Talk to DP Forum

Andrew Smith

December 1, 2017

Mr. Pinkwater,
In the 6th grade, I was reading The Divine Comedy and other very high level books, and my science teacher decided he did not like this. He took away my volume containing the works of H.G. Wells, and handed me a children’s book. The book was, “Fat Elliot and the Gorilla”. At first I thought my instructor was nuts, and then I started reading. The book has saved me from myself many times, and while in the hospital recovering from a suicide attempt earlier this year, I looked back on the lessons this book taught. Time and time again, I’ve referenced the book to aid people with their own problems. Unfortunately, I can’t find a copy in decent condition anywhere! The book is over twice as old as I, but it’s lessons are still of value every day. Is there any hope for a reprint? Or any extra copies lying around? Please help! I’d like to red the story to my little nieces and let them grow up with the lessons I wish I’d learned sooner!

Daniel replies:

You know, I've written so many books, and so many of them came out in small editions for a short time, that some of them have almost disappeared.  (In some cases, this may be a good thing.)   I'm not sure I have a copy of Fat Elliot and the Gorilla, (which I remember for a cool drawing of the ape), and if I have one, I need to keep it for my records, so I will not offer it to you.  But I will tell you something which my be useful: It's not the's you!  You may feel there are lessons the book taught, but really it is what you supplied from within yourself.  When you finally come across a copy of the book, don't be surprised if you think, "Wait a minute!  Where is all the wisdom I remember from when I read this in 6th grade?"  It's where you found it then--in your head.

Ellie (more or less)

November 20, 2017

It started with the baconburg horror. But, quickly devolved into more indulgence on your novels. Yes, this story is hardly unique. I wouldn%u2019t bother mention it, except I felt like doing so, and I was deeply enjoying the outcome of my descision to listen to your voice, narrating an audiobook of %u201CAdventures of a Cat-Whiskered Girl%u201D. Now, I do not know for certain if it was in fact you reading it, even if it was stated in big red letters %u201CNarrated by Daniel Pinkwater%u201D, for I have never met you. But I do not regret listening, and I would not think twice about trying another Pinkwater novel, if I knew it would be read in that same voice, which I am lead to believe, is yours. There%u2019s something deeply reassuring about so many strange new ideas and people and words, all delivered in that soothing, relaxed voice. It%u2019s rather nice to know that if all these strange new things can be received without alarm, that perhaps it is not such a drawback after all to be uncertain of my species, gender, and ability to survive amongst a society that does not trust children with plastic knives. In fact, it%u2019s quite enlightening.

Daniel replies:

If it's printed in big red letters on the packaging that it is me doing the reading, then it is almost certainly me...I cannot imagine they found anyone who would do it cheaper.  The flat and unemotional reading you seem to like, or anyway respond to, is because I don't have the talent or training to do it like an actor would do.  And, obviously, an actor would have charged the publisher more, and rightly so.

Teddy Brewer

November 20, 2017

I have read and loved many of your books. I am curious though. What is the recipie for roast duck with all the trimmings you would use or thought of in Mush a dog from space. I guess I’ll just end saying I love many of your books and have been growing up reading them.

Daniel replies:

I'm no chef, just an appreciator, but I'd say what you need is 1.) roast duck and 2.) trimmings.  Enjoy!

Aline Sluis

November 20, 2017

Hello and Happy Birthday! To celebrate, I’m re-reading Lizard Music. I haven’t read it since before grade school – currently I’m a sophomore in college. But Lizard Music has stuck with me for all these years and I’m so excited to read it again.

Daniel replies:

Thank you.  If you have time as a busy college sophomore, maybe you'd like to read Bushman Lives! as a sort of quasi-sequel to Lizard Music.  If you do, let me know what you think.


November 20, 2017

I was reading something I wrote a few decades ago and came across a reference to you in something (Maybe a TV show?) with the initials YIJ.

Do you have any idea what I was talking about?

Daniel replies:

I don't even have any idea what I am talking about.

Robert L Summers

November 1, 2017

Last time reading Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars, with my class before I retire.

Daniel replies:

If I had known you were going to read it over and over, I would have done a better job writing it.  I've been told that the life I lead as a writer is just like being retired. If this is so, it is a very pleasant business.

Wayne Milkshake

November 1, 2017

Don’t get me wrong, there are hundreds of books and authors I love. Alan Mendelsohn is the one I have reread the most times. It’s my favorite book. I’m 47 so I’m sure I read it when it first came out. You should issue a t-shirt of the original cover art.

As a pre-YA book about alienation (in every sense I suppose) it was destined not to find the large audience of many of your other books. It’s an adult book. To a chronic outsider like me it covers everything. It shaped my worldview. I hesitate before recommending it because I still try to pass as normal.

I never thought to visit your site til now. Next I head over to Audiobooks and learn whether fleegix has a hard or soft “g.”

Daniel replies:

Don't get me wrong either.  I'm ashamed of none of my books.  Well, almost none.  In some way I don't understand, they all seem to be authentic.  However, a few years ago while recovering from surgery I tried reading some of my own long fiction, and Alan Mendelsohn was the one that seemed to have the most mistakes and failures.  I understand it's your favorite, and also the favorite of many...I just wish I had been a better writer when I wrote it.

Marjorie Erickson

October 29, 2017

I miss hearing you and Scott Simon chat on NPR.

Daniel replies:

This is interesting.  Also typical.  Simon and I haven't done that feature for years, and now you miss it?  Happens like this all the time.

T Koch

October 19, 2017

Any videos of you singing ‘Bear in Love?’ I hate singing books at storytime not knowing how the author intended them.

Daniel replies:

In this case, the author intended that each reader make up his/her own tune.  If I were a singer, it might be different.  Everything might be different.

Shendel Haimes aka mrsreadforfun

October 10, 2017

Hi Daniel,
My family and I have been fans of yours for over thirty years! Your books have been popular on my literary YouTube channel, Gordon Korman, Dan Gutman, and Spencer Quinn have supported my mission by posting my reviews of their books on their social media outlets. I would appreciate your sharing of my video book reviews of “Lizard Music” and “The Hoboken Chicken Disaster” with your fans, Enclosed are the videos.
Shendel Haimes aka mrsreadforfun
Lizard Music:
The Hoboken Chicken Disaster:

Daniel replies:

They are shared!  (Only the title is The Hoboken Chicken Emergency.  Not Disaster.  Must be accurate.) P.S. I looked at the videos and they are magnificent!