Category Archives: NZ Children’s poetry

Poetry Box Audio Spot: James Brown reads ‘Lost things’



Annual 1, edited by Kate De Goldi and Susan Paris, Gecko Press, 2016


You can find James Brown‘s found poem in the magnificent Annual 1. He talks a bit about it before he reads. Found poems are fun to do – so I will set a challenge for this later in the year.




James’s poetry has appeared in the School Journal and both editions of Annual. His three early reader books – My New Zealand Colours Book, My New Zealand 123 Book, and My New Zealand ABC Book – were among New Zealand’s gifts to the British royal baby Prince Louis. 









Poetry Box Audio Spot: Fifi Colston reads ‘Needy Cat’





Image by Carla Martell – check out her website here


Fifi: The poem is based on our old cat Tres. He’s loud, shouty and very demanding, but we love him dearly.

Graduating in Wellington with a Diploma of Visual Communications Design, Fifi freelances with fingers in many creative pies. She is a published junior fiction novelist, children’s book illustrator of more than 30 titles, poet and was a long standing television presenter of arts and crafts on firstly TVNZ’s ‘What Now’ and then ‘The Good Morning Show’. Fifi is a veteran of Wearable Arts; a finalist and award winner over 23 years with 24 entries in show. She has also worked with Weta Workshop, 3 Foot 7 Productions, Pukeko Pictures and The Production Shed in the New Zealand TV and film industry as a costumier, puppet maker and illustrator. When she has a moment, Fifi visits schools and community groups, inspires budding artists and writers and runs workshops in creative process.



Fifi’s blog spot

Here’s Paula’s May poetry challenge.










Some favourite poems inspired by Gecko Press’s Impossible Inventions book




Thank you for the poems sparked by Gecko Press‘s Impossible Inventions book. I loved seeing how your imaginations dashed and darted. I liked the way the poems made me think and laugh and wonder!!

I am sending a copy of my book The Letterbox Cat to Nell.



W h a t    f u n  !!


The Helm of Ideas

A wonderful invention:

The Helm of Ideas

It has a little mouse inside 

That whispers in your ear

It will make you the next Einstein!

It will clear your mind of murk!

The small print: Please take note,

It’s not guaranteed to work…


Evangeline, 10, ACG Strathallan, Year 6


Bird Suit

1, 2, 3, jump


Hmm, flap your arms more.


1, 2, 3, Plonk!

Again, and this time flap!

No thanks,

I am not doing that again.

Fine I’ll test it then.

1, 2, 3, jump


Nell Age:9   Year: 5   Homeschool


Greenhouse Gas Zapper

Zap! Zap!

Bang! Bang!

Too much Greenhouse Gas.  

But with this it will be no more.

Goodbye you ghastly gas!


That’s your punishment for climate change.

I’ll shoot you off into space,

along with all your heat.

Life is dying everywhere I look.


Nell   Age:9   Year: 5   Homeschool


The Flying Pig

What do you see

When you Look in the sky

A flying pig

Passing by

With large propellers

And seats for all

This pig flies fast

And won’t ever fall

So when planes are expensive

And cars are too slow

A flying pig

Is the way to go!

Daniel L Age 9, Year 5 Adventure School



The Ping Pong Door (yes, it’s a thing!)

A brilliant invention

That I’ve seen before

Is something known as

The ping pong door

When friends want to play

Which they will do for sure

You just flip it down

And get ready for war

At the end flip it back

So it’s up off the floor

Keeping everyone happy

You can’t ask for more 😁


Gemma L  Age 12, year 8 Adventure school




Poetry Box audio spot: Bill Nagelkerke reads two poems







Bill Nagelkerke has written short stories, poems, plays and books for all ages, as well as translating other people’s books from Dutch into English. His novel Old bones was a Storylines Notable Book and Sitting on the fence, which tells the story of the controversial Springbok rugby tour of 1981, was a finalist in the 2008 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. In 2013 Bill was awarded the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal and Lecture Award for a distinguished contribution to New Zealand children’s literature and literacy.


Poetry Box video spot: Genevieve (7) reads ‘On the way to Tekapo’




I love this poem! I am very excited to share all its bright detail.


Genevieve B, age 7, year 3, St Andrews prep, Christchurch

You can read her poem here – scroll down


My May challenge is going to be a festival of poems about epic women (and that might be our aunt or grandmother or best friend!!). I have posted it here!


Poetry Box Audio Spot: Elena de Roo reads Wilding Pines






Elena is a children’s writer and poet from Auckland. She lives next to Cornwall Park and often makes up stories and poems in her head while going for long walks there, hoping only the cows and sheep notice she is quietly talking to herself.





Term 2 on Poetry Box


DSCN9225 (1).jpg


I do hope you had a great holiday, made discoveries and enjoyed your free range time.


This term on Poetry Box I am going to:


post a challenge on  the first of the month

post some favourite poems on the last day of the month


post Librarian’s Choice – children’s librarians share a favourite children’s poetry book (if you want to do this email me


post audio clips of children and children’s authors reading poems


post surprising popUP poetry challenges where you only have 48 hours to do it – I will have at least one book for a young poet


post children’s books I love reading in my new feature called In my hammock (from any time or place and any genre)


if you don’t want to miss out scroll down the side bar and join the blog so you get an email when I post anything


happy poetry days!