Monthly Archives: March 2016

Some favourite playful poems

Oscar's Poetry Challenge.jpg

Oscar, aged 8, Red Beach School


What a fabulous lot of poems arrived in the month of March.

All I challenged you to do was to play with words.

I have picked some favourites but please try my April challenge if you missed out this time! I loved them all!

I am sending  a book to Daniel and Rylee.

I love the way some poems are short and are some are long!


Thank you!


My Dream Summer

Up comes the sun

Fresh breeze,

Summer smell,

New day


Swimming in the ocean


lobster catching,

Sand castle building


Down goes the sun

Stars come up,

Wrapped in blankets by the fire,

Toasting marshmallows


Up comes the moon


Shooting stars,

Waiting for tomorrow
By Mika J, age 10, Gladstone School


New Bug

New Bug

Eats cake

When he’s hungry.


Bug sleeps

Under the bed

Growing old.


Old Bug

Living still.

Doesn’t have food.


Bug is on the verge of life

Under the bed

Ghastly pale.


Bug is dead

Under the bed.

Growing up is a New Bug.


By Emma N  Gladstone School


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Pieta, age 10, Y6, St Andrew’s Preparatory School


Deep Dark Caves
​Shadows moving,
As gloomy as a dark, dark cellar,
Echoes like spooky ghosts,
No light, pitch black,
Suddenly rocks start to shake,
Earth Quake!
Rocks and boulders start to crumble,
Your exit is blocked,
Your worst nightmare has come true,
What are you going to do?!

Megan S, 9 years old, St Andrew’s College.


From work to play!

At work

I earn my pork

Down at the port

Where I sort

Through all the soot

Until I put my timecard in the slot


At home I peek through the slat

And see a dragon I need to slay….

It’s my little boy, who’s been waiting for me to come home and play


Gemma (Age 10, Y6, Adventure School): I chose the words for my poem by doing a word play game.  I changed “work” 1 letter at a time until I got to “play”, and then I used all the words I made whilst doing that to help build my poem.













My Floating Island

On my floating Island I have a Castle,

I am the King of the Island.

A mysterious liquid called water,

Flooded my luxury home.

I had to run fast,

Soon I was at the top of the Castle.

Stranded on my Island I swam a million kilometres,

And got to New Zealand,

And started to write this poem.

And now it is finished.


By Alexander F, Age 6,  Ilam Primary School



In the snowy mountains pockets of feathers
lie in the river-mouth.
oily wings
leak from
the moreporks above,
tiptoeing eggs
fall from the willows.

Rylee 8 years St Andrew’s College


Meeting the Writer

The trees are still by the rocky beach as an old man gazes far and wide

I ask him “what you doing?”

A muffled whisper comes out with his breath

His pencil started squiggling upon the full square moon

As I read I floated away to many magnificent fantasy places

As I slip here and there pictures and ideas I’ve never had spring up in my head

Until the wind stood still and I realised I was stuck until the old man slumped back

Help! Help! Help!

Sophia D, age 8, Y4, Ilam School


Dear X-Reader

I am the crumpled up newspaper you threw in the bin last Friday.

And I have some questions for you!

Why didn’t you read me!

You just chucked me out.

I could’ve done some good for the world.

So I made a list of everything I could have been…

I could have been a fire starter, recycling, which is what I really wanted to be, a rocket, for your son, or a paper airplane!

See there are heaps of things I could have been.

But of course, You didn’t let me!

So now you know my  questions I expect an answer.

Yours NOT sincerely,

The crumpled up newspaper you threw in the bin last Friday.

​Erica B, Year 8, 12 Year old, Selwyn House School



Other rockets land on the moon.
I walk over the moon bumps.
Salt drys my tongue
I struggle to breathe.
Enchanted stars pull me into a broad sleep.


Emily L, Y7, age 11, Selwyn House School


Midnight in New York
Bright lights
On till dawn.
Laughter of those
in the trance of the night.
The stars dance
around the Chrysler building.
Puddles of life.
The life of the night.

Xanthe M age: 9, Selwyn House School



I am a surfer
Making the ocean go wild.
Scraping my board across the water.
Suddenly the waves start curling around
Sucking in slicks of water
Building up with suspense over the back of me
Pulling over my head,
Then smashing on top of me.
I know this is the end.
The end of my town.
The end of my surfing style.
I start to close my eyes.

Mel L, Age 9, Selwyn House School

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Daniel L, age 7, Year 3, Adventure School



Gliding across the clear blue sky,
Looking down below,
Climbing through cracks and crevices,
Leaping from building to building.
I am a hang-glider,
I am a climber,
I am a daredevil.
Touching the clear blue sky.

By Kate W, age: 9, year: 6, Fendalton Open-air School

A very lovely cluster of books from Gecko Press

  1. The Pencil by Paula Bossio




This is a board book with coloured pencil drawings that is really really really really cool! Imagine a girl following a pencil line and seeing where it leads her.

It is not so much where the line goes but what the line becomes.


A skipping rope

something to slip and curl and slip and curl down

a whirligig ball for a whirligig girl

big beautiful bubbles to blow and blow

and ………………………………………….oh!

I can’t give e v e r y t h i n g  away!

You will have to read this very gorgeous book yourself.


I am wondering how I can use the idea for a poem.



2. How to Be Famous by Michal Shalev




This is a very very very groovy book about some very groovy and very famous pigeons.

Any pigeon who is not famous is NOT from their family.

The star of the book who is telling the story is a famous model.

The star pigeon has such a big mouth! What a show off!


And the book has a very cunning ending that fits a famous pigeon with a very BIG mouth!



3. Detective Gordon: A Complicated Case by Ulf Nilsson illustrated by Gitte Spee


cv_a_complicated_case.jpg cv_a_complicated_case.jpgcv_a_complicated_case.jpg


If you like the sound of a detective toad

whose best friend is Buffy the mouse

and who adores eating cakes

and has so much courage

stored inside of him

and does a tremendous amount of sleeping

and dreaming and going

out on secret missions

and showing kindness

then ….


…. this is just the book for you!


Happy Easter! You can still try my March poetry challenges!

Eva’s very cool poem from Starship Hospital


I am a big fan of what Cure Kids do to help our sick children.

The grandmother of Daniel and Gemma, two Poetry Box fans, showed them this poem in a magazine.

I love it. I love the way poems can do all kinds of things.

It was written by Eva when she was in Starship Hospital.

I love the way she could look out her window and see The Sky Tower and it would remind her of things.

I am all aglow with poetry. Thank you.


Ruapehu Writers Festival children’s session

I have spent five, fabulous days in Ohakune and am just about to head home. Sad! This has been the best festival ever. I was very glad to do a session with children. This is the poem they made up with me. 

Mt Ruapehu 
Rocky snow

hill of ice cream

Steep slopes

a rider’s playground

As high as a skyscraper
By Will, Kodo, Grace, Joshua, Jenna, Paige and Natasha
Thanks Ohakune for a wonderful  


Ohakune Primary School thank you!

Today was my first school visit of the year. I am not doing many while I write my big book. It was extra special because I have never been to a school in the middle of the North Island. I love this school. It reminded me of why I love being a children’s author.

The students and staff were so enthusiastic about poetry. So warm and friendly.


Here are a few poems we made up.

Years 0 to 4


The Cat

White cat

walking climbing catching

eats dog food

eats grass

jumping playing purring

sleeps under a couch.



NZ Native Creatures

The frog’s jumping

like a kangaroo

on the lily pad.

The mountain moth is flying

like a bird.

The takahe is eating

by the pond.

The owl’s sleeping.


Years 4 to 8



Shiny blue feathers

dipping diving

flipping and flapping

webbed feet spreading

females growling

down on the rapids

whistling through the air.



Mt Ruapehu

Like a tub

of cookies and cream

glistening, gleaming, freezing

chairlifts march up the hill

shaved ice on the side

draped in white lace

goosebumps on my skin.



I have some cool photos I will post.




Poetry Box March Blog: Poetry is Play


I  love to play with words no matter what I am writing.

When I write a poem I like to have fun.

So this month your challenge is to play with words.

I like to hear and see what happens when I put a word next to another word.


Use my tips however you like! All my rules CAN be broken!

I will publish some of my favourite poems on the last day of March. I will have a book for at least one young poet. This is not a competition …. think of it is a PLAYFUL challenge!


YOU can ALWAYS use EXTRA Words NOT just the ones you COLLECT!

  1. Think of a subject.
  2. Collect some words. Use your senses to help collect them. Get 10 or 20 or 30 or 40 or 5o. You choose! The more the better.
  3. Make a word pattern poem with only 3 or 4 or 5 of the words. Repeat them in different ways. Listen and look!
  4. Use some of the words to write a short poem on the subject but use NO adjectives or adverbs (maximum 20 words).  Now rewrite your poem and out in some juicy adjectives.
  5. Write a poem using some of your words and  use no more than three words on the line.
  6. Play with how many words you use on the line.
  7. Hide something in your poem for me to find.
  8. Play with the ending. Will it surprise me? Put a smile on my face? Make me feel something? Sound good?
  9. Set your poem out so it looks different on the page or screen.
  10. Play with how your poems tell me a little story.
  11. Play with how you leave gaps or white space in your poem.
  12. Play with what happens at the end of the line.
  13. Pick three of things in this list to play with in one poem.
  14. hmmm … just thinking! your choice
  15. Think of three favourite things you like and out them all in the same poem.
  16. Find three surprising similes and put them all in the same poem.
  17. Think of something that has happened to you that sticks in your mind. Tell me some things about it in your poem but keep some things to yourself.
  18. Let you imagination go wild in a poem.
  19. Write a poem where you have to imagine what it is like to be somewhere you have never been or be someone you have never met. Play with the idea.
  20. Write a really really really small poem. Try it a few ways. Play with it!


Send to:

Deadline:  27th March.

Include your name, age, year and name of school.

You can include your teacher’s email address.

Poetry Box wakes up!


Dear Young Poetry Fans


Poetry Box has had a  long summer break but I have been very busy writing poems, getting started on my big new book and getting my fractured foot better (still can’t run but maybe by the end of April!).

This year is going to be a hard-work writing year for me so I am only going to post main posts on the first day of every month!

That is today!

Happy first day of Autumn (it doesn’t feel like that in hot hot Auckland).


This afternoon I will post the March post for you all to open!


Warm poetry greetings from

Paula  xxx