April 2, 2023

Snark out advice

Dear Mr. Pinkwater,

While an overgrown awkward fat Jewish precocious young boy, your works helped shape me into the overgrown awkward fat Jewish immature man I am today, and I cannot thank you enough for the privilege. One of my best memories is when my father, who loved reading me and my brother The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, woke me up at 7 years old in the middle of the night to Snark Out, which turned out to be eating donuts at his favorite 24/7 grease establishment. I will never stop remembering feeling the love for him as I did then. 

My question is that due to the tides of life I have ended up a father of a fun and imaginative 5 year old girl in a terminally boring costal village in Israel where most things are closed by 8PM (I don’t get it either). Soon I’m going to want to read Snarkout Boys with her once she stops yelling at me for trying to read her books without pictures, and I want to try and bring her the joy my own dad did. What can I do that’s like Snarking Out when there’s nothing open at night?

With infinite gratitude,


P.S. my wife’s Hasidish family has a copy of Beautiful Yetta and love it. They were surprised when I told them not all of your books were in Yiddish- should I have not told them?

Daniel replies:

There must be cheap flights to cities like London, Paris, Budapest, possibly leaving in the middle of the night. That's one thought. Another is a club...they bristled at being called a fan club, they said they were a literary society, specializing in my works...the married couple, teachers, who were the club sponsors, would disguise themselves, kidnap a club member and make him read some book of mine before being given treats and returned to his home. But...this topic comes up from time to's not the world it was in the 1950s when I was quite the nocturnal explorer, nor even the 70s when snarking was not particularly dangerous in most places--today, maybe not such a good idea. 5 seems much too young to snark anyway, maybe conditions and opportunities will change by the time. Poultry farm before dawn?