Category Archives: Poetry

A festival of letters to NZ children’s authors: Gretel writes to Joy Cowley



Dear Joy Cowley,

Some of my favourite  books by you are the Greedy Cat ones. I also like Cowshed Christmas. Yuck Soup is one  I like too.

From Gretel, age 8 Richmond Rd School


I am posting letters until March 30th! Festival of letters details here

A festival of letters to NZ children’s authors: letter in memory of Margaret Mahy



Dear Margaret Mahy,

I really do love your books and your poems.

My granny has a giant book of all of your stories.But my favourite two books are: The Witch in the Cherry Tree,  The Man Eating Shark. I really did like the part in the witch in the cherry tree when the witch smelt the cakes in the oven. Before I read that  book I didn’t know that witches liked cakes and colour.

I am so sorry you are not living any more and I wish you could of read this.

Best Wishes


Age:10  Year:6

Richmond Road School    

Wake up Poetry Box



(An elephant cave)




Dear young poetry fans


You might think

I have gone to sleep in a damp cave like a brown bear

I have drifted like a balloon and I am lost in space


I am canoeing down a long sleepy river far from home

I am tucked up in a hammock reading a thousand novels


I have travelled back in time to the ancient Greeks

I am deep in the ocean hunting for mysteries


I am climbing Mt Everest step by step

I am inventing a way to feed the hungry


I am writing a poem as round as the world

I can’t find my odd socks and I can’t stop looking


I am trapped in a maze

I am in a bobbing dinghy in the middle of the ocean


but I am home with the hungry cat

and the soporific dog and my big book

is waiting to be edited so now I can



Poetry Box!


Paula Green



Breaking wake-up news:

On the first day of the month I will post poetry challenges

On the last day of the month I will post favourite poems

In between I will post poetry surprises

This afternoon I will post a wake-up challenge for March





Some poems by children to celebrate NZ poets in the reissued Treasury





Thanks for sending all the poems in – it was fun reading them all. I am sending a copy of The Treasury to Gabriella.

Extra thanks to Churton Park School for sending all the pop popping poems in! I loved them.



(a reply to Elizabeth Smither’s “The Stapler”)

Paper clips are nice to paper
not like any nasty staple
Can hold a lot of paper
5 or 6 its favourite number
Wants to end the staple families.

Paper clips can connect and bend
They are paper’s best friend
Easy to collect with a magnet
Never tears or rips the paper
Paper clips are best, not staples

By James K    Age 11, Year 6  Churton Park School


The scissors
As in response to ‘The stapler’ by Elizabeth Smither

What a ferocious beasts are scissors
With blades that ruin knickers
They do not like to feed on snickers*
They do not like large rocks

They must have two sheets at least
Or else they can’t be deceased
They prefer more at least four
As when you cut up a story.


*as in the chocolate bar
Gabriella R age 10, Year 6  Churton Park School
Note: There are ones similar, but these are all my ideas. By the way I put deceased there as in getting worn out.


The Scissors
In Response to Elizabeth Smither’s ‘The Stapler’

What a strange beast are a pair of scissors
With sharp blades that ruin pictures
They have an appetite for stickers
They do not like cardboard

Over time the things it can cut
Begins to be not as much
It does not care how many sheets
It will tear up your story

Nathan S Year 6    Churton Park School



Wiggly Wiggly

Wiggly, Wiggly,
Do the harlem
Wiggle a jellyfish,
Touch a marlin.

Wiggly, Wiggly,
Bend a worm,
Twist a leg,
Squirm a berm.

Wiggly, Wiggly,
Twist a head,
Break a led,
¨Oh! No!¨ he said

Wiggly, Wiggly,
Kiss a frog,
Buy a dog
Climb through fog.

In response to Joy Cowley’s Wriggly Wriggly

Ryan L 11 years old   Year 6   Churton Park School



Inspired by Joy Cowley:

Muddly Muddly

Muddly Muddly
feed a cat
It wears a hat
Big and fat
Muddly Muddly
Feed a cat

Muddly Muddly
Feed a dog
Eat a hotdog
Than take a jog
Muddly Muddly
Feed a dog

Muddly Muddly
Feed a horse
Use the force
Become the source
Muddly Muddly
Feed a horse

Muddly Muddly
Feed a kiwi
Wee wee
Very sneaky
Muddly Muddly
Feed a kiwi

By Angad Gill, Churton Park School, Year 6


To Joy Cowley

Muddly Muddly,
Feed a horse,
Give it a tomato,
Make a sauce,
Eat it up,
With some paws,
Put it down,
On the floors,
Feed a horse

Muddly Muddly,
Feed a dog,
In it’s bowl,
Feed it hogs,
Eat them up with,
Some Hogs,
Muddly Muddly,
Feed a Dog

Muddly Muddly,
Feed a cat,
Stuff it,
Inside a hat,
Tip it out onto,
A mat,
Muddly Muddly,
Feed at Cat

by Hannah age 10 Year 6 Churton Park School




for Robin Hyde (inspired by ‘The Last Ones’)

Galloping along wild prairie
Paddling through the cool waters of the lake
Resting under a weeping willow
Braving the fierce winds of the desert
Soaring through grasses
Mane and tail billowing
To be wild
To be free


Name: Nell  Age: 9 Year: 4   Homeschool

November challenge #2: Some favourite poems that bounce from art




I was so inspired by the updated The New Zealand Art Activity Book by Helen Lloyd I got you to write poems that leapt from one of the artworks I posted.

You all loved Sara Hughes’s gorgeous ‘Millions of Colours’. I do too!

I am posting just a few  you sent in. It was just fun reading how you made the poems pop with colour.

I am sending Daniel a copy of the activity book (Thanks Te Papa Press) because I really like the idea of dream eggs hatching colours.

And I am sending Tom a copy of The Letterbox Cat because I loved the repeating pattern of words that made the poem spin like Dick Frizzell’s dancing chicken.


You still have a change to do my Treasury challenge (I am really keen for NZ poets to be picked!). Even if you have a copy still try the challenge. See here.

Some Poems that bounce from ART:

Inspired by Dick Frizzell’s painting,  ‘The Dancing Chicken’:


The Dancing Smile

I am the dancing chicken
The dancing chicken
The dancing chicken
Watch me swirl
Watch me spin
The smiling, dancing chicken
So I won’t forget your spin.

I am the dancing chicken
Watch me twirl
Watch me spin
I’m pleased to give a smile
So I won’t forget your spin.

Tom N, Year 4, age 9, Hoon Hay School



Inspired By Sara Hughes painting: Millions of Colours


Screen Shot 2017-11-30 at 5.12.47 PM.png

 Daniel, Year 4, age 9, Adventure School


Colour dots

Spot, spot, spot, it’s a dot.
Jumping on the page.
Yellow like the sun, blue like the sea,
Colours all around me!
Red as a rose
And likes to pose
On the page.

By Clementine, 9, year 4, Lyttelton Primary School



Colours jump around the page
spots and dots
lots and lots of colours to be made,
yellow like the sun,
pink is lots of fun,
violet is the queen
like a never ending scheme.

Seraphine, 9, Year 4, Lyttelton Primary School


Blurry colours

Colours everywhere make me look stand stare
Blurry like a blind man’s seeing
like a colourful human being
Red like a rose, blue like the sky
The colours that fly on morning sky

Nydia, 8, Year 4, Lyttelton Primary School


Millions of colours

The colours I see in my head
I even see them even in my bed.
When I’m asleep at night the colours stop the fright.

The moonshine makes this poem rhyme.
The colours flee but come back at May
to keep the bad monsters at bay.

This is my poem I hope you like
make sure the colour stops the fright.

By Sophie M, 8, Year 4, Lyttelton Primary School


Colours colours
I can see colours
I can see colours on a piece of paper.

Colours colours
I can see colours
I can see colours on a book.

Then I took that book and added more colours!!!!!!!!

Chloe D, 8, Year 4, Lyttelton Primary School


Screen Shot 2017-11-30 at 5.16.04 PM.png

Kate, Age 10, Year 5, Fendalton School

Welcome Back Day: A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children is out again & I have a giveaway copy



A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children, ed Paula Green, illustrations Jenny Cooper, this edition, Penguin Random House, 2017

To celebrate the return of this gorgeous book to our shops (yeah I can buy more copies again!!)  I have one to give away to a child.

The wee challenge: Write a short poem for your favourite NZ poet (except I’d rather you didn’t pick me!!) Under the title write who the poem is for.  (for Joy Cowley or Margaret Mahy or Peter Bland or James K Baxter or Elena de Roo or Bill Manhire or Jenny Bornholdt or Peter Millet or Gavin Bishop or Kyle Mewburn or Janet Frame or Elizabeth Smith or Hone Tuwhare or Fifi Colston or Peggy Dunstan or Emma Neale or Shirley Gawith or Courtney Sina Meredith or Rachel McAlpine or Richard Langston or Anna Jackson or Sam Hunt or Sue Wotton or Bill Nagelkirke or John Parker or Ruth Paul or Apirana Taylor      …..    and there are lots more poets in the book including children!


The poem might be about anything.

It might borrow a title from your favourite poet.

Or borrow a character or a subject and take your poem in a new direction.

It might play with words.

It might tell a story.


Send to me by  Friday 8th December.

Include your name, age year and name of school.

Include  Treasury in email subject line.

I will post favourites and pick one to send book to on Monday 11th December.