Monthly Archives: October 2015

Another fabulous class poem YO-1 made with me at Ormond School

Some Year Ones joined in a workshop with Y2 and 3s and collected sky words. We used some of these words the next day and added more to come up with this class poem.



Fluffy floating soft clouds

birds diving gliding flying

the sun shines

buttercup sun

daffodil sun

An aeroplane zooms

and glides

A rainbow colourful and bendy





Ormond School – Y 2 and 3 write sky poems that dazzle me

The children hunted for words. They wrote tiny poems. And then they set sail in their longer poems.

Pictures of the sky grew in my head as I read. I loved the way the children took off in different

directions but always came back to sky. I have picked just a handful to post.

I loved this session! Thank you.



The cloud goes gray,

birds fly in

the deep deep

blue sky.

From the gray and

black cloud, thunder.

Ksh ksh goes the





The Sky

In the sparkly night

waves went wild

in the sky

like a skateboard



Beautiful Clouds

Marshmallowy clouds

clouds move around

I see sheep clouds

beautiful clouds



Fluffy Cloud

It is like I am

going though a

fat marshmallow

It is smooth

soft too

and the sun

is shining bright

on me




Big white cloud

flying through the sky

going very slow

looking at the blue




Hot boiling




so hot.



Winning school visit (Ormond School) An adorable Year0/1 poem and an illustration challenge for you

I am back home after my visit to the most darling country school near Gisborne. I loved the way the teachers joined in all the workshops and helped the children find their poetry paths. Thank you so very much. You were all amazing. Inspiring people to be around.

I visited the  Y0/1 class (kowhai) for just thirty minutes (they were in the long session with the whole school in the hall though and lasted so beautifully).

We made up two poems together. I especially love the cat poem. All the words came from the children. I love this poem so much I thought up a really cool challenge for it. See below for details.



Orange like mandarin skin,

my cat purrs

and plays with silvery

wool like pillows.

She sleeps

in a beanbag

and in a wood box

and on the rainbow couch.

But her favourite place

is a knitted basket.


I thought it would be very cool to post it again with some illustrations by children. You will need to scan and send your drawing to me (not as a PDF please but a jpeg).

I will post my favourites with the poem and have a copy of The Letterbox Cat for one child. See below for deadline and details.

Deadline: Wednesday 4th November ( I will post on 5th November)

Send to  Put cat drawing in subject line. Include your name, age, year and name of school. You can include your teacher’s email.




#nzbookweek – Whose Beak Is This? – This book should be in every classroom




Whose Beak Is This? is written by Gillian Candler with illustrations by Gillian Candler. It has just been published by Potton and Burton.

You get to see a beak and you have to guess which bird it belongs to.

What a great idea! I had a go and I got some right and some wrong. I had just seen kaka pecking the apple on the deck when we were on Stewart Island, so I knew those.


There is lots of good information with clear writing and strong  Illustrations.

This book should be in every classroom.

Visiting Ormond School in Gisborne – what a treat

This week I am visiting the North Island winner of the Fourth Fabulous Poetry Competition for Children. Ormond School is about 20 kms from Gisborne. A darling little country school.

Yesterday I did a session with all the students in the hall and then workshops. Spectacular. I

love the way the children pitch in to poetry. I love the way the teachers pitch in during the workshops. I can’t wait to share some of their fabulous writing. It helps to have Sarah (a teacher) and Penny (the Principal) so passionate about poetry.

I love the way they made tomato soup with herbs from the school garden for my lunch.

I arrived on Monday and went for a walk along the boardwalk at Waikanae Beach then got a hot potato with coleslaw at mid way beach. Perfect as the wind was wild and whippy. Everyone is on a big mission to clear the wood that has washed up on the sand. Wow! What a job.

And I am getting lots of ideas for poems here.

A big thanks to The NZ Book Council for supporting my trip. Thank you!



#nzbookweek – Changing Times: The story of a NZ town and its newspaper


This is a new book written by Bob Kerr and published by Craig and Burton, and is aimed at 7 to 12 year olds.

Matt is cycling round town delivering the town’s last newspaper. The book takes us back to see stories from different moments in the history of the town. It is like a graphic novel/picture book/ bunch of newspaper clippings.





It made me think about how my grandparents used to do things. How I used to do things.

Like  –  post someone a letter instead of sending them a Facebook message or a text.

Like  – get the milk from the milkman.

Like  –  write everything by hand and then on a typewriter.

Like – only have two TV channels to pick from (we didn’t have a TV though).


With our newspapers under threat, they and have to keep reinventing themselves. This book is timely.

It is a book that will spark all kinds of discussions about who we are, who we have been and who we will be.


I got lots of ideas for poems in this book.  A changing times poem.

I loved it. It is a little treasure trove that you can spend hours engrossed in. Go  hunting!


Every class should have a copy of this book.






This week is NZ Book Week so I’m sharing a NZ book each day – Hello World! You can read this book in one sweet gulp



Try this gorgeous picture book, Hello World, written and illustrated by Paul Beavis.


I         a d o r e          it    !


Mr and Mrs Mo are so busy they have NO time to play with the monster so he gets very upset.

He stops and he thinks and decides to pack his bag with mysterious and surprising things and head off on a big adventure.

If no one has time to play with him, he decides to make his own fun.


I really like the way the story unfolds and I especially like the ending.

The illustrations are bright, zippy, eye-catching, fun, immensely lovable.


You can read this book in one sweet gulp and then sit back and read it again.


g o      h u n t i n g     f o  r          i  t!