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YOUR PAGES - ADULTS
Paul receives some terrific correspondence and really appreciates the time people have taken to write to him. Following are some of those letters.
Dear Paul, I am 31 years old and I started reading your books, starting with Unreal, many many years ago. I now have 3 children and they all love your stories, especially Rascal's adventures. When I was in primary school, I remember writing to you. And here I am writing to you again from a very different perspective! Nevertheless, I just wanted to let you know that you have given me a love of reading and my children see me borrowing piles of books from the library. It sets a great example for them. Thank you for your immense contribution to Australian literature. One day, my grandchildren will be reading your books. Warm regards, Siu-May
Very Quick note from a grateful mum. I have a two and a half year old and three month baby and came across your book in the library. As I HATED reading as a child (even though I was able) I thought I would try and get a head start with my little ladies. Thankfully it looks like we are well on the way (purely through blind guesswork) My older daughter will happily sit and 'read' her books on her own, making the most fantastic tall stories up. Mostly I would like to thank you, for helping me understand my real and unrelenting hatred of reading. I now understand where a lot of this has stemmed from.I now happily read things that interest me, but aged 35, one would hope that by now. I apologise for the disjointed letter but as you can imagine, time is extremely short and I have to pick up from nursery and then take them to the library this afternoon. This was a real eureka moment for me. THANKYOU. from Becky
Dear Becky, Thank you for this lovely message. I am so pleased that my work has been of some use to you and your children. That gives me a warm glow. I think the book you are referring to must be The Reading Bug ...and how you can help your child catch it. I wrote this book specifically for parents because I wanted them to understand that they are the most important people as far as their childrens love of reading goes. Best wishes, Paul
Dear Mr Jennings, I know you probably wont have time to read this, but I thought I'd try to get it to you anyway. When I was a child, I adored your stories, and would even risk a wallop from my mum and steal loose change from her purse so I could buy your books from the local shop. When the Potter books came out I shirked them with great disdain in favor of your quirky dark stories. And now, I am a mother, and now my daughter is crazy about your books and every night we sit down in great anticipation and read one; I can see my daughter's little brain whirring, and it's lovely to see her wince and smile at all the gory bits I used to wince and smile about. Thank you Mr Jennings for many years of reading pleasure. I look forward to reading the grand list of books you have produced and thank you again. All the best, Georgia
Hi Paul, I am actually a parent of 2 beautiful boys aged 12 and 9. I am also from England, arriving in Australia almost 7 years ago. I know you probably get many emails and letters from fans, but I just wanted to show my appreciation for your book "The Reading Bug". I am currently studying to be a Primary school teacher, have started late (39 now), through distance study and am just approaching the end of my first year. I am presently completing a unit on literacy, where your book was a recommended text, and have just finished it in one sitting. I have been so inspired by your view of teaching children to read, and my highlighter has been working overtime with all the text that I would love to apply through my teaching. They say everyone has a book in them, my mother has written a childrens book, which I am very proud of,"The Adventures of Leafy Wood, by Barbara Head". I, on the other hand, have no aspiration for writing books, but do for teaching children to love books, as I do myself. There is nothing better than becoming engrossed in a good book on your holidays or a weekend in bed. So, I just wanted to thank you for inspring me further. I'm sure I will be referencing you in my essays during my literacy unit many times. I congratulate you on your writing career, and look forward to reading more of your motivational books. Regards, Dawn
Dear Mr. Jennings, I am a 20 year old student at Glasgow University, I have been reading your books since I was very young; you were a great inspiration to me. Recently a friend and I were discussing a short story of yours; debating whether the character in your story "No is Yes," knows whether she is condemning her father to death in the final stages of the story. I believe that she does not know that she is sending her father to death; my friend believes she knows exactly what she is doing preventing aid to her deceptive father. It would be greatly appreciated if you could clear this up for us, we are both great fans of your work and are delighted that your work has sparked such debate. Yours sincerely, Wilf and Karen
Dear Wilf and Karen, Many thanks for your email and kind comments. This is a story that has often troubled me over the years because it is the only one I have written where a parent doesn't love their child. It was meant to be in a book of stories for older readers, but the younger readers bought the book anyway and I have sometimes regretted it. As for your question - I am sorry to disappoint you, and I know it seems crazy, but I don't know the answer either. I just wanted the reader to make up their own mind, but if you ask me to choose, she meant to tell the fireman that her father was inside, and his punishment, as it so often is, came from his own actions. Warmest wishes, Paul
Hi Paul, I've been a big fan of yours since I was a kid reading your books in the early nineties and watching Round the Twist! I remember the covers that your books had in the early nineties which were of a different style to the current ones. If I remember correctly, they had a montage of small cartoons, representing all the different stories in the book. I much preferred that artwork to the current ones. Just thought I'd give you a bit of fan feedback! Perhaps when they commission the next cover update they could go back to the old school?! :) Thanks for all the great stories, they've given me many great memories. Rob
Hey, I'm from Portugal and I'm 16. You must be tired of receive mails saying all the same... But, I've got to say: Your books are amazing... not only for kids. The world you create in your head it's absolutely fantastic and wanted and I think you are kind of a "Tim Burton" but in writing not in movies. So, just to pass by and to say to you that I knew your work just a months ago but I already love it. Just keep going please. For you, and for us. From Catarina
Paul, My name is Ida and I'm 22, living in Melbourne and going to Monash Uni. I'm emailing because I have been flashing back to my childhood lately and your books were a huge part of my enjoyment spent reading as I grew up. I want to say thank you!! I think I have a copy of every book you ever wrote back at my parents house, and it means a lot to me that I can keep them and give them to my own children one day. By the time they can read they will be handed one of your books before anything else. Your books were very quirky and just generally amazing, no other writer was able to draw me in in the same way. We'd go on family holidays in our caravan and all I'd do is sit and read your books. I guess in hindsight Mum and Dad were happy to see me doing so and you can be thanked for that! You really have an amazing talent and are an inspiration, Thanks, Ida
Dear Paul I have 2 boys - Jeremiah (3) and Reuben (19 months). We first came across The Rascal Series in May 2010 at a book party and Jeremiah wanted Rascal the Dragon & Rascal and the Cheese (in the big book format). We now have 6 books and have recently bought Rascals Shadow. I read the book to Jeremiah twice and then he wanted to read it to me. He pretty much read it word for word which took me by surprise (& was teary-eyed)!! I loved reading when I was younger (and still am - currently reading your Book The reading bug and enjoying it) and am wrapped that the boys enjoy reading too. Reuben loves Bobs illustrations in the books as well. Well done to you both!!! from Christina
Hello! Im writing this note from our eldest daughters house at Yatala Queensland, I ran out of reading matter so was handed Funniest Stories by our 10 yr. old. grandson Shaun! I've finished the book and enjoyed it very much! Oh! I'm aged 74, and am a retired Victorian Police member!! Ha Ha! just thought I'd let Paul know this! We're off home to Forest Hill tomorrow after house, dog, chooks, and pool minding while the family enjoyed Michelles 50th birthday in Fiji!! love to all xx Bruce. p.s. I may secretly look for other books now!!
Hi Paul, Today I went down to have breakfast and noticed on the back of the Cheerios were some of your books. I was even more excited when I found a book inside. I read the preface 'My Journey as a Writer'. I never realised this is why you got into writing and I thank you that you did. I first started reading your books in Grade 5 and 6 I remember one story that stuck with me (and still does) was entitled 'A Dozen Bloomin Roses'. Anyway i'm 27 now and had totally forgotten about the books I used to read and didn't realise you were still writing. I don't usually write emails like this however I felt compelled to write and thank you because I was exactly like the kid you described who struggled with reading and now I'm able to enjoy it. I also didn't realise you were still writing. You're doing a great job - many thanks again. Yours sincerely, Phillip.
Dear Paul Just letting you know my 7 year daughter absolutely loves your Rascal books! I am more than happy to buy them for her. Keep up the great work. Margaret
Thanks Paul. I started reading your books as a young teacher 18 years ago and now my 11 year old son has begun reading them to me! I will see which books I have missed out on and we shall discover them together. You are amazing. From Paula
Hi Paul I just wanted to say thanks for writing such a helpful book 'The Reading Bug' and not only that but you also saved me a bit of time from the photocopier by providing a downloadable list of recommended books - a very happy mum indeed. I found the book to be a great read as it provided a rare insight into the mind of a children's author. Our boys are 6yrs, 4yrs and 2yrs and they love Rascal. But the best part of it all is that they will grow with your books as Im able to find something suitable for each age group. Many thanks for making your books an enjoyment to read for all of us. Best wishes, Monica.
Hey there Paul! I just wanted to let you know that I am still such a huge fan of your work. I used to write to you when Luke was about 7, 8 and 9 ish...now he is 21 and a student at Stanford who is in Chile for this quarter studying Race and Ethnic studies and music too. We still talk about how we would bring your short stories to share on camping trips and at parties and they were just so captivating. I am so happy that you are still up to all kinds of goodness! Thanks for all you do! your friends in Washington State katie and luke
hi! let me start by revealing that i'm now 26 years old, way past what you'd consider a kid. hahaha! i remember reading your books when i was in elementary, and i abolutely LOVED them. i wish i can get my hands on your work, especially the "un" series. i'm now living in the philippines, so that may be problem. boohoo! anyway, i was wondering if you have a facebook page or any of the social networking sites. i've been searching for one for quite a while now to no avail. well, to close, let me just say you're still one of my favorite children's books authors---right up there with mr. roald dahl. :) thanks for sharing with us your wild imagination! From Peachy
Hi Peachy, thanks for your email. You can purchase my books through my website. Select the 'Books' tab and the book you are interested in. At the bottom of the page you will find the QBD link. Cheers Paul
Dear Paul, Your books have been incredibly popular with my 3 boys and it has been wonderful to watch them all become so excited about reading. My 8 yo has Autism and consequently very few interests. Fortunately, reading is one of them and he was recently so engrossed in Wicked that I couldn't persuade him to put the book down. He read it cover to cover. His first introduction to reading was with Rascal the Dragon. His 6 year old brother is now able to read these stories and is enjoying the confidence gained from reading whole novels by himself. My youngest son, who is 3 years old is obsessed by Rascal and must get 2 Rascal books every night. He knows them off by heart and "reads" them to me. These books have truly ignited his passion for books. This is a truly wonderful gift to give to any child and I thank you very much for playing an important role in sparking my children's interest in reading. Judi B
Hi Paul! Just wanted to say thanks for the fantastic books you write for kids. I'm Australian too, but living in England this year. At the moment I'm working in a school library and I've been getting all the kids hooked on your stories. The short story favourites are 'Smelly Feat' and 'Wunderpants'. I love getting kids interested in reading and your books are the best by far, in my opinion, to do that. It took me a while to convince my librarian to stock up on your books because she didn't know if an Australian author would be popular with English kids, but just letting you know they sure are! In my reading tutoring groups I run, I have to explain what an 'op shop' is, as well as 'pants'. :-) Keep up the great work! Thanks, Mel
Paul, My four year old son J**s had not been particularly interested in books until we stumbled across your Rascal series. He now reads them to the rest of the family and made up his own Rascal story about making friends with a black Cockatoo with a broken wing. Bob would have been very amused at our attempts to illustrate. J**s and I now have a new-found understanding of how skillful an author has to be to develop a storyline - particularly one that has a deeper meaning for children. Your books are one of only a few where our two sons chime in with the name of the author after the book's title is read out. Thanks for your contribution to our household. Heather
Hi Paul, I am a retired teacher and I always loved reading your books to the many children I have taught over the years. For children who were reluctant readers (and I taught many), I used to hesitate whilst reading and sometimes say, "Mmm, I can't read that bit ... it's a bit rude." That comment was guaranteed to send them scuttling to the library at lunch-time to borrow a copy of the book to find out exactly what the 'rude bit' was. By the way, I enjoyed reading the comments written by other adults (and children), but the worrying one was the person who wrote, "I have enjoyed reading your books in the pubic schools". Just hope the 'pubes' enjoyed your books as much as adults and children do!! By the way, I'm an aspiring writer myself and reading your blog about your writing journey gives me hope to keep hammering away. Cheers, Barb
Dear Paul, I retired a few years ago from the public service and last year - just as I was beginning to get a bit bored with all this extra time hanging on my hands - I was asked if I would help out at the local primary school with the reading tutor program. And, before I go on, I have to say it is enormously rewarding! The 50-odd kids I see are mainly in years 3 to 6, with a few year 2 kids thrown in to spice up the dish. All of them are a bit "behind" with their reading skills. Quite a few are ADHD and some have mild intelectual disabilities. In some cases I think the main problem is lack of confidence - and lack of practice. The approach I have been taking is to try convincing them that reading can be fun, so I have spent a lot of time reading the kids books that are on the market these days. This has been really enjoyable - maybe I just haven't left my first childhood behind yet, and I hope I never will. And this is how I discovered some of your books. Rascal the Dragon is delightful, The Cabbage Patch series (esp. the Fib) is a crack-up and I just love Singenpoo. Oh, I should mention that the kids love them too. Some of these kids (mainly the under-confident ones) have now started asking for more demanding reading material and have moved on to things like "Wicked" the "Un" series, Roald Dahl, Morris Gleitzman, Emily Rodda's Rowan and Deltora series. And most of them were diffident about reading Rascal when they started. But they still go back to Rascal occasionally just because they love him. Thank you for providing me with the tool to unlock this door. I have always felt that a book that's not worth reading when you're sixty probably wasn't worth reading when you were six. And your books are DEFINITELY worth reading at sixty-plus! By the way, several of these kids are now reading at home - and have even joined the town library!!
Greetings Paul, Just found your website as a result of a dinnertime conversation, felt the need to mention that your work was remembered fondly by my parents, myself and my little brother. That's really something. Thanks for providing an excellent inspiration to young Australian writers. I'm 24 now and the page is harder than diamonds but I often remember your stories and of course the televised equivalents both fondly and with sincerest regards. Particularly that karmic gumleaf. All the best from the random collision that is the internet. - Jake
Hello Paul. How are you? I was just writing to let you know how much of an inspiration his books have been to me! I am currently writing a novel for the Summerset Novella competition, I think it is called. I have also written a squillion short stories and all of this happened because my Grandmother gave me your books, such as Undone, Uncanny, Unbelievable, Unreal and all the other Un books when I was about 11 (now I am 15) I was just letting you know that, and I hope to one day become as famous as you are! Thanks Paul! You don't realise how much of an inspiration it would be to get a reply from Paul himself, I think I'd have a heart attack if I did!)
Dear Paul, my name is Carla and i am a 29 year old mother of 2. I grew up reading your books and watching Round the Twist, watching Round the Twist so much that my mother ended up hiding the video from me! Its wonderful that my ten year old has found this same love for your stories that i have and im sure that my son wont be too far away from becoming a fan either. Thank you so much for writing what you do and the way you, for giving children (and adults) a reason to still use their imaginations and enjoy some time reading a book, away from all the comoputers and technology. I never thought that twenty years later id be sharing the stories that i read as a child with my children, but im so glad that i am and that i can. Thank you
Hey Paul, I'm no longer a "kid" per se (well, I'm still pretty immature at 26), but I just wanted to tell you that your stories were my absolute favourites as a kid, teen, and well... I still truly appreciate them today! They are AWESOME. You are truly a great writer in my humble opinion. You have no idea how you have positively benefited my life with your writing, actually. I don't think you could possibly estimate how many lives you have touched through your weird and wacky words. Truly, an inspiration. I recall reading, and re-reading your stories time and time again... I think I've said enough! Anyway, I just finished watching a mini bio on you on the ABC and just felt I should really send you props for touching my life and helping me... What I mean by the latter is that I, like you, was a rather lonely and depressed child "on the inside". Your stories served to alleviate some of my pain. :) With love - in the not too wacky but weird enough universal sense - Nina PS - Glad to know you're doing so well today! :)
Hi Paul, my name is Donna and I am a primary school teacher. This term, I have been reading your books to my children and they absolutely love them. I have many children in my class borrowing your books from the library and their parents have told me they are showing more of an interest in reading. I love reading your stories and watching the children laugh! Thank you for your wonderful stories and the joy they give the children, and also me! Thank you.
Dear Mr. Jennings, For the last 20 years my hobby has been reading aloud in the public schools. Since discovering your short stories some years ago they have become a staple each year. Since I just received my end of the year thank you letters, I thought that might like to know that your stories (There's No Such Thing; The Gumleaf War and especially Snookle)were the runaway favorites this year. You might enjoy seeing which of your stories I read aloud by visiting my website http://readmeastoryink.com/ . Go to browse authors and type in your last name. Thank you for your wonderful contribution to children's literature. Kind regards, Bob, Read Me A Story, Ink
Hi, i just wouldlike to post some positive feedback. I grew up reading Paul Jennings & watching Round the twist. Now, i'm in my twenties, i still read the books over , I still watch Round the twist , ( it was shown again on Foxtell not long ago )totally brings back the good days. Now there is the book for grown readers...i want to read it too.Thanks for all the great stories that are always so uniquely entertaining. from Bernadette