Reading Dappled Annie on the plane … and a challenge for you



When I fly on planes I like to do a cryptic crossword puzzle and then read a book. This time I had Mary McCallum’s beautiful Dappled Annie and the Tigrish (Gecko Press, 2014)It is a gorgeous book to hold (this is important) and it has delicious illustrations that catch your EYE.

In this story trees are very important. They can do extraordinary things because they are characters — not just trunks and leaves.

Annie is the main character and she is intrepid (bold, daring). After an earthquake, she and her brother set off  to find the missing trees and her missing father.

It is a bit like a fable, something magical, and something altogether wonderful to read.

Mary’s sentences are like little jewels. Here is a favourite: ‘her eyes shimmered in the gathered dark.’  It is a bit like poetry the way she has put ‘gathered’ in there.

So I highly recommend you read this book. Let me know what you think.

a    n    d  .  .  .  .  .  .

I gave you a challenge to write a poem using Mary’s first sentence. Mary has KINDLY donated a copy of the book as a prize. She will sign it for you! I will post my favourites and pick a winner.

Here is the challenge (Go here for some tips on first lines):

Some challenges:

1. Go on a hunt for first lines in other poems. Which ones do you like? Choose a favouritefirst line and then write a poem to go with it. Tell me where the first line comes from in a note at the bottom.

2. Or test out some of your own first lines and then pick one to write a poem for.

3. Or use this line by Mary McCallum as the first line of your poem:

A leaf is just the beginning.

This is the first line to her new novel for children, Dappled Annie and the Tigrish but I think it would make a great first line for a poem. I am about to fly to Wellington so I have her novel in my bag to read it. I can’t wait as the title of the book and the first line hooked me. I will let you know what I think of it! It is published by Gecko Press 2014.

DEADLINE for your challenge: Thursday March 20th

Send to Include your name, year, age and name of school. You can include your teacher’s name and email. PLEASE say it’s for the first-line, poem challenge.

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