Bonni is an award-winning and bestselling author of numerous books for adults. She is currently writing girl-powered historical fiction about Jewish identity for young poeple.
I have been a writer since fifth grade because my teacher, Mrs. Margaret Thaine did three things:
1) Mrs. Thaine passed out copies of a book of poems called, Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle. I loved watermelon pickles. I’d never told anyone except my parents. I figured other kids would think watermelon pickles were weird or disgusting and that I was too for liking them.
2) Mrs. Thaine spent several weeks leading our class through the poems in the book. I had never really read poetry before. I discovered I loved reading poems as much as eating watermelon pickles.
3) Mrs. Thaine read a notice to our class about a poetry writing contest for children. Until that moment, it hadn’t occurred to me that I could write a poem. I sat down that night and wrote three in a row. This was even better than reading poems while eating watermelon pickles.
Two slightly embarrassing facts: all the poems rhyme and I can still recite them.
(If you really want to read the poems, here they are, but remember I was only ten years old).
Love is a bird flying high.
Love is the sun in the sky.
Love is a tree in full bloom.
Love is the summer that will come soon.
Love is a day that’s clear and bright.
Love is the starts you see at night.
Love is a child at the zoo.
Love is me, me and you.
Fuzzy peaches, bouncing balls
Silent summer days,
Luscious licking lollipops to suck all day,
Teddy bears and flowers,
A spring that never ends,
A pond of sparkling water with a sailboat,
These are all the things that a little person loves.
Where green grass grows and children play,
Where happiness is night and day,
Where trees sing songs to birds up high,
And fear and hate say, goodbye,
Here I live in a land serene.
Alas, it’s but a wishful dream.
Four not embarrassing facts:
- I grew up in New York City
- I live in Portland, Oregon with my husband. We have one daughter.
- I have worked as a teacher, a modern dancer/choreographer, a waitress, and a phone salesperson, among other jobs
- I eat one square of dark chocolate every day