Talk to DP Forum

Tony Homer

How about that ratatouille diet?

November 16, 2021

I’ve been trying to lose weight and I remembered listening to the ratatouille diet segment on NPR, but I couldn’t remember what show it was on or how long ago it was.  I had imagined it was a few years ago.  I searched on NPR and was shocked to discover it was actually 25 years ago!  Funny how recall works.


I sent a support request to because the audio files are missing and I’d like to listen to them again.


My question for you is, do you think the ratatouille diet would work for someone trying to lose weight today?  My plan is to use Soylent powder ( for most of my calories.  Unfortunately, Soylent alone, leaves me with satiety problems.  I was thinking about what to do about the satiety problems and the ratatouille diet popped into my head!  I think ratatouille could solve the satiety problems for me.  What do you think?

Daniel replies:

I don't give, nor am I qualified to give, health or diet advice. Anybody can make ratatouille, there are recipes everywhere and you don't really need one. It makes sense to me that some people may lose weight if a vegetable stew is a major and consistent part of their diet. I don't know anything about the powder you mention, but I am suspicious of all products like that. Good luck with a healthy diet, and weight loss.

Kathleen Black

Not a question

November 16, 2021

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  I hope that you are having a wonderful day and that you’re receiving some of the same enjoyment that you give to others through your books.  –KB

Daniel replies:

Thank you. Yes, I am happy, including birthday.

Wendy Bolender

Wuggie Norple

November 16, 2021

Thank you so much for the Wuggie Norple story.  I began reading it to my children in 1985, and today continued reading it to my 3 year old grandson.   He loves it just as much as we all have.  Thank you so much and many blessings.


Daniel replies:

There was an editor looking at it, and dithering whether to publish it, and Tomie DePaola said, "It's perfectly ridiculous, which means it's perfect, so publish it." It got published, and he did the wonderful art. So glad you and your offspring like it.


The Real Babatunji’s?

October 21, 2021

Hi Mr. Pinkwater – we have read Adventures of a Dwergish Girl approximately five times out loud.  We are in Kingston this week, and my kids and I are wondering where The Real Babatunji’s is?  If it doesn’t exist, where is your favorite pizza in Kingston?  We will avoid all imitations of hot dogs. Thank you!  Carissa

Daniel replies:

Sorry, I haven't been in Kingston for a few years, and can't suggest a pizzera with certainty, but if I were in town I'd check La Florentina. Have fun!

Ben Duff

ABC Piano

September 29, 2021

Dear Daniel,

I can no longer access ABC Piano on my internet radio. Can you please tell me if it has gone off air? I hope not. I love it. Best wishes. Ben

Daniel replies:

Sorry, I can't help you with this. These internet stations disappear, and reappear. I have no idea how it all works, but thanks for asking and for your interest.

Shelagh M Goulis

Lizard Music still plays in my mind

September 26, 2021

Mr. Pinkwater,

I’ve been meaning to write you for 40 years…

As a ten year old, I loved Lizard Music.  As a 28 year old, I had the image of the print block lizard tattooed on my ankle.  As a 30 year elementary/middle school school teacher, I’ve shared your book countless times. And now, as a 51 year old, I’ve reread the book and shared it with a friend in the Netherlands.  Discussing it with a (an?) European of similar age but with cultural differences has been an amazing experience.  Dutch television also went off the air in the 1970’s!  Walter Cronkite was known internationally.  Alas, pizza delivery was not a thing in Holland back then.

So, this isn’t really a question, but just a comment:  thank you so much for this book.  Now, more than ever, I relate to Victor and his fear of pod people taking over.

Neeble, neeble!

With deep respect,


Daniel replies:

It makes my head spin to read that a book of mine was meaningful to you. Of course, I understand that a work of art isn't finished, doesn't exist, until someone receives it and makes something of it, so the important part of the creative thing is yours. So it is for me to thank you for making my book matter.

Jenny Smith

A Note of Gratitude

September 22, 2021

Dear Mr. Pinkwater, 


In the spring of 2020, we were all set to take a Borgel inspired road trip that summer. Alas, we had to cancel that plan and ended up sheltered in our home with two disappointed boys, aged 9 & 11.  They sat wistfully looking at photos of our Neddiad adventure from the previous summer, when we took a cross-country trip by train to Chicago and the Grand Canyon. 


My husband and I knew that we needed to do something. We posed a family challenge to come up with a way to fill our memory books with adventures without leaving home. After brainstorming and lots of discussion, the weekly family theme was born. Each week we take turns drawing a strip of paper out of a bucket that is filled to the brim with every idea we could come up with. We have made some wonderful memories with the likes of Jules Verne, Indiana Jones, pirates, pioneers, magical nannies and more. 


Time flew by and, before we knew it, school reopened and we were back out into the world. Except, none of us was willing to say goodbye to our bucket of themes. We unanimously agreed that the themes are here to stay. We made a few adjustments, like extending them to two weeks so that we can accommodate distractions, like homework, without missing out on doing a fun activity. 


Today, I am writing to you because my 12 year old drew the Pinkwater theme for the next two weeks. It was followed by a deluge of ideas and excitement. Your books are a staple in our household culture. They have inspired vacations and family traditions. This morning as I walked my 10 year old to school, all he could talk about was ideas for the theme ranging from a Noodlekugel inspired tea, recreating the Laurel and Hardy movie festival in The Snarkout Boys and making pizza with Spiegelian blue garlic. 


While the kids were at school, I drew a picture of Henrietta on our chalkboard which displays the current theme. Our theme bookshelf, which rotates in content depending on the current theme, is overflowing with your books. I am excited for two weeks with Henrietta,  Blueberry Park, the blue moose, Fafner, clam chowder with gingerbread & coffee, the Snark Theater, Mr. Plumbean, napoleons, Melvin the shaman, Neddie, doughnuts, hot buttered potatoes, Iggy, Uncle Borgel, Wuggie Norple, the great popsicle, and pizza with spiegelian blue garlic. Thank you for creating such wonderful characters and stories.

Daniel replies:

Obviously, your family gets more fun out of stuff I've written than I had writing it. I am not jealous, that was my intention, or would have been if I had an intention. I do feel I should remark that a Borgel-inspired road trip would have to involve travel in time space and the other, which might be a bit beyond the capacities of the average family, even one that can read, so circumstances may have worked in your favor.

Mark French

Thanks for Publishing Advice

September 21, 2021


Some time back, we conversed by email as I asked about how to get a children’s book published.  You gave me some valuable, though not especially encouraging advice.  I eventually found a different route to becoming an author and now have an ongoing relationship with Springer, the academic publisher.  My fourth book is now being typeset and should be out in January.  This one is on acoustic guitar design.  I’m hoping that Jeff Goldblum will portray me in the movie version.

My sincerest thanks for taking time to talk with me back then.  It really did help.


Daniel replies:

What? I gave you advice and it was any good? This feels like a prank, or maybe a setup. I have demonstrated time and again that I don't know anything about publishing. Also, I have no money to invest or loan. In case your post is legitimate, congratulations and good luck with the guitar book.

Steven Lamonea

Reading your stories increases my happiness

September 8, 2021

Dear Daniel,

I’m reading “Uncle Boris in the Yukon and Other Shaggy Dog Stories,” and loving it.  Your stories are wonderful and getting to know a little something about you is a treat.  I love dogs too and am speeding back to Brooklyn to see my Sam as I write (I’m on a train).


Thank you for writing and sharing stories with me (and lots of others).  I will never be able to read enough of your books.  Please don’t take that as permission to slack off from writing, I’d prefer you didn’t.

A big fan of yours,     Steven Lamonea, 

PS: I’m not sure if my message/question is going through because I tried submitting it on my phone and the screen blinked/flashed but I’m not sure if that proved I’m not a spambot.  I’m using a proper desktop now and saw a Captcha thing so I’m more optimistic now than ever before.  My apologies if you’ve been inundated with multiple messages.

Daniel replies:

Steven, I never really gave any thought to people being made happy, or happier, because of things I write. I never thought very many...or any...people would read my stuff. But, here you are. You read it, you like it. This makes me wish I had learned more and become a better writer. It's not too late! I will try to improve. If you should read something of mine, and think, "Look at this! He finally broke out of being mediocre." If this should happen, some of the credit will be yours. So, thanks for the encouragement and help.

J. Murray Onofrio

E-Mail in 1977?

August 15, 2021

Dear Mr. Pinkwater,

I am 7 years old and about to start 2nd Grade.  My dad and I have been stuck in the house for 518 days.  We have read some of your books.  My favorite is “Lizard Music.”  We are reading “The Hoboken Chicken Emergency.”  My dad is confused.  He says that you wrote it in 1977, so how could you have written an e-mail address for Anthony DePalma, Chicken Hunter, 20 years before people used e-mail?  He says e-mail might have existed in 1977, but only like 3 people would have known about it.  How did you know about it and how would Anthony DePalma have been able to use it?

Splendiferously yours,


Daniel replies:

That's interesting. Is it possible I invented e-mail? I don't remember inventing it, but that doesn't prove I didn't. I have always been forgetful, and now I am old, and can hardly remember anything. I will ask my wife...oops, she is old too, so we can't trust her memory. I know I invented the pastrami sandwich on rye bread with a pickle on the side, but that is hardly the same thing.

Keith Upson

Thank you.

July 17, 2021

I am 51 one and I adult reasonably well and have read hundreds of books and written a few myself

 but two of the best I have ever read are Lizard Music and Hoboken Chicken Emergency and thank you.

I’m a few thousand words into writing one right now that is just for fun and it hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday that it wouldn’t be happening without Lizard Music and then I’ve spent the last 24 hours thinking about how many other nice things in my life that applies to as well, and I figure who doesn’t like to hear thank you.

Thank you.


Daniel replies:

I keep receiving thanks and credit, probably by default. I have the best readers in the world, (you among them), who deserved a better author but got me. This is not to say your gratitude is misplaced...and it is appreciated all the more for being such a near thing.

Zev Bordowitz

So, 2012 was a year, huh?

July 13, 2021

Hi there,

I have been a big fan of yours since the 2012 eighth grade New York State Test. Thank you.

Daniel replies:

If I were allowed to create the entire eighth grade test, (and I would not charge a dollar for doing so), culture in New York State would leap forward to an incredible level, and there would be a blooming of civilization all over the world. Please check whether I am still alive when you become Chancellor of Education.


The Power of Blue Moose

May 1, 2021

Dear Mr Pinkwater,

I hope this finds you and yours well.

I first read Blue Moose in 1985 when I was still adjusting to
moving to the US and being a 6 year old. I didn’t know what clam chowder or
gingerbread was and had had only the vaguest notions of what a moose was, but
reading the book always gave me a feeling of bone-deep contentment and comfort.
I liked the idea of gingerbread for years and years before I ever tasted it and
found that it is a wonderful as I imagined.

Fast forward to pandemic times when we are all going through
hard times and are operating at our less-than-best. Early in the pandemic, at a
loss for how to support a friend going through crisis, I spotted Blue Moose on
my shelf and offered to read her a chapter. The effect on her was magic. I
doled out another chapter any time she needed it and we were both gutted when
the book ended. Since then, I have read Blue Moose to 5 other friends going
through tough times and infected them with my love of this book. At the end of
each reading I know I am guaranteed to feel better than I did before I started.
Thank you for this priceless gift.

Best wishes,


Daniel replies:

What an email for an author to receive! You may be describing something about my book, and you may be describing something about yourself as a person, maybe a combination of the two. I am going to assume that there's something like the quality of gingerbread in my book, and when I have a collaborator like you, it can be better than gingerbread. Thanks for putting Blue Moose to such good use.

How can we support your genius?

April 21, 2021

Greetings Mr. Pinkwater!

You, my dear sir, are a literary (and maybe otherwise as well) genius!

Our family has read or listened to every book you have published. Some more times than the FDA or OSHA would deem healthy. We have reached the unanimous conclusion that you are brilliant.

Stuck on a desert island, we would hope to have a box of your books and an mp3 playing devise wash ashore with us.

Your website kindly shares your otherwise unobtainable audiobooks for free and the library carries many of your books that are no longer in print. We’ve purchased the books we can to support you, but we feel like freeloaders on a buffet of wonders. How can we support you in the manner to which you have no doubt become accustomed? Can we donate to support the Pinkwater Archives or perhaps mail you a 3 foot salami?


Nick (not our real name, a nickname)

Daniel replies:

My genius is its own reward, although recently someone had a pound of Nova (that's a variety of smoked salmon, not a piece of a discontinued Chevrolet, or some soil from a Maritime province), shipped to me from a certified lox-shipper, properly iced and not dangerous, and that was a pretty good reward. If there were a way to get Montreal bagels to me before they became rock-solid stale, that would be another good reward. A 3-foot salami is the sort of reward one comes to regret.  I had a wheel of New York State Extra-sharp Cheddar cheese sent to me, a fairly decent reward. But, you are aware, are you not, that publishing houses have been rewarding me with money all along, after fiddling with the accounting in their own favor, of course, so it's really uncalled-for for readers to individually reward me?

Corey Brockman Merrill

Would you like to visit our classroom over Zoom?

February 13, 2021

Hello Mr. Pinkwater,

My name is Corey Merrill and I am a 3rd grade teacher in Somerville, Massachusetts.  Earlier this year I read The Hoboken Chicken Emergency to my class as a read aloud.  My class LOVED it, as did I.  It’s hilarious.

I have been remote teaching all year, and honestly we could really use some excitement.  Would you like to Zoom into our classroom for a short visit?  It could be a Q and A.  My kids would absolutely lose their minds with excitement, and so would I.  It would be a thrill to have you.

I hope to hear from you soon!

Thank you!

Corey Merrill 

Daniel replies:

Well, here's the thing. I started using a computer as a writing machine in 1981. I worked with my TRS80 and Scripsit (the word processor) all day, and didn't feel too much like playing with it at night. Email was useful, of course. I did it in DOS. A computer magazine sent me a computer that was supposed to be easy to set up so I could write an article about whether it was easy. It was. This computer came with Windows, which was sort of new at the time, and it had colors. However, I already owned a television, so the only time I looked at Windows was when I set the machine up so I could write about it. The next time I looked at Windows, was the first time I ever looked at a website...and it was this one! Anyway the primitive ancestor of this one. Webmaster Ed had sent me an email, which I read in DOS, white letters on a black background, asking me if it was alright if he created a Pinkwater website. I think he may have been 15 at the time. I said sure. Later he emailed me again to say the website was created, so I invoked Windows and had a look at it. It was already a good website, though I just assumed, having no basis for comparison. I found some other uses for the computer, but not many, and I went from using a cassette recorder to those big floppy disks made of vinyl and paper, and I had to install the drives myself, which meant opening up the case of the computer, which looked like a Hong Kong radio inside, with my feet on a slightly damp towel, to discourage static electricity, and a ground wire attaching me to a heating pipe by the ankle. Good times. What is Zoom?

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