Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Skinny Dip with Lynne Jonell

bk_SignCatFavorite hol­i­day tra­di­tion?

One of my favorite things ever is when we sit around the table at Thanks­giv­ing and take turns telling what we are par­tic­u­lar­ly thank­ful for, that year. I get a lit­tle choked up, espe­cial­ly when I lis­ten to my sons.

Were you a teacher’s pet or teacher’s chal­lenge?

I was a teacher’s pet up through sixth grade, and then teacher’s night­mare there­after. (My ninth grade Eng­lish teacher hat­ed me so much, she slot­ted me into the slow class for tenth grade Eng­lish. I couldn’t fig­ure out why I was in a class with a high pro­por­tion of good-look­ing jocks, but I wasn’t com­plain­ing! My moth­er dis­cov­ered what had hap­pened in my senior year, but by then it was too late.)

Upon reflec­tion, I think I was prob­a­bly a fair­ly chal­leng­ing teacher’s pet, as well.

What’s the first book report you ever wrote?

bk_WitchFamilyI can’t be absolute­ly cer­tain, but I think it was The Witch Fam­i­ly by Eleanor Estes. Besides the fab­u­lous mix of real­i­ty and fan­ta­sy, which I have always loved, the great thing about that book was that I dis­cov­ered it when it was my turn to choose library books for our small in-class­room library. All the oth­er third grade girls loved my choice, and begged to read it after me; and for a week, I was pop­u­lar!

Do you like to gift wrap presents?

Yes, and I thought I was pret­ty good at it until we had an all-fam­i­ly Olympics one sum­mer. One of the events was gift-wrapping—blindfolded—and my team put me head-to-head with my old­er sis­ter, Kathy. Not to put too fine a point on it, she mopped the floor with me.

What do you wish you could tell your 10-year-old self?

In the immor­tal words of Bob Mar­ley, “Don’t wor­ry ‘bout a thing, ‘cause every lit­tle thing gonna be all right.”

What 3 children’s book authors or illus­tra­tors or edi­tors would you like to invite to din­ner?

gr_authorsLouisa May Alcott: She cap­ti­vat­ed me on a fam­i­ly vaca­tion with Lit­tle Women. I had already read through the stack of books I’d brought for the car trip, and my moth­er bought that book for me instead of the com­ic book I want­ed. Though I com­plained at first, I read the first page—and I was hooked for­ev­er.

C.S. Lewis: He pulled me into his mag­i­cal world of Nar­nia, with its great themes of good and evil and chil­dren whose choic­es had pow­er­ful reper­cus­sions, and I only wished he had writ­ten a hun­dred sto­ries for me to devour, instead of just sev­en.

Madeleine L’Engle: I still remem­ber exact­ly where I was when I read A Wrin­kle in Time in sixth grade, and how I reread the final chap­ter because I couldn’t bear for it to be over. When I closed the book at last, I knew that what I want­ed to do most of all was to write sto­ries like that, for kids like me.

Where’s your favorite place to read?

It depends on the sea­son!

Win­ter: curled up in bed with my elec­tric blan­ket on high. Sum­mer: on the back patio, in the wood­en swing, with cush­ions and a tall glass of some­thing cool. And in spring or fall, on a com­fort­able sag­ging cor­ner of my favorite couch, next to my grandfather’s old glass-front­ed book­case (which hous­es my favorite children’s books.)


One Response to Skinny Dip with Lynne Jonell

  1. David LaRochelle August 22, 2015 at 10:25 pm #

    Please invite me to your lit­er­ary din­ner, Lynne. I’d love to hear those three authors talk. I’ll even do the dish­es after!

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