Category Archives: NZ Author

Two June Challenges: Poetry parcels and Joy Cowley’s Snake and Lizard

Welcome young poetry fans  – I am so so so so so busy this year I am a day late. I am thinking hard and writing hard about what poetry can do.  So that inspired my first challenge.

 

Challenge One:

 

Poems can do and play and puzzle with so many things.

Poems can sound as good as a song.

Poems can build lists and make pictures grow in your head.

Poems can whizz or go slow.

They might surprise or soothe or shock or challenge you. You might laugh

or frown or cry as you read.

They can be short or long like a letter or a huge birthday parcel.

 

Your challenge is to write a poem about:     Poetry – writing poems or reading poems .

 

What are poems like to you? What do you love about poems?

What do they remind you of? Where do you read them or write them?

Find some good VERBS for what a poem DOES.

Find some sizzling SIMILES.

 

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com by 26th JUNE. I will post some favourites on JUNE 30th and have a copy of the book for one reader.

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

IMPORTANT: Put POEM POETRY challenge in the subject line of the email please.

 

 

Challenge Two

 

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I am a HUGE fan of Joy Cowley and Gavin Bishop and I especially love their Snake and Lizard books.

 

So on a very wet Sunday afternoon I gobbled up the new one: Helper and Helper.

 

Gavin’s illustrations are sheer beauty.

Joy’s stories are warm and wise and witty. Her sentences are like clear shiny streams.

 

Snake and Lizard are full to the brim with life and show us the power of friendship. Being friends is bumps and hills and new days and arguments and listening and kindness and discoveries.

When I read these stories I fill with warmth and good feelings and just want to write poems or even give stories a go.

 

a n o t h e r   c h a l l e n g e

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these stories so much I am challenging you to write a ‘Snake and Lizard’ poem (You can do more than one!). Read the book first to get inspired by the characters. Make up what happens. It can be something very small and curious.

I have the book to give to one young poet thanks to GECKO PRESS.

 

 Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com by 26th JUNE. I will post some favourites on JUNE 30th and have a copy of the book for one reader.

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

IMPORTANT:  Put SNAKE and LIZARD challenge in the subject line of the email please.

 

 

The April-May Challenge – some favourite Autumn poems

 

Lots of Autumn poems tumbled into my email box and it felt like it was full of Autumn flavours and colours. I liked the way you tried different things as you wrote. It was hard choosing but here is a selection of poems I enjoyed (and there were so many more!).

There are thoughtful poems and funny poems. Slender poems and fat poems.

I am sending Emily C a copy of The Letterbox Cat as I really liked the way she worked on an Autumn series and tried different things. I have posted just a few she sent me. I am also sending a copy to Matilda at Westmere School as her poem made me smile. I loved the way she explored the word ‘spread.’ That is exactly what poets do!

 

 

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Emily C, age 12, Year 8, Selwyn House School, Christchurch

 

 

Fiery, orange
leaves cover
the rich,
grass. A
monarch butterfly
flutters through
the morning air.

Emily C, age: 12, Year: 8, Selwyn House School, Christchurch

 

The cold
morning air
stings my
toes. An
old man
wanders through
the park
covered in
autumn leaves.

Emily C, age: 12, Year: 8, Selwyn House School, Christchurch

 

 

The Autumn Kitten

 

The autumn kitten

Leaves trails of fur,

Orange and red

Through green and brown.

The autumn kitten

Roams free in the world

Here and there, everywhere.

Avoiding all people

Here and there.

Darting through bushes

Pouncing on birds.

 

Teresa aged 8, St Andrews College, Christchurch

 

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Luella, age 10 Richmond Road School Samoan Unit

 

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Maisy T, age 9, Fendalton School, Christchurch

 

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Aaron K age:9  Fendalton Open-air School

 

 

 

 

A bundle of poems from Westmere School:

 

Autumn
Autumn
leaves fall
crunch, crunch, crunch.
Rake up all the leaves.
Cartwheels.
Bikes and shoes
rush through.
Autumn.

Sofia Age 10 LS6

 

Spreading
A tree spreads its branches
An apple spreads its seeds.
A person spreads their apple jam,
What more can you spread?

Matilda Age 9 LS6

 

Eating
I have a pumpkin on my bed.
My sister has carrots on her head.
My mum has feijoas in her bag.
My dad fed an apple to  his stag.
What an Autumn feast it could have been!

Matilda Age 9 LS6

 

Leaves and Trees

Green leaves
Crunchy leaves
Yellow leaves
Round leaves
Square leaves
Oval leaves
Small leaves
Sunset leaves
Big leaves
Giant leaves
Thin leaves
Thick leaves
Bush leaves
Long leaves
Short leaves
Brown trees
Large trees
Huge trees
Teeny tiny trees
Dead trees
Oak trees
Flame trees
Coconut trees
Apple trees
Gum trees
Feijoa trees
Lemon trees
Orange trees
Palm trees
Swamp trees
Grey trees
Leaves and trees!

Jasper Age 10 LS6 and Jamie Age 10 LS6

 

 

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Archie Age 10 LS6

 

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Indigo K and Rita P Both Age 10 LS7

Janet Newman reports on Poetry Writing for Children at Palmerston North Library

(This is just lovely! Congratulations to all the young poets who participated – Paula)
Seven children, aged nine and ten, came to Palmerston North library on a weekend in March to read and write poetry. We started by reading poems from The Letterbox Cat and other poems. Scott noticed that Paula had put a space in the word ‘goose-bumps’ in her poem “When I am Cold” and then substituted other animal names for ‘goose.’ Scott liked this technique and used it to write his own poem:

 

When I am Sad

 

When I am sad

I get tear drops.

 

When I am very sad

I get water drops.

 

When I am very very sad

I get rain drops.

 

When I am very very very sad

I get hail drops.

 

When I am very very very very sad

I get ice drops.

 

When I am very very very very very sad

I sit by myself and try to be happy.

 

 

Shani brought a poem she wrote at home and read it to us. We liked the way she turned the mouse simile into metaphors:

 

Rain Poem

 

The rain was like a little

mouse, quiet small and

grey. It pattered all

around the house

and then it went away.

 

It did not come. I

understand it found

an open window and

left tracks across the sill.

 

 

On Sunday, prompts such as ‘a word to describe the sky’ and ‘how you feel when the power goes off’ suggested lots of words and the children wrote them on the wall:

 

 

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In the photo, front to back: Madeleine, Scott, Katelyn, Eva, Callie.

 

We had a poetry challenge. It was to pick words from the wall and use them in poems starting with “I see,” “I remember” and “I imagine.” Here is Madeleine’s:

 

I see Golden brown Chips.

The salt on them is sour

like millions of tear drops.

The texture is unique, it’s

soft and luscious like clouds.

I can’t wait to

eat this then

Gulp Slurp

Into my tummy!

 

Here is Eilidh’s:

 

I imagine me and my friend

sitting around the fire, laughing

at old stories. The fire crackled

its smoke billowing into the

night sky.

 

It was getting cold and

dark, the scariest combination.

Something howled in the

distance, and we could

just make out the

silhouette in the light of the moon

of a creature sitting

atop the highest rock

howling into the night.

Spooky.

 

Thanks Callie, Eilidh, Eva, Katelyn, Madeleine, Scott and Shani. We had lots of fun.

Sean and Janet.

 

 

 

 

 

A delightful bundle of Gecko Press books with TWO hidden poem challenges for you

Four gorgeous books from Gecko Press to share!

 

The illustrations are

s   c   i   n   t   i   l   l   a   t   i   n  g .

The stories are

m   o   u   t   h   w   a   t   e   r   i   n   g.

Which means I gobbled them UP in a F L A S H.

And then I came back for a   l o n g          s   l   o   w       feast.

 

Thanks Gecko Press!

 

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Bathtime for Little Rabbit by Jörg Mühle is a small board book for very young children about a rabbit that needs a bath so he gets to be SQUEAKY clean.  I love the way Little Rabbit gets dried. This is a FUN read.

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The Lost Kitten is a scrumptious picture book by Lee with illustrations by Komako Sakai. I loved reading this book, because as you know from my children’s poems, we have cats. In fact Charlie arrived at OUR door lost and hungry and wanted to stay with us for EVER and EVER. We seemed to become a magnet for lost and hungry kittens, but now we live in the country we are too far away.

In this story though, a mother cat brings her hungry kitten to Hina’s place because she knows it needs looking after. You will see it is the cutest little ball of fluff that deserves a warm and cosy cat basket.

Just like us, Hina and her mum feed the cat and make it a cat box and take it to the vet.

Just like us, the kitten makes Hina very, very happy.

But NOT like us (and Charlie), the sweetest cutest little ball of kitten fluff goes missing.

I especially loved the illustrations by Komako Saki. She is a famous and much-loved illustrator in Japan where she lives. You feel like you are inside the story when you look at the pictures, because she knows just how to paint how Hina feels.

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Bruno: Some of the more interesting days in my life so far is a splendiferous read by Catharina Valckx. There are six linked stories with very cool illustrations by Nicolas Hubesch that make me want to get my pencils and draw.

Catharina has written over 30 books and is published in over 11 languages and has been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Awards 4 times.

Nicolas Hubesch lives in PARIS where he also draws comics. I LOVELOVELOVELOVE his drawings. They do have a PARIS feel about them.

The first story starts like this: ‘The peculiar day started out as an ordinary day.’

This is how poems start sometimes and it means you can begin with what you know and end up somewhere rather marvelous. Catharina has a very BOUNCY imagination because Bruno gets followed by a flying fish that is a tincy bit lost and is nowhere near the ocean. In fact this is a story of strange things in an ordinary day, AND to make it especially GOOD – normal things on a normal day.

In ‘A rainy day,’ Poor old Bruno finds his house is just as wet inside as it is outside when it is RAINING RAINING RAINING. All his friends turn up WET WET WET and EAT EAT EAT all his food. Everyone makes a MESS MESS MESS.

We get to read about:

A peculiar day

A rainy day

A day when the power went out

A much less interesting day

An almost perfect day

A stupid day (that ends pretty well)

This is a very INTERESTING book to read!

 

 

a    l i t t l e   c h a l l e n g e   f o  r   y o u        (YO – Y8 in NZ)

 

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these titles so much, I am challenging you to use one as the title for a poem (You can do more than one!). Let your imagination BOUNCE with what you know and what you make up!

 

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com by 5th MAY. I will post some favourites on MAY 10th and have a copy of the book for one reader.

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

Put GECKO challenge in the subject line of the email please.

 

Helper-and-Helper-cover-768x1067.jpg

I am a HUGE fan of Joy Cowley and Gavin Bishop and I especially love their Snake and Lizard books.

 

So on a very wet Sunday afternoon I gobbled up the new one: Helper and Helper.

 

Gavin’s illustrations are sheer beauty.

Joy’s stories are warm and wise and witty. Her sentences are like clear shiny streams.

 

Snake and Lizard are full to the brim with life and show us the power of friendship. Being friends is bumps and hills and new days and arguments and listening and kindness and discoveries.

When I read these stories I fill with warmth and good feelings and just want to write poems or even give stories a go.

 

a n o t h e r   c h a l l e n g e

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these stories so much I am challenging you to write a ‘Snake and Lizard’ poem (You can do more than one!). Read the book first to get inspired by the characters. Make up what happens. It can be something very small and curious.

 

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com by 5th MAY. I will post some favourites on MAY 10th and have a copy of the book for one reader.

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

Put SNAKE and LIZARD challenge in the subject line of the email please.

 

PS: I won’t answer your emails until May as I will be away!

Welcome back to Poetry Box 2017 – a little letter and a little challenge

 

 

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a blue sky at our place!

 

 

Dear young poetry fans,

I do hope you have all had a lovely summer even if the sun didn’t shine as much as it usually does, the wind was windier and the rain was rainier.

I have been hard at work writing my big book but after I did a stunt-woman routine in my bedroom (BY ACCIDENT!) and flew through the air like a frisbee and crash landed on the wooden frame of the bed – I injured my back! So I have not been able to sit at the computer and do all the things I usually do. Now I can have small bursts.

 

So I am going to start the year off with a small-poem challenge for you.

 

Little poems are like chocolates – they can taste sweet or sour but they do TASTE!

You can play with how many words you use on each line because that will change the SOUND and the LOOK of the poem.

You can HIDE a very tiny thing in the poem: a glorious word, a single rhyme,  an idea, an object.

 

The challenge: Try writing a bunch of small poems. Say no more than 16 words or no more than 10 words or no more than 20 words. YOU CHOOSE!

Give the poem a title. Those words don’t count in the total.

Try leaving the poem for a week before you send it to me and give it a sound check before you do. As a poet I always do this. I wrote a poetry ms last summer and I have left it for a whole YEAR!

 

Deadline: March 28th.

Email: write small poem in subject line

Send to: paulajoygreen@gmail.com

Include: your name, age, year and name of school. You can include your teacher’s email if you like.

I will post some favourites on APRIL 1st

and have a least one book to give away just because.

 

BTW I have finished my collection of children’s poems using the titles you all gave me! I loved doing it so much!

 

Warm regards,

Paula

 

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Molly wants to go for a walk! No swimming lessons for her this summer in the wild west-coast surf.

 

Happy summer days from Poetry Box; with a poem-notebook challenge and some family snapshots

 

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Our dog Molly waiting to go running on the beach!

 

 

Happy Summer Holidays young poets!

 

Thank you so much for all the poetry that whizzed and somersaulted and danced its way into my email box this year. I adored it!

What a treat to read poems from children all over New Zealand.

To get lovely letters from budding poets.

To send books out to hungry poetry readers.

 

 

Poetry Box will be back in poetry action in February (even though I am writing my BIG book!).

 

I will have some new challenges 

 

meanwhile

over summer you might like my  NOTEBOOK POEM CHALLENGE

to keep a poetry

notebook

over summer

 

with little poems big poems

skinny poems fat poems

funny poems sad poems

poems with endings that snap or sparkle

 

you might find inspiration

in the sky or the sea

out the window through the door

down the sand dunes

along the river

down the street

in a box

 

in your imagination

 

what you

see

or feel

or taste

or hear

 

…. NO RULES!         what fun!

 

If you like, you could copy your favourite pages to send me: paulajoygreen@gmail.com

Put NOTEBOOK POEMS in subject line please.

Or post: PO Box 95078, Swanson, Waitakere 0653

I will have some gorgeous new notebooks to give out.

Include your name, age, school. Deadline: February 1st

 

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I am going to spend summer reading and writing and running on the beach (at long last!) and eating fruit and veggies from our garden -and watching movies. And hanging out with my friends and family. A summer to look forward to.

 

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and here’s me when I was little and already a very BIG fan of books!

 

 

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Molly and Aggo are now the best of friends and Aggo thinks she is a dog I am sure. Charlie is inside sleeping on a cushion or my hat or my coat (just like in the poem!). And Molly will need swimming lessons every day this summer just like in my poem.

 

 

Keep safe

Keep happy

Keep poems floating

 

Warm regards

Paula x