this page is a work in progress and needs your help!
I am going to make a permanent page with the details of New Zealand bookshops that sell poetry books for children. This is a draft of what I have so far. I don’t know the bookshops that are in the provinces but if you know a bookshop you think I should add to the list with a comment about it please send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you! And bookshops I am happy to change things if you want to add anything. And photos of your poetry books.
Lots of bookshops seem to have a really good display of overseas poetry books for children but not such a good showing of New Zealand ones (I know only a handful get published here but there are still some in print!). Down the bottom of the bookshop list I have compiled a list of New Zealand poetry books for children still in print (with a big thank you to Crissi Blair. Each year Crissi puts an essential catalogue together of New Zealand children’s books in print which is very useful (www.silvertone.co.nz; email@example.com). Let me know of any I have missed!
The books in a shop constantly change, but I have listed some titles available beside a number of the shops to give you an idea of the range for sale.
1. The Children’s Bookshop, Auckland. I went here recently and came home with this SWAG of poetry books (see lead photo)! Lots of terrific overseas titles on a waterfall display stand (about 30, now minus the ones I bought in the photo!), but the only NZ book was Baxter’s Basics by James K Baxter. I bought: Carol Ann Duffy’s 101 Poems for Children (MacMillan), The Book of Complete Nonsense (Vintage), 101 Poems edited by Michael Morpurgo illustrated by Quentin Blake (faber & faber), I Like This Poem edited by Kaye Webb (Puffin), Wolf and Dog by Sylvia Vanden Heede (Gecko Press), the gorgeous Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace by AA Milne (Egmont), Shel Silverstein’s Everything On It (Particular Books), Michael Rosen’s Even My Ears Are Smiling illustrated by Babette Cole (Bloomsbury), Edward Lear’s The Quangle Wangle’s Hat (Hinkler), Jack Prelutsky’s Stardines Swim Across the Sky and Other Poems (Greenwillow). I think they are wanting to stock more NZ poetry for children.
2. Unity Books, 19 High Street 09 307 0731 Auckland. They have a well selected few, including the excellent Shel Slverstein. Wellington 57 Willis Street 04 499 4245 They told me: ‘We cover modern poets such as Sharon Creech, Shel Silverstein and Carol Ann Duffy. and also stock the lovely old nursery rhymes edited by authors of Rosemary Wells and Kathleen Lines ilk. and older beloved poetry eg RL Stevenson, CS Lewis and Edward Lear. There is very little NZ poetry for children, but we carry what is available; eg Margaret Mahy, Dennis Glover and James K Baxter.’
3. Time Out Book Shop, 432 Mt Eden Road, Mt Eden Auckland. 09 630 3331 Again they have a small range, with some surprising gems. They stock New Zealanders such as Margaret Mahy, James K Baxter and Peter Bland, and overseas anthologies by poets such as Carol Ann Duffy and Roald Dahl. Here is a gem: If: A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility (Canongate)
4. Women’s Bookshop in Ponsonby have a medium sized but well chosen selection. From the bookshop: ‘We often have Baxter’s Basics and your Flamingo Bendalingo but we have sold out of both. And we have had the Word Witch lately. At the moment we have Red Cherry Red by Jackie Kay, Even My Ears are Smiling by Michael Rosen, Book of Complete Nonsense – Vintage, Edwards Lear’s Nonsense Birds, Revolting Rhymes – Roald Dahl, 101 Poems for Children chosen by Carol Ann Duffy we have been stocking but we are out of stock at the moment.’
5 Next Page Please Shop 2 445 Lake Road Takapuna North Shore. 09 486 2453 And owner is passionate about poetry. Books displayed to catch your eye include Macaroni Moon, Classic Poetry edited by Michael Rosen, Here’s a Little Poem illustrated by Polly Dunbar, Baxter Basics, AA Milne’s When We Were Young, Peter Bland’s When Gulls Fly High, Carol Ann Duffy, Watch out Brussel Sprout, My Village, Science Verse, Flamingo Bendalingo.
6. The Children’s Bookshop, 227 Blenheim Road Christchurch. 03 366 5274 With another owner passionate about poetry for children they stock over 50 titles. A terrific range of overseas titles and NZ represented by Mahy, Baxter and James Norcliffe’s Packing a Bag for Mars. ‘The Children’s Bookshop in 227 Blenheim Road is terrific – that’d be the main one. The UBS also has a small section and Scorpio Books too.’ Fiona Farrell
Here are two brilliant photos showing off the stock:
7. The Children’s Bookshop, Shop 26 Rongotai Plaza, Kilbirnie, Wellington 04 387 3905 They stock a wonderful range of children’s poetry from the classics to the contemporary, from overseas and from New Zealand (including Margaret Mahy’s essential The Word Witch and some James K Baxter). The next time I am in Wellington I want to visit the shop and will let you know what I find.
8. Rona Gallery 151 Muritai Road, Eastbourne, Wellington. 04 562 8062 ‘My local and where I work randomly is fantastic – always loads of poetry because Joanna loves it and believes in it – we sell it …They absolutely do – always a good stack of Paula Greens – and other NZ writers and then collections and anthologies from US, UK and Australia. We keep ordering books we love like The Sky is Painted Blue and Baxter’s poems. We sell a lot of christenings and new babies … and grandparental gifts…’ Mary McCallum Another must visit when I am in Wellington next.
9. Marsden Books, Marsden Village, 159 Karori Road Wellington 04 476 8066 Sarah from the NZ Booksellers recommended this shop and I can see why; they have over forty poetry titles that cover a great range from both overseas and New Zealand. Titles that jumped out at me include Peter Bland, Margaret Mahy, Let’s Celebrate Festivals: Poems from around the world, Shel Silverstein, Spike Milligan, Sharon Creech’s Love that Dog, Classic Poetry, If, Edward Lear. Again a shop that is on my must visit list.
10. Page and Blackmore, 24 Trafalgar Street, Nelson 03 548 9992 From the Bookseller: ‘Page & Blackmore sell books of poetry for and by children. They stock a range of New Zealand and overseas children’s poetry titles suitable for a range of ages, and encourage the reading and writing of poetry by children. Page & Blackmore: Nielsen Independent Bookshop of the Year, 2013.’ A photo of some of their stock:
11. Dunedin University Bookshop 378 Great King Street Dunedin 03 477 6976 The online catalogue shows a handful of interesting verse for children.
12. Ewen is a fan of Poetry Box and told me that these Paper Plus shops in Christchurch stock poetry books including my book Flamingo Bendalingo. She recommended these branches:
189 Papanui Rd Merivale, Christchurch 03-964 3836 and Northlands Shopping Centre Level 1/55 Main North Road Christchurch 03-352 5185
New Zealand Poetry Books for Children
James K Baxter, Baxter Basics Steele Roberts 2008, illustrators include Lynley Dodd
Peter Bland When Gulls Fly High Puffin 2011, Illustrated by Joanna Bland
Joy Cowley Elephant Rhymes Scholastic, 2006 Illustrator Brent Putze
Paula Green Flamingo Bendalingo AUP, 2006 illustrated by Michael Hight (due 2014, The Letter Box Cat and other poems, Scholastic; A Treasury of New Zealand Poems for Children, Random House)
Something Zany: A Crazy Miscellany Edited and illustrated by Gwen Gawith Scholastic, 1992
Margaret Mahy The Word Witch HarperCollins, 2009 Illustrated by David Elliot
Peter Millet Humpty Dumpty and other Classic Kiwi Rhymes Puffin, 2008 Illustrated Eddie Booth
My Village: Rhymes from Around the World Gecko Press, 2008 illustrated by Mique Moriuchi