Yesterday was a rainy rainy day in Auckland but that didn’t stop masses of children and parents coming to the Aotea Centre to meet loads of children’s authors and do loads of activities. I got to launch my new book, The Letterbox Cat and Other Poems, and to spend time in the wonderful poetry zone.
I had a wonderful minder called Patricia who went and got me pumpkin soup to keep my energy up.
Penny from Scholastic launched my book with the best speech ever. She talked about what poetry does and why they picked the book. Just like me, she loves American poet, Shel Silverstein‘s Where the Sidewalk Ends.
I had picked him in my Top 5 Poetry Books for children for The New Zealand Book Council’s latest Booknotes Unbound.
My launch was special to me as children helped me out.
Emily from Balmoral School read a cat poem, along with Venetia, Lucy, Helen and Ollie from Gladstone School, and Skye, Sultan, Sarah, Lyrix and Toa from Glen Eden Primary School. The cat poems were stunning and the children all read with poise and confidence.
Cornwall Park School had students perform three of my poems and i was so moved at the way they brought the poems to life: ‘At Sea,’ ‘Faces,’ and ‘A Snail Poem.’ They made me smile and laugh out loud! And we all loved the reciting snail sliding across the stage. Oh the funny faces and the wavy sea. Thanks to Colleen and Jane for taking time out of your busy school schedules.
St Kentigern’s School for Girls also astonished me with their performances of ‘The Gargle Bird’ and ‘Rain.’ They made poems make music in the air. I loved the way they used their hands as much as their voices. Wow! Thanks to Judy for her dedication to words and books and creating such terrific recitals.
Myles Lawford, the illustrator, turned up to help me sign books and did cool pictures for everyone. Paper P;lus and Glenfield has some left over signed copies by him!
The Poetry Zone was full of cool activities. There was a poetry picnic, poetry mystery boxes and poetry feel boxes. Children who wrote poems got to read them at the mic! That was pretty amazing. I have posted my favourite poems from the mystery box below.
I was delighted to meet so many poetry fans. It was a splendid day so a big and especial thanks to the wonderful Storylines team. Thank you!
Here is my Family Day Photo Album (some photos are a bit fuzyy but you get the occasion!)
And here is my favourite poem from the mystery box:
Storylines Poem by Evan (age 11)
A poem ‘about green’
LEAVES falling, spinning down to the
GRASS, covered in fresh morning dew. A young boy wears green
SHORTS and a loose stripy green
T-SHIRT too. The sounds of the mountain
KEA squawking very proudly. Nearby in a green
ALLIGATOR chomps loudly and as the young boy retires to bed
He has sweet dreams about the colour….RED