collar. These are fine when used correctly, but that entails a skill best learned from an experienced trainer. Used wrong, they could possibly do damage. I'm not a fan of the "gentle leader" style nose harness either. They may not really be so gentle at all. Possibly the safest and most humane kind of training collar is the scary-looking prong kind, or "Herm Sprenger" collar. You can try one on your own arm and see that it's not painful, but not easy to ignore. The gylcerine suppositories are helpful as an occasional adjunct to a housebreaking program based on timing as we explain in the book. The main category of stuff I'd want to change or expand if we were to revise the book again is the kind of thing Cesar Milan is so good at conveying--the idea that the dog is reactive to your state of mind, and you can do a lot to form the relationship, and create the dog you want, just by projecting a consistent attitude. Good luck with your dog!

Mark Gerhard

October 3, 2016

We are reading The Worms of Kukumlima and are rolling on the floor overcome with hilarity. Students want to know how to pronounce "Kukumlima" Leema or Lye- ma? Kuku rhymes with kookoo?

Daniel replies:

Koo-koo certainly, and m'leema. If I remember correctly, (which I sometimes do), it means "Chicken Mountain."

Donna Garban

September 23, 2016

Dear Mr. Pinkwater,
We are The independent book in Hoboken NJ. Since opening a year ago, we have sold 56 copies of the Hoboken Chicken Emergency. We need Looking for Bobowicz! Tell us how we can get it!
Come visit us!
Your friendly booksellers in Hoboken!

Daniel replies:

You need not only Looking for Bobowicz but The Artsy Smartsy Club, (also set in Hoboken, same cast of characters), and possibly Jolly Roger, a Dog of Hoboken. No idea how you can get them. Neat there's a bookstore in Hoboken! Daniel

Tracy Eurey

September 23, 2016

I read Lizard Music in 6th grade in 1987 at the recommendation of my school librarian. I fell in love with this story. I revisited it often and ordered a copy on Amazon so I can share it with my child.

Question. Why is this not a film? Can this be a film? What can I do to get this made into a film? Is Mr. Pinkwater the least interested in making the Lizard Music movie? My God, it would be incredible. I feel like I must see this happen in my lifetime.

Daniel replies:

Here is a story. I got a phone call from a young friend. "Hello. I am suddenly the third from the top man at a major motion picture studio. I am in charge of acquiring new scripts. Would you like to write a movie?" "Sure." "Good. What movie would you like to write?" "You want to know right this minute?" "Yes. I have to go into a meeting. What movie?" "I am a genius, but I can't come up with a whole idea for a movie in a minute." "No, not what movie that you might make up. What movie that you have seen. We don't make movies, we re-make movies. What movie have you seen that you would like to write a new script for?" "Oh! In that case, I have one. The Horse's Mouth, based on the Joyce Carey novel and made in 1958 starring Alec Guiness." "Got it. I'll call you tomorrow and tell you how it went in the meeting." The next day: "Sorry, we can't remake that movie. It didn't make enough money the first time." "I see. Do I get to pick another one?" "No. Now you have a reputation for not being commercial." I think I still have that reputation.

Terry M Gordon

September 13, 2016

I am now confused. I was just at Mike Rosen's house and I was asking if he knew you (he did – as did Mim Chenfeld) or Chris van Allsburg (he did). I remembered you from when you were a contributor to All Things Considered but have not heard you in ages. Then, on this website, it references NPR appearances. Are you still on NPR? (I used to enjoy listening to your commentaries)

Daniel replies:

I was a contributor to All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition Saturday for about 25 years, and did lots of other radio things too. That is a long time to work in a competitive and political environment without participating in alliances, plots, coups, and relationships of convenience. At last someone rose to a certain level who either didn't like me, or needed to sacrifice a popular broadcaster to demonstrate power, or both. So they stopped using my stuff. I can't complain--it was lots of fun.

Kevin Howes

September 13, 2016

Hello from Vancouver, B.C., Canada!
I am a 41-year-old music producer who was greatly influenced by your book Wingman growing up in terms of cultural awareness, diversity, and creativity. I have been looking for any additional information/context about this book, its creation, the characters, and hoping that you might be able to share any memories.
Sending my best!

Daniel replies:

I lived in a loft building in Hoboken, New Jersey, where my neighbor, a math professor, and I, became friends. In the evenings, we took to drinking coffee, and he told me stories of his early life. I based the setting and characters in Wingman on his stories. He also took me to the old neighborhood, where I was able to photograph, the laundry, the school, the kids climbing on the George Washington Bridge, etc., and I used the photos in making the illustrations.

Matt Brocchini

September 12, 2016

Hey Webmaster Ed and Daniel,

Great recording of Blue Moose with music! Listened last night, love it.

Also, I just dropped my son of at college and knocked him on the head just like Larry's mother did to send him off into the world…

Anyway thank you for all the wonderful stories!


– Matt


Daniel replies:

It is not for me to criticize or make suggestions, but knocking one's offspring on the head, after having arrived at college and presumably with the bursar's office of said college knowing where and how to get in touch with the parent, may be a teensy bit after the moment. Had you written, "Here is a picture of me knocking my son on the head with a Brown University catalog, beside the Interstate, before disappearing into the night," that might have been more in the spirit of making sure the lad would have an interesting story to tell later in the other polar bears.

Susan Thompson

September 12, 2016

When I was a kid I read Lizard Music and then a little later, Alan Mendelson, the Boy From Mars. They were two of my all time favorite reads. Now as a 47 year old mom, I brought my old copy of Alan Mendelson along on a recent family camping trip and read aloud nightly around the campfire. I can't tell you how much fun it was to share that book with my kids (11 and 12 years old ) and to hear them laughing out loud with the description of the various adults in that book. The begged me to keep reading late into the night. We were in the desert, stars carpeting the sky, the light of the fire glowing on our faces, and that wonderful, quirky book keeping us all entertained. It was magnificent! Thank you, Daniel Manus Pinkwater, for all the good times I've had with your books!

Daniel replies:

What an honor, that a book of mine should be part of that splendid memory! I was raised and educated not to dwell too much on the glory of being an author, but once in a while....well, thank you very much.


September 12, 2016

Dear Mr. Pinkwater,

I read Mrs. Noodlekugel and the Drooly Bear. It sort of seemed like there should be another book. Are you going to write another one?

Jonathan-Peter, grade 4, home schooler
Takoma Park, MD

Daniel replies:

I was going to write another one, but the publisher was disappointed the books we had already done were not making a ridiculous stupid huge amount of money. (The books keep being reprinted, so I assume they are making money, just not ridiculous, stupid, huge.) This is how things are done, and it is not my fault. I hope you will find other books of mine you like. There are more than 100 titles.