Eat My Dust – Letter 5

The Obscenely Talented Elliott Bridgewater,

The Londonderry police do not have to become involved if we proceed in a fashion best befitting the situation. Namely, a publishing contract.

I am not exactly the type to just move right along onto another dream – as my many, MANY letters to you would have you know. I need to become a published and well-respected children’s book author. This is why you may have noticed your favorite stuffed animal missing from your bedside: the plush toy of Hognelius from your story A Hog for All Seasons. He is with me.

Do not worry, I have not harmed the stuffed animal. However, for each slip-up you make, you will receive a de-stitched “limb” of Hognelius’s in the mail.

In your previous letter, you proposed your theory that just because Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, and Hitler were all bad children’s book authors (as you say I am), I must be as insane as them. Well, I must say you are very far from correct about this.

I have a unending fascination with becoming published because I know I can change the world for the better. I know my books (which are NOT ripoffs, thank you very much) can better the minds of children and adults alike. I know I am a beacon of genius shining down on the ripening flowers of the world. And these flowers, which represent you all, will be brought into the blinding light of my shining words and blossom — further advancing our species and allowing us all to be delivered into the eternal light of The Sombrero Galaxy.

If you want items to stop flying through your closed windows, mysterious vans to quit driving around your neighborhood, and items to cease being stolen from your house, I urge, nay, I beg you to publish my wonderful book, Darryl Delamater and Dibby the Dust Bunny in: THE DAY OF DIGRESSION!

Or, at the very least, give me some ideas you’d like to see made into a children’s book, and I will eloquently whip one up for you.

If you and your family are terrified now, please do what’s best for everyone and listen to my above demands. Then this does not have to go any further than it already has.


– Harold Callahan (Pen Name “Silly Sammy Saunders”)

Eat My Dust – Letter 1

To the Talented Mr. Elliott Bridgewater,

I recently came across an article you wrote on your publishers website titled “The Quest for Award Winning Children’s Literature.” I would like you to know that by receiving this letter and (more so) its attachment, your quest has ENDED.

In your article you state that “The subtle nuances present in such timeless masterpieces like Ezra Jack Keats’s The Snowy Day, James Thurber’s Many Moons, or, of course, Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, are notably absent from modern day children’s books — which seem to focus instead on delivering a squeaky-clean morality without any poetic undertaking whatsoever.”

Not only do I agree with you, but I agree with you AND have attached a copy of my manuscript: Darryl Delamater and Dibby the Dust Bunny in: THE DAY OF DIGRESSION!.

I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but this is the best melding of poetry and art that the world of children’s literature has ever seen. Read it, take it in, love it, write back explaining how I have a book deal, and simply wait for the famed Caldecott Medal to be awarded to me for most distinguished American picture book for children.

Please respond soon and let me know what you thought of the book.


– Harold Callahan (Pen Name “Silly Sammy Saunders”)