February 18, 2023
How did Roy get to Bayonne, New Jersey?
Dear Mr. Pinkwater,
I write to you as a grateful reader and a huge fan. I first came across the Bad Bears books when my now 15-year-old son was quite young. And in subsequent years he and his 11 year old sister and four year old younger sister have all fallen in love with Irving, Muktuk, Larry, and Roy. Your books have brought us countless hours of enjoyment. And we have worked hard to find and read and own all of them. Talia, our four year-old, wants you to know that Bad Bears and a Bunny is her favorite of the books.
We were thrilled to learn about Irving and Muktuk’s travels from Yellowtooth to New Jersey, as well as Young Larry’s travels on his sheet of ice. The last book that we were able to track down, and that we found only last week, was At the Hotel Larry. We had wondered if that book would tell us how Roy got from the frozen north to the Bayonne New Jersey zoo, and were, I must admit, a bit disappointed when that story was not told. So at the urging of my four year old, who was, if truth be told, reduced to tears at the end of the book when that journey was not recounted, to ask, dear sir, how did Roy get from Baffin Bay to the Bayonne, New Jersey zoo? We eagerly await your response with great respect, affection, curiosity, and gratitude,
Andy, Jake, Sadie and Talia
Dear Andy, Jake, Sadie and Talia--
I never got around to writing Roy's story, including how he wound up in New Jersey. One day the publisher said, "What? Another book about those silly bears? We are not printing any more of those. Nobody likes them."
I explained that thousands and thousands of copies has been sold, so it was unlikely that nobody liked them.
"Well, nobody can understand them," the publisher said.
I reminded the publisher that the great majority of readers were children who were possibly just learning to read, or needed to have someone read the books to them, and I had not heard of any children who complained they couldn't understand the books.
"Well, we don't understand them," the publisher said. "Here is a tunafish sandwich on whole wheat bread. Take it with you, and eat it someplace else. Never come back to this publishing office again."
This is an accurate account of how things went during my whole career as an author, except no one ever actually gave me a tunafish sandwich. I like to add little details like that because I am a fiction writer