Category Archives: NZ Author

Poetry Box audio spot: David Hill reads two poems

 

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Photo credit: Robert Cross and VUW

 

 

 

David Hill has been a full time writer for over thirty years. His novels and stories for children and young adults have been published and won awards in several countries and languages.

 

my July butterfly poem challenge.

 

 

In the hammock: Eirlys Hunter’s sumptuous The Mapmakers’ Race

 

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The Mapmakers’ Race, Eirlys Hunter, Gecko Press, 2018

 

The Mapmakers’ Race is a glorious read.

If you are looking for a story that ripples with imagination and sings in the ear because it is so beautifully written, this your perfect holiday read. I adore it.

The Santander family is an adventurous family and they are hoping to go on The Great Map Race to win lots of money. But the father is mysteriously not back from exploring and the mother got left behind in a train mishap.

So it is up to the four children to get to the finishing line first (it takes a month) and chart the best train route through treacherous terrain.

Most of the other teams are so greedy to win they will do anything to get there. Villainous!

 

Once I started reading this book, I didn’t want to stop. I loved the characters and their special skills, especially the way Francie draws the maps for the train routes by seeing everything from above. She doesn’t talk but she has a special sight skill that drains her rather perilously at times.

I also grew very fond of young Beckett who drove them in a horse and trap to the race meeting. He ended up travelling with them because he wanted the train route to go through his neglected village. He turned out to be a godsend because he made their food supplies stretch further in the most delicious ways.

 

Plus there are the bonus little stories that get told to Humphrey, the youngest sibling, to soothe him. Oh and the mechanical horses that belong to another team!

This book, like Barbara Else’s magnificent Travelling Restaurant series, is set to become a classic because it has all the ingredients that make a story shine: suspense, tricky situations, learning curves, real things shifted a little by an agile imagination, fascinating places and equally fascinating characters.

I was sorry when the book ended but I spotted a launch point for a sequel. Fingers crossed!

Congratulations Eirlys Hunter on this must-read book.

 

A pop-up challenge: if you read this book and love it, I am happy to post some letters or reviews by children on my blog.   paulajoygreen@gmail.com

 

Gecko Press page

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry Box audio spot: Renee Liang’s Caterpillar

This is the perfect audio to go with our July butterfly challenge. Listen out for the butterfly song in te reo.

 

 

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Note from Renee

 

Here’s a recording of me reading the poem to Ferndale Kindergarten followed by the kids singing ‘Purerehua‘, a song they love.

The ‘Caterpillar‘ poem is inspired by a Cantonese children’s rhyme we also practised (but I did not record): 

點蟲蟲, 蟲蟲飛。飛去邊﹖飛去荔枝畿。荔枝熟, 摘滿一包袱。

dim chung chung, chung chung fei. fei hoey bin? fei hoey lai ji gei. lai ji suk, jaak muun yat bao fuk. (Not proper Cantonese romanisation)

Almost word for word translation:

point insect insect, insect insect fly. fly to where? fly to lichee area. lichee ripe, pick (and fill up) full a haversack (bag).

Here are some pictures of their hands being butterflies and also a shot of my son Luka G (4) who attends the kindy. 

 

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You can find Renee’s poem in A Treasury of NZ poems for Children

Renee Liang has always loved telling stories and making worlds in her head. Like the caterpillar, when she spins a house around her stories and snuggles with them for a while they often turn into something unexpected. Sometimes they are poems, sometimes plays, once even an opera. She loves showing other people how to write down the worlds in their heads. Renee has two children aged 4 and 5 who are also world-makers.

 

 

 

 

Poetry Box July challenge – a bedazzle of butterflies

 

 

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‘Some butterflies are see-through

with wings like panes of glass’

 

from  Secret World of Butterflies by Courtney Sina Meredith and Giselle Clarkson

(Allen & Unwin 2018)

 

 

This month I am using the most beautiful butterfly book as the starting point for your challenge.

If you live in Auckland you might be able to go and see the butterfly exhibition at Auckland Museum. Or you might be able to track down this book that has just arrived in the world all sheeny and new.

Poet Courtney Sina Meredith has come up with the sweet flowing words, Giselle Clarkson has created the vibrant illustrations and the Museum has provided fascinating facts.

It is a treasure of a book that is a delight to read and a delight to look at it.

I love butterflies. Whenever a monarch butterfly turns up in our garden I get goosebumps.

 

So let’s brighten up the chilly bite of July with butterfly poems.

 

I will read them all near the end of the month, post some favourites on July 31st and have a book for at least one poet.

 

Some writing tips

collect a big bunch of butterfly words before you start writing (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs) and a bouquet of similes

try writing a poem using no more than 16 words or so

use your senses to bring the butterfly alive

strong detail can shine

use a fascinating fact as a starting point

tell a little poem butterfly story

use a real experience

imagine something

make a butterfly poem that looks or moves like a butterfly

read your poem to someone before you send it to me – what will make it even better?

 

deadline: July 30th

send to: paulajoygreen@gmail.com

include: your name, age, year, school

essential: put butterfly poem in subject line so I don’t miss it

 

have fun!!!!

 

 

 

Poetry Box audio spot: Janice Marriot reads ‘Hoiho’ and ‘Turkey Gobble’

 

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Janice Marriott is a multi- award-winning writer of novels, memoir, short stories and children’s books, songs, radio stories, documentaries and plays, and TV scripts.She has won the NZ Post Junior Fiction Award, Aim Senior Fiction Award, Aim Book of the Year, the Esther Glen Medal for Fiction, and been awarded, in 2018,  the Margaret Mahy medal for lifetime achievements in the field of children’s literature.  

She has published poems in the NZ Treasury of Children’s Poems, School Journals, and the NZ Poetry Anthology.  Her poetry blog, active for 7 years, is here 

Janice now helps other people write their stories and poetry here.  Her assessment, tutoring and mentoring business shows how writing can soothe us, challenge us, and give us satisfaction and friendship.

 

 

 

Poetry Box audio spot: Kyle Mewburn reads ‘The lump on the end of my nose’

 

 

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Kyle Mewburn is one of New Zealand’s most eclectic writers. Her picture books are noted for being multi-layered, funny and linguistically creative. Her titles have been published in a dozen countries and won numerous awards including Children’s Book of the Year.

As well as picture books, Kyle has published several best-selling junior fiction series, notably Dinosaur Rescue and Dragon Knight.

Originally from Brisbane, Kyle lives with her wife, Marion, a well-known potter, two cats and 24 chickens, in a house with a grass roof in Millers Flat. When she’s not writing, Kyle spends her free time maintaining a semi-self-sufficient lifestyle, or exploring the strange world she’s discovered at the back of her wardrobe.

Kyle’s website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter video poem spot: Anahera’s Winter Poem (Y5)

 

 

 

Anahera’s friends read her winter poem aloud together while she finishes her winter drawing.

Anahera goes to Russley School in Christchurch.

 

Check out my June winter video poem challenge