Given a list of possible people to e-mail, Jeffrey chose his friend Liesl. Here’s what he wrote (I did the typing):
George Washington died, and he’s dead. Are you playing with a Spider Man mask? I will be a Lego builder when I grow up. And a guy who throws a pie. Why didn’t you play lightsaber fighting on a warm sunny day? If you play with a lightsaber, tell me. I love Vikings. I saw a big wedding cake, and someone fell down on it. I’m making a story and I hope it turns out well. I wish you a happy birthday!
Okay, here’s my interpretation — for this e-mail, I prompted Jeffrey to both think of questions to ask Liesl, and to tell about the things he was doing. The references to Spider Man, George Washington, and Star Wars are obviously inspired by his current fantasy play obsessions. Building with Legos is also a favorite pastime. As for the “guy who throws a pie” and the person who fell on a “wedding cake,” I’m guessing these are references to the big pie-fight scene in The Great Race. But I’m only guessing — we haven’t watched that movie in months. And who can resist ending a letter with good birthday wishes?
So, you see, the thoughts of Jeffrey aren’t as random and bizarre as you’d think. There’s an explanation for everything!
Um, except for the Vikings. No idea where that came from.
Probably the best book that involves letter-writing would have to be:
Click-Clack Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin, illus. Betsy Lewin. The cows are on strike! The chickens, too! There will be no milk or eggs for Farmer Brown unless they come to an agreement, which is met via a series of typewritten notes. This book not only has an appealing premise (what chore-despising kid doesn’t dream of going on strike?) but has a smorgasboard of early-literacy goodies: fun repetitive catchphrases, little notes to read, examples of characters reading and writing . . . good stuff.