Monthly Archives: November 2013

Reading Festival: The Boring Book by Vasanti Unka is NOT at all boring

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(shh! this not a boring book, this is a superduper book what ever the title says)

I started the Reading Festival with a book and I am finishing it with a book!

The Boring Book by Vasanti Unka is about some words in a really boring book that decide it is time to have fun. So they don’t just stay in straight rows, they slip and slide on the page. And they make pictures of things (like we have been doing in our picture poems). And they  go outside and jump into signs. BUT they got so noisy everyone got cross and all the words VANISHED!

And how do you think the world was then?


Write and tell me what you think the world would be like with no words or books!

Send to Include your name, age, year and name of school. I will have a spot prize for a favourite answer.

Reading Festival: a very jumpy dog poem by Raevyn


Raevyn goes to Russley School in Christchurch and was inspired by Margaret Mahy’s Dashing Dog poem to write one herself. I loved reading this with its dashing lines and bouncy words. Great job!

I have a kind dog

she is a really playful dog

I love her to bits

and she loves me too

she is a German shepherd

a very jumpy dog

she gets excited when she sees people

my dog knows how to do tricks

my dog is very tricky to play to play with

she is a speedy dog

my dog loves going in the river

she is so speedy that I can’t  beat her



By Raevyn, Year 5

Reading Festival: Ewen makes a dark kingdom out of book titles

I love the idea of keeping a reading book. I go to a Book Club for YA books and I have kept a notebook where I write about the books I have read. But I only do it for that. Maybe next year I will keep a notebook where I jot down thoughts on all the poetry books I read. Ewen has used her reading book to find titles to make into a poem. I had fun reading this!

Ewen aged 11, Year 6, Fendalton Open Air Primary School, Christchurch

Hi Paula,

I have written this poem out of books I have read this year. At Fendalton School we have a Book Club (lead by our awesome librarian Desna) and at the beginning of the year we were given this book to write any ‘booky’ things in there so I recorded all the books I read.  Thank you for making these fun challenges.

I hope you enjoy reading my poem!

Dark Kingdom

syren wails on dark days

on those days
shadow is cast

upon the little princess.

She lives in 
The Kingdom of the Wicked

where magyk has ruled

since ‘The Arctic Incident‘.

Every street
has a path of the beasts

leaving trash
in their trail.

Not last night but the night before

she sat in the secret garden

red rocks lay in the middle.

She stroked them softly


She was transported to Siberia

now free
from The Kingdom of the Wicked.


Reading Festival: Gemma has a book nook

Two lovely poems from Gemma. Thanks, your poems have painted pictures for me!

Dear Paula


I am glad my book arrived safely!

I have written 2 poems this week.


I hope you like reading them as much as I liked writing them!


Thank you from


Age 7

Year 3

Adventure School




1. My favourite place to read


The Book Nook


In my book nook

I hear only the flutter of the pages

As I read on

Until I finish the book


But then I start another.

I feel quite peaceful

I smell the ink on the pages

I taste the excitement of the story


No one knows I’m in my nook

It is my cave

Books surrounding me like bears

But I see only words


2. A poem as the favourite character

The Silver Chair


Through the portal

Falling deep

Sent by Aslan

To find Green Kirtle

Quest hijacked

Spells and tricks

Under me

Rescue me

In the name of Aslan

Before it is too late

Reading Festival: last day!

What a busy few weeks it has been on Poetry Box celebrating reading with all your help!

I have a few more things to post today and then on Monday I will announce the spot prizes.

A big thanks to everyone who joined in! Yesterday was the last day for entries to all the challenges as today I am making my picks.

Thanks to you, I have a little list of books to go on the hunt for — just as I am about to enjoy my summer reading months. Bliss!

Reading Festival: Sylvia (12) has an extraordinary reading life as this interview shows

I really loved reading this interview with Sylvia as I fell upon so many books I loved. She reads wide and far and deep which is what I like to do as a reader. The year I was a judge for the NZ Book Awards I got to read all sorts of books I wouldn’t usually read and I loved it — especially the non-fiction. I adore the quote Sylvia has shared with us! This is a wonderful interview Sylvia. You have put a lot of time into it. Awesome job!

Hi again Paula Green! This is an interview for book week from me. You can edit it and make it shorter if you want because I think it’s probably too long. Thank you for posting my other poem!


Sylvia, 12 years old, Parnell District School, Auckland

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What books did you love when you were little?
When I was little, some of my favourite books were The Fierce Little Woman and The Wicked Pirate by Joy Cowley and The Big Big Sea. I liked a lot of different picture books. I also loved Where The Wild Things Are.
Where is Your Favourite Place To Read?
I’ll read anywhere! But most of the time I go into my room, shut the door, and curl up next to my bed.
What do you like about reading?
Reading helps you empathise with other people and understand their feelings. Reading can often relate to situations in real life and help you deal with them. I think reading is very important. One of my favourite quotes is
“We read to know we are not alone”
-C.S. Lewis

I think this is definitely true. And reading can help you escape from the real world is you’re upset and help you pretend you are in another place. When I am sad reading helps me feel better for this reason.

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Do you have a favourite book character?
Waaayyy to difficult. But some of my favourite characters are:
Neville Longbottom from Harry Potter– Because he shows anyone can be who they want to be, and that no-one is “stupid” they can better at things with practice.
Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter– because she shows that you can be yourself and it doesn’t matter what other people think about you.
China Sorrows from Skullduggery Pleasant– because she shows that everyone doesn’t have to stay “bad” they can come to the light, and because even if she doesn’t like to admit it, she really cares about other people.
Finnick Odair from The Hunger Games (the series, not the novel)- because he is funny and kind, and adds some light to the series. He is also very misunderstood. I was so sad when Finnick died.
Johanna Mason from The Hunger Games (series not the first novel)- because, like Finnick, she is funny and adds some light, and also misunderstood. I was relieved when she didn’t die.
Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre– because she stands up for what she believes in and always keeps to her morals. She is not afraid to speak out if confronted.
Numerous past “favourite characters” who have died and then I have simply gotten over them, so even though I am sad they died, and I was crying in some of their deaths, I am not sure what I feel about them now. e.g. Tanith Low from Skullduggery Pleasant (who technically didn’t die but got taken over by an evil spirit, but same thing), Remus Lupin from Harry Potter, Neodora Tonks from Harry Potter, Sirius Black from Harry Potter, Dobby from Harry Potter, Kenspeckle Grouse from Skullduggery Pleasant.etc

And another person who has died in the most recent Skullduggery Pleasant book. He was never my favourite character but his death was the more sad than any other I’ve encountered, ever. I cried and I cried, and cried so much, and then I was in shock. Which is funny because I never appreciated him until now. RIP. Ghastly Bespoke.

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What kind of books do you like and why?

I like all sorts of books! I basically like any sort of book that’s a good one in my opinion. But I often like sad or serious books. My favourite books are Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Skullduggery Pleasant, and When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata, The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay.


Do you have a favourite illustrator? What do you love about his/her books?

Well I suppose if I had to decide it would be Lauren Child, who both wrote and illustrated the Charlie and lola books. Her illustrations are cute and funny. They are interesting and draw you in.


Has a book ever made you sad?

A lot of times! Basically every book I read makes me feel sad at some point. I think the saddest book I have ever read has to be LSODM (Last Stand of Dead Men, the Skullduggery Pleasant book where Ghastly dies and Valkyrie gets taken over by   Darquesse.) or The Tulip Touch by Anne Fine, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, or MockingJay by Suzanne Collins. Oh and also The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman.


Has a book ever made you happy?
Yes. Not as often as it has made me sad but it has often made me feel happy. I think one of my happiest moments was when Balthamos from The Amber Spyglass finally turned up after being missing for ages. When he came back I jumped around the room going “Yaaaayyy!!!!”
Has a book ever made you laugh out loud?

While the Skullduggery Pleasant series are very sad, there are heaps of jokes chucked in, and they always make me laugh out loud.

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Has a teacher ever read you a cool book? What did you like about it?
I liked Love That Dog by Sharon Creech which Mrs Brett read to us in Yr 5 or 6. I liked it because it was a clever combination of poetry and a novel which was interesting.

Reading Festival: Ewen tempts me to read a new book

I haven’t read this Ewen, so I am going to after reading your review! That is what reviews can do .. tempt you to read something new!

Hi Paula,

This is what I wrote for challenge no.4 (tell me about a book you love).

I hope you like it!



The Last Thirteen
James Phelan
Boom! A helicopter crashes into the room, grasping Sam’s arm. Eva dreamed it; it happened. Where Eva’s dream ended, Sam’s had begun.

Sam dreamed it; it happened. But the ending’s not to flash. Sam, Eva and Alex (another chosen boy) must change it with the help of some people from the academy. But Solaris (the bad guy) wants something Sam has, though what does it do? What makes it so special?

A sudden ending which tempts you to read the next book. I really enjoyed the action and the creativity of the story.

Ewen aged 11, Year 6, Fendalton Open Air Primary School, Christchurch

Reading Festival: Kyle and Cody review a favourite book

Two Year 5 students, Kyle and Cody, from Russley School have reviewed Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Kyle: My favourite book is Diary of a Wimpy KidThird Wheel. It was written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney. My favourite part is when Greg finally finds a date but him and Rowley have the same date.

Cody (age 10, Year 5): My favourite book I’m reading is: Diary of a Wimpy KidHard Luck by Jeff Kinney and illustrated by him too. The sad bit about the book is that Rowley Jefferson ditched his best friend Greg Hefley for a girlfriend, so Greg tries to find a new best friend in middle school. But Greg was wrong- finding another best friend is really hard because all the kids think they’re too cool for school.