Monthly Archives: June 2019

Poetry Box June challenge: some favourite pattern poems

Making patterns in poems is such  fun. Poets have been doing it for centuries. Nowadays making patterns is as much about play is as it is about tight rules.

This was a challenge you loved! I got a MOUNTAIN of emails. So it has been extra hard choosing just a few poems to post.

Remember I love reading your poems; and the most important thing is you love writing.

You might like to try writing a poem with one of the titles from my new book Groovy Fish and other poems. My July challenge!

You might like to come and meet me at my Groovy Fish holiday events in Auckland and Wellington.


I am sending a copy of Groovy Fish to Ella at Oranga School.


Some favourite pattern poems



The dog, the cat, the cheese and the moon

The dog chases the cat
The cat chases the mouse
The mouse chases the cheese
And the cheese chases the moon.
The moon chases the sunlight
Reflecting shattering glass.
The dog dreams of the cat
The cat dreams of the mouse
The mouse dreams of the cheese
The cheese is on the moon.

Georgie, Selwyn House School Christchurch



Wind whistles through the gaps
moonlight filters through the thatching
a straining, brittle beam snaps
wind whistles through the gaps
a thin dry sapling cracks, bends and snaps
a nightingale calling its mate, singing
wind whistles through the gaps
moonlight filters through the thatching

Rain W, 11 years old, Year 7, Selwyn House School


The ocean

The ocean is shining like the big bright sun
The waves are crashing into each other
Some of the people are going for a run
The ocean is shining like the big bright sun
I see some people eating a Spanish bun
I go to see the cave with my mother
The ocean is shining like the big bright sun
The waves are crashing into each other

Ella C, 9 years old, Year 5 from Oranga School


Morning Butterfly

The butterfly is woken by birds
The dew lands gently on her wings
The butterfly is woken by birds
The dew sparkles in the sun
The butterfly is woken by birds
The dew makes her look like she is made of crystal

Charlotte K, age 8, year 3, Ilam School


We sing

The cat sings along the beach
The dog sings down the road
The cat sings her milk down
The dog sings by the fire

I sing to the cold mountains
I sing to the shimmering moon
I sing to the starry night
I sing to the sun that is ever so bright

The cat sings to the mouse
The dog sings under the tree
The cat sings by the ocean
The dog sings in his bed

Anneliese S,  Age: 10  Selwyn House School


Two birds in a tree

Two birds in a tree
singing a song
singing a song
Two birds in a tree
getting along
getting along
two birds in tree
singing their bracket
two birds in a tree
making a racket!

Lily M. and Lily A. ages 10-11 Paekakariki School


This Is An Arrow





This i

This is

This is a

This is an

This is an a

This is an ar

This is an arr

This is an arro

This is an arrow

This is an arro

This is an arr

This is an ar

This is an a

This is an

This is a

This is

This i





Kahu Age: 10, Year: 5, Gladstone Primary School, Auckland



Skip skip skop
Bop bip bap
Gop hip cop
Cob cib bib
Dib dob dap cap.

Ben E, age 7, St. Andrews College, Christchurch


Bottle Lake Forest Rondelet
We’re by the sky.
The clouds are building misty fog.
We’re by the sky.
My brother makes a cottage pie.
My father finds a giant frog,
that disappears in the smog.
We’re by the sky.

Tom N, 10 year 6, Hoon Hay School/ Te Kura Koaka


Koalas Climb Trees

Koalas climb trees

Above all the predators

Koalas climb trees

Usually eucalyptus

Koalas climb trees

That get cut down by humans

Koalas climb trees

But soon there won’t be any more

Lucile Age: 10 yrs Yr: 5 Gladstone Primary


The dog prances along the long grass
The astronaut prances along the moon
The cat prances along the fuzzy carpet
The pilot prances along the clouds

The sun
The sun shines on the ocean
The sunset goes to bed
The sun peeks through the clouds
The sunrise wakes up

Mia D Age: 10 Selwyn House School, Christchurch (two poems)



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Tahi H age: 9 year: 5  Gladstone Primary School


Matt the Fluffy Bubble Cat

Bubble Cat
Trouble cat
Bubble trouble cat
Bubble trouble Flat
Bubble trouble Flat Cat

Matt the cat sat on the mat
Matt the cat chased a rat
Matt the cat took of his hat
Matt the cat is flat

Fluffy Cat
Scruffy Cat
Lucky cat
Funny Cat
Kitty Cat

Charlotte, aged 11,  Selwyn House School

The Dog

The dog sleeps on pepperoni
The dog sleeps on cotton candy
The dog sleeps on a Ruru’s back
The dog sleeps on a baby’s hand

The dog sleeps in the middle of a lake
The dog sleeps in some strawberry pie
The dog sleeps on a soft fern

By Zoe S,  Age 7  Year 3 St Andrews College


Sing Sharp

Hip Hop Hip
Skip Slop Skip
Sing King Sing
Triangle Sharp

Maia T Ilam School, Year 3


My Cat Star

My cat Star loves chewing tuna and crunchy fish
but boy she leaves a messy dish
My cat Star loves to jump up on my bed
she purrs when I stroke her on the head
My cat Star loves her toy cat and won’t let go
and I like that too you know
My cat Star enjoys catching mice
I think Star is better than nice

Olivia Burt Age 8 Year 4 Maoribank School


The Fantail

The fantail is flapping towards water for a drink
The fantail is catching flying bugs
The fantail is frolicking in a nest full of family
What a fantastic fantail!

Krysta T Age 9, Year 5 Te Awaiti Maoribank School


A, B, C, 1, 2, 3

Argyle acorn A’s.
Blotch bug B’s.
Checkered cheese C’s.
Dotty Dandelion D’s.
Every Even E’s.
Fleck Fan F’s.
Gingham goat G’s.
Herringbone Hamburgers H’s.
Iced igloo I’s.
Jelly June J’s.
Keyboard kitten K’s.
Lotus leaf L’s.
Mosaic May M’s.
Nimble nice N’s.
Octopus old O’s.
Paisley perfect P’s.
Quilt queen Q’s.
Ribble rose R’s.
Speckled scarf S’s.
Tartan turtle T’s.
Umbrella uncle U’s.
Village van V’s.
Waffle wagon W’s.
Xylophone x – ray X’s.
Yoyo yield Y’s.
AND Zigzag zoo Z’s.

Mia B, age 10,  Selwyn House School

Clothes Colour Pattern
Argyle aubergine asics.
Blotchy blue beanie.
Checkered cyan coat.
Dotty dandelion dress.
Eerie ebony earmuffs
Floral flamingo frills
Gridded green garment
Herringbone hazel hat
Isolated iris ice skates
Jagged jade jumpsuit
Knitted Keppel kilt
Lattice lilac leggings
Mosaic magenta mittens
Navy star neon nightgown
Oblong orange outfit
Paisley purple pom poms
Quilted Quartile quilt
Ribbed red robe
Stripy scarlet scarf
Tartan turquoise top
Ubiquitous umber uniform
Very violet vests
Wiggled White wetsuits
Xylophone Xanthic X-treme sports top
Yo-Yo yellow yoga wear
Zigzag Zunza zip up hoodie

Leona K 9 years old Selwyn House School

Note from Paula: These two poems are pretty close but I don’t mind that – I think the girls had fun writing them and they are very cool!


The herd

Sparkly, swooping, magical, speedy.
Speedy, magical, swooping, sparkly.
Swooping, magical, speedy, sparkly.

There go the unicorns,
And pegasus,
And allicorns.

Magical, speedy, swooping, sparkly.

Eva F Aged 5, Year 1,  Stirling School


I am happy
Yay! Yay! Yay!

Everyone is happy
Yay Yay Yay!

Best day of my life
Yay Yay Yay!

Pouring honey on myself
Yum Yum Yum!!

It is delicious
Yum Yum Yum!

I slurped it off my face
Slurp Slurp Slurp!
Yum Yum Yum!

Aditya C Age: 9 years Ilam School, Christchurch



(A triolet)


The sun is bright

Birds sing in the trees

Summer is at its height

The sun is bright

The sky is light

The people make cheese

The sun is bright

Birds sing in the trees


Keir, age 9, Gladstone Primary



The lake water sprays

The sun shines

The never-ending days

The lake water sprays

On the sandy bays

The shore’s wiggly lines

The lake water sprays

The sun shines.

Zoe S, Age: 12, Y8, Heaton Normal Intermediate


The Moon

The Moon shines bright.
Everybody is sleeping soundly.
The Moon lights up the night.
The Moon shines bright.
The Moon produces light for the night.
The world is sleeping quietly.
The Moon shines bright.
Everybody is sleeping soundly.

Mickey Z,  aged 8 , Year 4, Ilam School


The Moon

Moon star moon
Star moon star
Moon and star
Best friend together.

Michelle Z, 7 years old, Ilam school


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Keir, age: 9 year: 5  Gladstone Primary School


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Tully C  Age: 10   Year:  5 Gladstone Primary School


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Hector, Year:5 Age:9 Gladstone Primary School


A Triloet for Duke


My Maine Coon is just a kitten

Even though he’s super sized

When you see him you’ll be smitten

My Maine Coon is just a kitten

At least that’s how his birthday’s written

Though it might come as a surprise

My Maine Coon is just a kitten

Even though he’s super sized


My Maine Coon is a dork

He loves to zoom around the house

He likes to join me for a walk

My Maine Coon is a dork

He’d really like to hunt a hawke

Instead he rips up his toy mouse

My Maine Coon is a dork

He loves to zoom around the house


My Maine Coon is my best friend

And he loves me back

He sometimes drives mum round the bend

My Maine Coon is my best friend

And I will keep him ‘til the end

Hopefully way down the track

My Maine Coon is my best friend

And he loves me back


Daniel, age 10, Y6, Adventure School


Pattern Poems from Rangeview Intermediate Readers & Writers Book Club


Jump dance 

jump dance jump

dance jump dance

jump jump jump

dance dance dance

by Amelia Y7


Chortle Bird  

Chortle chortle chortle

Goes the chortle bird

Warble twitter chortle

I wish it would

Sound less cheerful

Chortle twitter screech

Goes the chortle bird


Away flies the chortle bird

by Amelia Y7    


Running by Isabella Y7

I run from the volcano

I run from the flood

I run from the tsunami

I run from the hurricane



I dance with my friends

I dance with my family

I dance with my sister

I dance with my grandparents

by Isabella Y7


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Poetry Box review: Daniel L (10) reviews Bullseye Bella

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Bullseye Bella by James T. Guthrie, Scholastic, 2019


Bella Kerr is an amazing darts player. She wants to earn money to help pay for her little brother’s special schooling, so she secretly enters a local dart competition. But Bella is only 12, and the older darts players are not happy. Bella has to find a way of qualifying for the national competition, even when others stand in her way.

As Bella goes through her journey we learn that she is brave and strong.  We get the feeling that we can accomplish anything if we are determined enough.  Bella is a great role model.

I liked that this book is a NZ book, and it is about an unusual topic – I have never read a book about darts before!  It is a bit hard at the beginning because you have to learn about the sport of darts, but there is a helpful glossary. The story is funny and action packed and it makes you think. I think Bullseye Bella is a good book to read for confident readers, aged 8 -13.


Reviewed by Daniel L. Age 10, Year 6, Adventure School, Wellington


Note from Paula: James won the Tom Fitzgibbon Award for a previously unpublished author with this book.

Scholastic teacher notes  here




Poetry Box review: Song of the River by Joy Cowley & Kimberly Andrews


My Groovy Fish poem challenge

My Groovy Fish holiday event invitations




Song of the River  by Joy Cowley, illustrated by Kimberley Andrews

Gecko Press, July 2019



Joy Cowley’s delightful story Song of the River was originally published 25 years ago but Gecko Press have published a new edition with gorgeous artwork by Kimberley Andrews.

Reading Joy’s story filled me with a warm hum that I carried with me all day.

Cam lives in the mountains and he tells his grandfather he wishes he could see the sea. One day a trickle of water – running through the trees and the snow – calls out to the boy:

‘Come with me. Come with me. I will take you to the sea.’

Joy writes like a poet as she tells her story; the words ripple and chatter over the stones of its telling. I am carried along by the voice of the water. I am enchanted by the sound as the water moves down the mountain. First it sounds like snow, then like a creek, then like a waterfall, and then like leaping trout. On and on it goes with Cam running along, the view changing, the river sounds changing, and always there is the pull of the sea.

Cam might wonder what the sea looks like but what will it sound like? You will find out!

This a story about a boy wanting to see the sea. It is about imagining. It is about beginnings and endings. It is about paying attention with ears and eyes. And it is absolute treat to read – you might fill with a warm hum too.


Reading the book made me want to write a poem!


Kimberley’s illustrations fill the landscapes with life and mood. She is a trained biologist who grew up in the Canadian Rockies  and now lives in  a shipping container tiny house in Wellington. In 2018 she illustrated Explore Aotearoa (shortlisted for NZ  Book Awards for Children and Young Adults). She also wrote and illustrated Puffin the Architect published last year.

Joy Cowley is one of our most beloved children’s authors. She has won many awards and honours including the Prime Minister’s Award for Contribution to Literature (Fiction). In 2018 she was shortlisted for the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

My new book – Groovy Fish celebration 2: an invitation to NZ children use one of my titles to write a poem


Groovy Fish and other poems  The Cuba Press, out early July



When I did my Hot Spot Tour of NZ in 2014 I collected amazing titles for poems from children. It was such fun I am tempted to write another book getting titles from children! Oh and I LOVED doing the drawings.

I thought it would be cool to get YOU to write a poem using one of my TITLES from the book. So I am sending them back to you! See the contents pages below.

I will pick one poem per title to post at the end of JULY.

I will give away 2 of my drawings and 2 copies of the books – lucky dip style!


Deadline: July 26th

Include: your name, age, year, name of school

Send to:

Don’t forget to put GROOVY FISH CHALLENGE in the subject line so I don’t miss your email.






h a v   f u n

h a v e   e x t r a    s p e c i a l   p o e t r y   f u n









Groovy Fish celebration 1: an invite for children to write and read poems with me in Auckland and Wellington


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To celebrate my new book Groovy Fish and Other Poems (The Cuba Press) arriving in the world I am doing two poetry events in Auckland and Wellington in the school holidays.


You can write poems with me

You can read poems

You can hear me read from my new book

I will give away two of my illustrations at each event


All the poems in Groovy Fish have titles given to me by children on my Hot Spot Poetry Tour of NZ in 2014!

For my second celebration I will post the titles from my book and get you to write new poems to go with them. Then I hope to post one poem per title at the end of JULY. Check out my next post for details. I will give away a few illustrations with this challenge too! Details tomorrow.


You can RSVP to the bookshops if you want to come to my holiday poetry celebrations.


Wellington: Wednesday 10th July  11 am until 12 pm

The Children’s Bookshop, Kilbirnie Plaza, Kilbirnie

RSVP: books@the


Auckland: Tuesday 16th July  11 am until 12 pm

The Dorothy Butler Children’s Bookshop, 1 Jervois Rd, Ponsonby


















Poetry Box noticeboard: Winter Words – Matariki Children’s Poetry Competition Brief at Mahurangi East Library

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This year for our Matariki poetry competition we want you to write and present on a topic or an aspect of navigation that pertains to either your family, or Aotearoa.

Our Auckland Libraries Regional Matariki theme is:

‘Herea tō waka ki te whetū, kāore ki te titiwai Tie your canoe to a star, not a glow worm.’

The Matariki Constellation above & glow worms below.

(Extra kudos for including the regional theme whakatauaki? I wonder?)


Invited participants:

Snells Beach Primary School, Horizon School
Matakana Primary School, Leigh Primary School, Pakiri School, Mahurangi College, Kip McGrath Students

There is no time to spare as entries must meet the deadline of Sunday June 23rd.

Entries to be emailed in school lots, or independently emailed to: Attn: Fleur Coleman. By 6pm Sunday 23rd June.

Finalists will be notified by: Close of business Tuesday 25th June and should be prepared to present their work at Mahurangi East Library starting 6.30pm on Wednesday 26th June. All family and friends are welcomed to attend the evening. Refreshments served by the Friends Committee. Your gold coin donation is welcomed.

Our sincere thanks for your continued support of this exciting local library poetry comp where we aim to give your kids an authentic reason to write and present.

Please confirm your school involvement as soon as possible.

Please be sure to understand the brief, please email if you wish to seek further clarification.

Ngā mihi mahana,

Fleur Coleman on behalf of,

The Friends of Mahurangi East Library
‘Winter Words’ &
The staff of Mahurangi East Library.


Kia ora koutou,

Dear Schools, we are writing to encourage your students to take part in our Friends of Mahurangi East Library – Mahurangi Matariki Youth Poetry Competition which is a feature of our ‘Winter Words’ stand-up-poetry and creative writing evenings. The Winter Words evening events run from May through to September, on the last Wednesday of the month and start at 7pm.

The June session of Winter Words is for the kids, a celebration of Matariki – the Māori New Year. This is the one session of Winter Words set aside for children. This is their time to shine like the Matariki cluster.
Last year we looked at ‘Taonga tuku iho – a treasure handed down’ and ‘whānaungatanga – my family’.
This year we look to Tangaroa, for a sea voyaging theme and we celebrate our belonging in Aotearoa.

We hope you will all get involved – the success of this evening is dependent on everyone pulling in the same direction. The teachers need to find time to motivate the kids, and ideally enable them to peer critique and support them as they edit their mahi. The parents need to bring finalists along on the evening and support them. Our local hapū have to put aside their commitments to get here too, and our judges need to sift through hundreds of poems to choose their stand-out pieces and then convene and try to agree. (Not an easy job I assure you!)

Our wonderful Auckland Libraries – Mahurangi East Library Community and library staff support with providing the venue. All of our super Friends of the Library contribute to the prizes for the kids, every time they purchase donated books or pick up a raffle ticket. Our Friends Committee show manaakitanga on the evening as they host our whānau with refreshments and added organisation.

Paula Green offers us copy of her new children’s Poetry book – ‘Groovy Fish’. (Remember to check out Paula’s Poetry Box blog for hints and examples of children’s poetry.) Charlotte Gibbs editor of Toi Toi Magazine will offer prizes once more, and one lucky poet will win a copy of ‘Jillion’. Healing Through Arts Trust is a new sponsor this year and will be offering a family pass to their upcoming show at the Warkworth Town Hall, ‘Next Steps’. This year’s ultimate prize, a trip to Auckland’s Maritime Museum where Larry Paul skipper of Waitangi 1894 will host us on-board for a luncheon with the Friends. ‘Waitangi’ is a Logan Brothers gaff rigged racing yacht, built on the shores of the Waitematā and berthed at Auckland’s Maritime Museum. You will also get to spend time in the museum itself. Our thanks also to Ann Cook of Kip McGrath Education Warkworth, who are another returning sponsor. Our trusty book supplier is the Matakana Village Bookshop.

With no time to spare, we hope you will be able to present these themes and support student writing as soon as possible. We aim to make this event memorable for our young creative poets and trust it will be an event that they come to look forward to each year. Other announcements will follow as we confirm sponsorship and judging roles.

Ngā mihi mahana,

Fleur Coleman

Senior Children’s and Youth Librarian, Mahurangi East Library & Winter Words co-ordinator for the Mahurangi East Friends of the Library group contact me at: or phone: 02108271072


Poetry Box review: Eva Lindström’s ‘My Dog Mouse’

my June pattern poem challenge



Eva Lindström My Dog Mouse  Gecko Press 2019



This is a scrumptious book – a beautiful book – a book to nestle into on a stormy weekend and to most definitely share .

The illustrations are simple – large areas of subtle colour become the backdrop for little points of fascination. The first page is all yellow and ochre, and there in the corner of the room is a girl looking off the page to the rest of the story – the direction we as readers are heading. The words on the page are equally plain and fascinating:


I love Mouse.



I know by the cover and title Mouse is a dog! That intrigues me.

Good picture books always have a little bit of poetry and a little bit of plainness in them. And that is exactly what I love about My Dog Mouse. The similes are heavenly because they make Mouse come alive.

He’s old and fat with ears as

thin as pancakes.


The girl loves taking Mouse for a walk and everything they do is slow, slow, slow.

They need time to look at things (teeth, clouds, things flying in the wind).


The girl is very good at looking after Mouse when she takes Mouse for a walk.

I won’t ruin this delightful story by sharing the ending but this is a story of kindness and of sharing.


It is a story of  E M P A T H Y   (which is a mix of kindness and listening and sharing)


and it is such a treasure of a book that reading it once is simply not enough. You have to read it again and again and then find a best friend to read it to. Plainness and poetry are such a perfect mix. I see both in the story and in the illustrations. A universe of stars for


My Dog Mouse!


Gecko Press page









Poetry Box noticeboard: a new collection of poems and illustrations for children by Paula Green

Try my June challenge: pattern poems



Groovy Fish and Other Poems is out in July! These are the poems I wrote after collecting titles from children around Aotearoa on my Hot Spot Poetry Tour several years ago. So I can’t wait for you to read them. I will be doing an event at the Children’s Bookshop in Wellington to celebrate and will be inviting children to write poems and read with me. And … for the first time I did my own illustrations.

Ahoy! Press is publishing it.

I am planning other events you can join in so will keep you posted.







Poetry Shelf noticeboard: the NZ Book Awards for Children & YA finalists

Try my June challenge: pattern poems


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Full details here

Let me know if you have read and loved any of these books and I will post a selection of your comments (Y0 -8) – email  by June 20th.




Picture Book Award

Mini Whinny: Happy Birthday to Me, Stacy Gregg, illustrated by Ruth Paul (Scholastic NZ)

Puffin the Architect, Kimberly Andrews (Penguin Random House)

The Bomb, Sacha Cotter, illustrated by Josh Morgan (Huia Publishers)

Things in the Sea are Touching Me, Linda Jane Keegan, illustrated by Minky Stapleton (Scholastic NZ)

Who Stole the Rainbow? Vasanti Unka (Penguin Random House)


Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction

Search for a Kiwi Killer, Des Hunt (Tōrea Press)

The Dog Runner, Bren MacDibble (Allen & Unwin)

The Mapmakers’ Race, Eirlys Hunter, illustrated by Kirsten Slade (Gecko Press)

The Telegram, Philippa Werry (Pipi Press)

Whetū Toa and the Magician, Steph Matuku, illustrated by Katharine Hall (Huia Publishers)


Young Adult Fiction Award

Ash Arising, Mandy Hager (Penguin Random House)

Children of the Furnace, Brin Murray (The CopyPress)

Invisibly Breathing, Eileen Merriman (Penguin Random House)

Legacy, Whiti Hereaka (Huia Publishers)

The Rift, Rachael Craw (Walker Books Australia)


Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction

Art-tastic, Sarah Pepperle (Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū)

Go Girl: A Storybook of Epic NZ Women, Barbara Else (Penguin Random House)

Ko Mauao te Maunga: Legend of Mauao, Debbie McCauley, illustrated by Debbie Tipuna and translated by Tamati Waaka (Mauao Publishing)

New Zealand’s Backyard Beasts, Ned Barraud (Potton & Burton)

Whose Home is This?, Gillian Candler, illustrated by Fraser Williamson (Potton & Burton)


Russell Clark Award for Illustration

Cook’s Cook: The Cook who Cooked for Captain Cook, written and illustrated by Gavin Bishop (Gecko Press)

Helen and the Go-Go Ninjas, illustrated by Ant Sang, written by Michael Bennett (Penguin Random House)

Oink, written and illustrated by David Elliot (Gecko Press)

Puffin the Architect, written and illustrated by Kimberly Andrews (Penguin Random House)

The Bomb, illustrated by Josh Morgan, written by Sacha Cotter (Huia Publishers)


Wright Family Foundation Te Kura Pounamu Award for books written completely in te reo Māori

Ngā Whetū Matariki i Whānakotia, Miriama Kamo, illustrated by Zak Waipara, translated by Ngaere Roberts (Scholastic NZ)

Te Haka a Tānerore, Reina Kahukiwa, illustrated by Robyn Kahukiwa, translated by Kiwa Hammond (Mauri Tū)

Te Hīnga Ake a Māui i Te Ika Whenua, written and illustrated by Donovan Bixley, translated by Darryn Joseph (cultural adviser) and Keri Opai (Upstart Press)


Best First Book Award

Art-tastic, Sarah Pepperle (Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū)

Bullseye Bella, James T Guthrie(Scholastic NZ)

Children of the Furnace, Brin Murray (The CopyPress)

Slice of Heaven, Des O’Leary (Mākaro Press)

The Stolen Stars of Matariki, Miriama Kamo, illustrated by Zak Waipara (Scholastic NZ)

Poetry Box June challenge: Pattern poems


hop skip hop

skip hop skip

skip skip skip

hop hop hop


flop flip flop

flip flop flip

flip flip flip

flop flop flop


now I drop








You can write poems that play with patterns. I love poem patterns – they can be simple and they can be intricate.

So your challenge is to write poems with word patterns.

Here are some starting points for you:


Word order patterns

Collect a handful of words and then make patterns on the lines by repeating them in different ways. They may or may not rhyme.


swoop kite swoop soar

kite swoop soar swoop

swoop soar swoop kite

soar kite swoop swoop


First line patterns

Repeat the first line of each verse.


The cat sleeps in her basket

the sun makes her fur shine

The cat sleeps in her basket

she dreams of climbing trees

The cat sleeps in her basket

soon it will be night


First word patterns

Repeat the first words on each line.


I sing to the stars

I sing to the moon

I sing in the garden

I sing in my room


Rhyme poems

Rhyme is such a fun way to make patterns in a poem – you can make rhyme patterns at the end of the lines or even the start of the lines! Or you can sprinkle rhyme through the poem and make a sprinkle pattern.


The cat dances on her paws

The dog pirouettes on her feet

The cat swipes with her claws

The dog asleep in the heat


I like hiding rhyme patterns


The tiger pounces on her prey

she swoops and bounds

away with her dinner.


Form poems

There are lots of poems that use a special form with loads of rules.

You can follow the rules of a form of you can break the rules.

These poems always use patterns.

For example a strict haiku has three lines with 5 then 7  then 5 syllables. It doesn’t traditionally rhyme.

These are some poetry forms:  villanelle, pantoum, sonnet, sestina, rondel, triolet.


A triloet has 8 lines that make a pattern   (tree -o- lay)

A (first line)
B (second line)
a (rhymes with first line)
A (repeat first line)
a (rhymes with first line)
b (rhymes with second line)
A (repeat first line)
B (repeat second line)


The Moon


The moon shines bright

the trees rattle in the wind

cats creep in the night

the moon shines bright

cats creep in the light

cats like sardines tinned

the moon shines bright

the trees rattle in the wind


That was tricky to write and I might break the rules (I often do and might write ‘cats licking tinned sardines’ instead!).


So play with word patterns. Invent your own!   HAVE POETRY FUN!!


Deadline: 26th June

Send to:

Please include: your name, age, year, name of school

Don’t forget to put PATTERN POEM in subject line so I don’t miss your email.

Open to Year 0 to Year 8 in Aotearoa.

I will write letters back at the end of the month.

I will have a book to give away because I like to give books away!

I will post some favourites on June 30th.