A Lovely Surprise in the Mail, and A Brand New Giveaway of ‘Twas the Evening of Christmas

A lovely surprise was lying in wait for me the other day.

I opened the mailbox to find a little brown envelope full of letters from a first grade class at Byron Center Christian School. They were among the 350 students who listened so carefully as I read ‘Twas the Evening of Christmas and Snuggle Time Christmas Stories  to them.

But they weren’t just good listeners. They were excellent observers too, as can be seen by this wonderfully accurate depiction of me, by Natalie.

Don’t you just love my red lipstick? And look at my necklace, my blonde hair, my lovely boots, the way I’m holding the book, and how all the children are listening so intently: the boys on the left, and the girls on the right?

Here’s another lovely picture of me, drawn by Mya, who I assume is the very good listener, sitting cross-legged at my side…

And what about Gunner’s world map, showing all the love going to England…

What wonderful artists Byron Center Christian has!

Here’s a few snippets from some of my favorite letters:

Dear Mrs. Nellist…

Thank you for coming. You are the best reader. Love, Austin

I liked the Baby Jesus pictures in ‘Twas Evening of Christmas. Love, Maison

I hope that you can read to us next year. You are the best author I have ever seen. Love, Mya

I liked your voice. It was pretty. Erik

I love the books that you wrote because I have Snuggle Time and I love them. Love, Emma

I love your stories. Love, Andrew

I love, love, love the books that you read to us. I hope you come back to our school. Love, Addy

You were a good reader. Love, Graham

I like your books and I like how you read your books. Love, Caden

Thank you for reading a book to us and I like your voice. Ellie

Thank YOU, Mrs. Coffey and Mrs Wilson’s First Graders, for your lovely letters and how they encouraged me. I’m with Addy and Mya… I hope I can come back to your school next year!


Enter this brand new giveaway of ‘Twas the Evening of Christmas.

8 thoughts on “A Lovely Surprise in the Mail, and A Brand New Giveaway of ‘Twas the Evening of Christmas

  1. Sandra Mercurio

    Absolutely beautiful. I love your books and have passed word to all my friends that need to order.
    The pictures from students are priceless. You are a gift.

  2. Judy Conner

    I don’t have all your books but know they are all great books. The pictures the children drew are so nice and cute all sitting so nice and listening to you read the story.

  3. Deborah Boerema

    Comments like these from young listeners and readers are my favorite part of being a children’s author. Thanks for sharing these smiles from your mailbox.


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