A curious challenge to go with a marvellous book The Curioseum: Collected Stories of the Odd and Marvellous

The_Curioseum_cover-197x300   The_Curioseum_cover-197x300

Objects are fascinating. Things are fascinating.

So many things have stories. That is why I like going to museums and looking at things that take me to another place and another time. There is something mysterious about looking into a glass case and seeing something that is OUTSIDE what I know.

Objects are a stepping stone to a poetry adventure.

I was very excited to get a new book for children from Te Papa. I love this book! It fills me with all kinds of ideas I would like to do. It makes me want to write and it makes me want to catch a plane to Te Papa and see the objects there (ah, if only  could!). It makes me curious!

That is the perfect word to use, as the book is called: The Curioseum: Collected Stories of the Odd and Marvellous (Te Papa Press, 2014). Adrienne Jansen was the editor and worked with publishing students from Whitireia on the book.

Some of my favourite New Zealand poets and authors have stories and poems in here: Joy Cowley, Elizabeth Knox, Bill Manhire, Mandy Hager, Margaret Mahy, Barbara Else, James Brown, Bill Manhire. I love everything in the book, but I especially loved discovering a new author, Frances Samuel, who has written a cool story about a monster fish who has a boat stuck on its back. I especially loved Bill’s poem about stepping into and seeing colossal things. His poem made me laugh out loud.

They picked: a doll, some pounamu, the colossal squid, a purse, a dinosaur bone, the kiore (rat), a ceramic fish, a box of beetles, a foldaway boy, a spirit house, a cloak, a rifle, a fantail, a waka, a castaway suit, a bike, the kuri (dog), a teddy bear, a Pacific Island dog, Phar Lap.

This is one of my favourite books so far this year!

You can hear some of the authors reading their work here.

It also has zesty (good enough to eat!) illustrations by Sarah Laing who illustrated my book, Macaroni Moon.

At the back of the book, each author tells you what they saw in the museum that sparked their writing. What a great idea!


So … time for a challenge for you. I want you to find an object that has a story behind it. The object might be in a museum but it might belong to someone you know–your parents or grandparents or aunt or uncle.

The object might be odd or marvellous or strange or quite ordinary.

Use what you discover to help you write a poem.

I will post my favourite poems as part of the Story-Poem Challenge and, thanks to Te Papa Press, I have a copy of this wonderful book for one young poet. Woohoo!


DEADLINE for your Story-Poem Challenge: Wednesday June 4th

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com. Include your name, year, age and name of school. You can include your teacher’s name and email. PLEASE say it’s for the Story-Poem challenge.



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