You have until July 31st to vote for CHILDREN’s Choice -here is the correct link

Here is the link to the list of finalists in Children’s Choice categories in the NZ Children’s B Awards.

– as chosen already by children – now is the time to vote – and by the end of this week – Friday 31st July

A vote for The Letterbox Cat is a vote for poetry! Yeah! Woohoo!

Letterbox Cat

Holiday postcards

When I was a girl, I loved getting postcards and I loved sending postcards.There is something magical about a postcard from another place with a little message on it.

When I left New Zealand in my twenties to explore the world I sent lots of postcards to friends and family. Nowadays people send messages on their phones, computers and other devices, but my daughter in Europe has promised to send me a postcard or two. I can’t wait.

Poetry Box usually goes on holiday in your holiday time so I can focus on my writing, but I thought it would be fun to send me poem postcards that you made yourselves. The old fashioned way using a stamp, a postbox and a letterbox.

I got two postcards, one from Daniel and one from Gemma! I was so excited to get them. They took me to another place which is just what postcards can do especially when there is a poem on them.

I think I might try this agin in the next holidays to see what arrives in my box.

I am sending Gemma and Daniel a surprise book.

Here they are:

photo 1 photo 2


photo 1




photo 2


My Adventurous Holiday

In the winter sunshine
My exploring in nature
Sees sun rise each morning.

By Daniel L Age 6, Year 2, Adventure School



Road Trip

A tomato, a dog, a giant welly

Some tanks, a mountain and a place that is smelly

Are we there yet?


A corrugated sheep, a great steel bridge

A very tall tower, a slipped road on a ridge

Are we there yet?


A clock museum, avocado trees,

Some fancy-pants toilets, and oranges if you please

Are we there yet?


Then finally the sea

We’re nearly in reach

Are we there yet?


Yes – it’s Coopers Beach!

By Gemma L Age 9, Year 5, Adventure School,


Northland Tour: Let’s get Skyping – this is a great way for authors to have sessions with schools throughout NZ

For the next few weeks I am doing follow-up Skype sessions with some of the schools I visited in Northland. I have done this before with Ngaio School in Wellington but this is on a bigger scale. Each school has come up with something different. All will be workshops but ranging from 16 to 75 in a session!

Yesterday I kicked it off with a writing workshop at Matarau School (just out of Whangarei). I was over the moon with how well it went. The only technical hitch was when the children spoke, it sounded like they were in the ocean (or a swimming pool) and I needed a dolphin interpreter (the teacher). But that worked! Every single student hooked into their own private poetry zone with supreme focus. Once they were into the process, one by one they, held their drafts up to the camera, and I was able to give feedback and mini challenges as I do in a classroom.

The poems were so good. I can’t wait to share at the end of the Skype season.

This is just amazing to me as it seems with support from people like The NZ Book Council (and on this occasion UNESCO) I can now work in rural out-of-the-way schools that hardly ever get writer visits.

w  o  n  d  e  r  f  u  l

excuse the fuzzy photo of my screen  you can see me in the right hand corner taking the photo


Northland Tour: Celebrating Maori Language Week can be very moving

Kia ora young poets,

I have always wanted to post a poem in Te Reo and today I can do it which is perfect timing.

This morning I was in my local supermarket and children from a nearby school were giving all the shoppers a lesson in Te Reo. We had to say the names of things we buy as they held up the posters. Children showed us to pronounce words, then we copied. The supermarket handed out scrumptious muffins and scones. Wow!

When I visited the very lovely Mania View School on my tour, the Te Reo class recited this poem they had written and then sang a waiata. I felt very welcomed by these gifts. Thank you. The gift of song is very precious.



Tiramarama nga whetu

Nga tuahine e whitu

Tiramarama Matariki e

Ka kite i te Moata e

He whakanui te Tau Hou

O te Iwi Maori e Matariki e!


The bright shining stars

The seven sisters

Shining bright for Matariki

You’ll see them early morning

Celebrating the Maori New Year

It is Matariki e!

photo 2 photo 1





Northland Tour: Some more poems from Onerahi School

This was the first school I visited on my tour and even though the poetry popped and crackled in the workshops (WOW! three workshops with about 75 children in each), I only posted one by Liam. I went back to my motel and fell asleep!

Here are some others that hooked me:


Kaitaia Cape

Black, white flag moves

brown kiwis hide away

the height of 100 ft

very far away.



blue house creaking

green bright pollen grass smell

white and brown dogs barking

the sound echoes

the bright blue sky with

white bright clouds

drifting through the sky.

Cars rumming on the road

the sun slowly drifting through

the sky also

people walking, talking.



Misty rain dropping

frosty outside walls

dew in the trees

aeroplanes zooming

freezing grass

water dripping

from cabbage tree leaves,

flax growing

from the rain,

flug lights

shining through

the windows.



People chanting, scores rising

light glows

balls rolling

down the oily alley

pins scattering

people smiling

teddy bears dropping

levers moving

buttons pushing

people playing games

winning noises

birthday singing.



Sunny skies

and sandy beaches,

grassy hills

and moving creatures,

bright pink starfish

and big huge whales

clear blue sea

and dolphin tales.



Water waving

people bathing

sand swishing

fish wishing

kids digging

life guards grinning

workers singing

dogs barking

and walking.



A big wild pig

in deep green trees.

A big deep strong

stream rushing to me.

The trees waving

around because

of the strong wind.




A big white box

filled with cold air

fruit veggie

freshly made juice

sitting n the shelf

four fat suasages

roasting on the plate

leftovers to share.




Baby was snoring,

woke up

‘Get ready!’


still laying

not moving

eyes close again.










Northland Poems: Kerikeri High school poems with great wintry moods!

I was so tired by the end of the week I didn’t get to post these. Visiting two groups of Year 7 students at Kerikeri High School was a wonderful experience. The sound of pencils scratching on the paper as the students got right into their poetry zones was spectacular. It deserves a poem.

A big thank you to the warm and firendly teachers and librarians. And for the delicious lunch!

Here are a few poems that struck me from this visit! Love the detail in these and the made-up words.


Chilly Winter

Frosty crystals forming

chilly wind howling past

bare trees moaning

this is winter.



Winter Awakes

Winter awakens

beds of frost

burning flames, winds singing

chimneys smoking, windows defending

flakes falling

sleds slicing

skis gliding, snowballs flyng

eyes awidening

winter has arrived.




Frosty grass, still

clouds like marshmallows,

cold toes.

Time to dip into some warm

slippers and start the





Green trees frosting

water ice cold

fire heating house

cosy woollen blanket


Ice skating, driftly

white gentle clouds

seagulls resting

pumpkin soup steaming

pot ready, on stove

for ,,,

hot chocolate to warm

me up.








Fourth fabulous Poetry Competition: Deadline July 31st – you get me in your school for two days!

Still time for schools to enter Fourth Fabulous Poetry Competition  DEADLINE July 31st

You send in 12 poems in total from your school  (an age range is an advantage but not essential).

There is no theme.

You can write any kinds of poems you like.

They get sent to The New Zealand Book Council not me.

Only winners will be notified.


Finalists and winners will be posted on the blog and on NZBC web site on Monday August 10th.

You need to send in one entry form with all the details completed.

Each poem must have child’s age, name and year.

Entry Forms here


Send to:


Fourth Fabulous Poetry Competition, New Zealand Book Council
Level 4, Stephenson & Turner House
156 Victoria Street
Te Aro, Wellington 6035