April 12, 2015
a while back my grandmother called you up to tell you how much she and her friends loved your humor. she told you about how they liked to sit around listening to your books on tape and drinking moonshine. yall had a nice phone conversation. she had a strong kentucky accent.
just wanted to let you know that grandma passed away a few weeks ago and had requested that we read an excerpt from your book "borgel" at her funeral, so we did.
i love your books too.
– kelly cutter
Thanks for telling me. I'm honored that your grandmother wanted me to participate, through my book, in her sendoff. I'm confident she's enjoying the next part of her journey. I can't help wondering what excerpt was read.
April 2, 2015
I am loving the weekly installments!
Now then, who or what is Luqman Keele? Any chance for a reading of his work?
Luqman Keele is a guy who wrote a book. Some way or another I got talked into doing a sort of rewrite or super-edit on his book, and the publisher put my name on it, possibly in the misplaced belief that it would help sales. It didn't. I haven't looked at it in many years, and don't remember much about it.
March 22, 2015
I'm running out of Daniel Pinkwater novels to read my students. Have you written anything of the size of Alan Mendolsohn, Borgel, Yobgorgle, The Last Guru, The Snarkout Boys and the Baconburg horror, etc. lately? It seems whenever I find your most recent works they are for younger kids. Looking for Daniel Pinkwater by the bushel. -marK gerhard
The classic Lizard Music. The Neddiad quadrilogy: The Neddiad; The Yggyssey; Adventures of a Cat-Whiskered Girl; Bushman Lives! There are more, but these are my favorites.
March 22, 2015
Hi! I am a 6th grader who attends a doodle class where your books are read aloud while I doodle. Your books are very fun to listen to and well written. It would be awesome if you wrote some books with girls as major characters.
I really like the creative names for characters and places you think of.
I already gave a partial list of female characters to your classmate. Thank you for noticing that my books are well-written. Do you ever read them aloud while your teacher doodles?
March 22, 2015
Hello, Mr. Pinkwater, I am a doodle class student, we cannot remember how many of your books we have read. We have a few questions that have accumulated over time, for starters, why are there so few books with girls in them, other than parents we haven't encountered any female characters. (I apologize if I'm distracted while writing, currently Mr. Garhard is reading "The Toothsmasher Superflash" out loud.) There are probably other questions that my fellow classmates will be spamming you with, if you take the time to read this (which, considering how much my classmates will be sending you it is unlikely that you will be able to respond to all of them) thank you so much for making it to the end of this note, I hope you respond, and you should DEFIANTLY write more books.
-Claire Ferguson, 7th Grade, GATE Academy
Let me see, female characters...there's Rat in the Snarkout Boys books, there's Loretta Fischetti in Looking for Bobowicz and The Artsy Smartsy Club, there's Yggdrasil in The Neddiad, The Yggssey, and Adventures of a Cat-Whiskered Girl, Big Gloria in the Big Bob and Potato books...and there are others. I will definitely defiantly write more books.
Madhava Billhana Checkri Chiru Srinandha Venkata brahmandam
March 22, 2015
From mr. Gerhard's doodle class at Gate academy: In our after school class doodle class mr. gerhard reads your books and we doodle. The books are the best books that exist. They are crazy, silly, and just plain awesome. we just finished yobgorgle and before that the last guru. Overall we read Alan mendelsohn, Borgle, the last guru, and some little kid ones. We really like your books and PLEASE write more! If you read this, then thank you for taking your time on this message! (sent from student Jonah)
If you are Jonah, who is Madhava Billhana Checkri Chiru Srinandha Venkata Brahmandam? I am confused.
March 22, 2015
At a library used book sale about 14 years ago, I bought a rather intriguing title, AUNT LULU, for a buck. I brought it home. My daughter Olivia adored that book. We must have read it 1000 times. I had it memorized, she had it memorized. The cat had it memorized. But here's the thing. IT WAS ABOUT THE ONLY CHILDREN'S BOOK THAT DIDN'T DRIVE ME CRAZY READING 1000 TIMES because Lulu has some real chops, some real characterization going, a backstory — or many — and served as the coolest role model a young female could ever have.
Okay, flash forward to my daughter's late teen years. She, in typical teen fashion, no longer really speaks to me as I have little in the way of wisdom to share with her (her opinion; not mine). Anyway, a day or so ago, I mentioned – mainly to myself — that a friend of mine was having a "bring a favorite book" baby shower. Suddenly, my daughter making eye contact with me for the first time in weeks, spoke up, "Aunt Lulu, Mom; you must bring Aunt Lulu, to the shower!" And we spent a delightful, precious five minutes reciting our shared memories of the one-and-only Aunt Lulu.
First, I thank you for that.
Second, where oh where can I find a new copy of AUNT LULU? Why is no longer in print? It is a classic and further more, it has the power to unite generations. Okay, that might be a bit much, but it really is the truth in our case.
Mr. Pinkwater, if you know of a bookstore that might have a copy, please let me know. Like Aunt Lulu would do, I'll travel the world to find it.
First, I do not know why Aunt Lulu, or so many of my more than 100 titles, is out print. I have quit wondering. You do not mention having read other books of mine, but if you have you may have noticed that Aunt Lulu is of typical quality, not necessarily the best I can do, but up to a standard. And yet--the products are rare and always have been. Draw your own conclusions as to why this might be. And, of course, I have no idea where you can get a copy, try the usual spots, Amazon, Ebay, local thrift shops. Thank you for the kind words, and good luck.
March 12, 2015
Here is something that I'm pretty sure Osgood Sigerson would enjoy:
Also, I would love it if you wrote/told us some back-story for Bignose. Besides having the big nose, is his real name "Zbigniew"? It could be a wonderful bit of culinary Baconburg history, not unlike the chapter you wrote regarding the history of Gus Bowlingpin and the Deadly Nightshade Diner – We Never Close.
It strikes me that you've already written it, in your head. Now you almost understand why I like to leave elements in stories unresolved--so people can have fun with stuff out of the book that isn't on the page. I wonder if they make those avocado cakes in a gluten-free iteration.
March 8, 2015
Dear Mr. Pinkwater,
Here is something I *think* I remember accurately:
During one of your wonderful visits to Weekend Edition with Scott Simon, you told a story about your efforts to trap and relocate some pesky raccoons that had been visiting your yard. One of them had a scar on its nose, and I think you had dubbed it "Old Scarnose" or something like that.
I remember more details from the story, but don't want to give them away here in case someone else wants to hear your telling of it, which is perfect.
I've been hunting for a copy of that story for years though – first to share with my father, who tried tackling a similar problem with squirrels (just north of Seattle) and now to share it with a friend who is trying to do the same thing with *the* rabbit that has been devouring his climbing hydrangea.
I'm a librarian. If a thing exists, I'm usually darned good at hunting it down and uncovering it. But try as I might, I haven't been able to track down this recording. I'm even beginning to doubt the accuracy of my own memory.
Did you indeed tell this story? And if so, is there a recording of it available to the public?
I did tell that story, either on Weekend Edition, or All Things Considered. My wife had secured the help of the local animal warden in trapping raccoons, of which we had a surplus, and transporting them to a secret and unsanctioned location, a nearby National Park site. They got them with bananas, which apparently no raccoon can resist. The point was that the number of raccoons seemed not to diminish for long, and when "Half-nose," of distinctive appearance, turned up again, we realized they were making it back from the park, getting a banana and taking another ride.
I have no idea where to lay hands on the recording of the broadcast--it may be in the NPR archives. I leave it to your librarianish skills.
March 7, 2015
Dear Mr. Pinkwater,
A friend of mine introduced me to Beautiful Yetta, the Yiddish Chicken. I loved the book. I am known as the chicken lady, because several years ago, I found a chicken on the side of the road, in Dallas no less. I named my chicken Hannah. Being a Kindergarten teacher, I wrote a story about her for my children: Hannah, the Chanukah Hen. Like Yetta, my chicken, I believed jumped a poultry truck. I was a bi-lingual Kindergarten teacher, and so appreciate the multi lingual book. I have bought several books to give away, and a couple to keep :0)
Your post does not indicate whether you know both the Yetta books, Beautiful Yetta the Yiddish Chicken, and Beautiful Yetta's Hanukkah Kitten. It may be that truth is even stranger than fiction than we knew.