Gavin Bishop’s Aotearoa is a splendid thing



Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story by Gavin Bishop (Penguin Random House, 2017)


‘There was plenty of kaimoana in the sea.’

This book is like a treasure house of New Zealand history with text and illustrations from one of our very best children’s authors – Gavin Bishop. Penguin Random House have produced a gorgeous hardback book (it is very big and very beautiful!) that celebrates such a wonderful labour of love through publishing care.

Gavin shines a reading searchlight in all directions. History is like a prism – it has many ways of being viewed.

Aotearoa should be in every home and in every school because it is a book where you can lose yourself meandering and you can discover all kinds of things. You have to peer closely into each page to find things in the words and the images. Magnificent!

Gavin begins the Aotearoa story when an asteroid hit Earth (65 million years ago!).

He takes us through arrivals of peoples, wars, treaties, more wars.

We travel through the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the sports we play and the way our country has extraordinary natural beauty.

He shows us famous people and people who have told our stories, made art, films and music.

He reminds us of how we have protested – how we speak out.

That makes the book political, but it is also personal because it feels like it is my story, your story, and our story.


The book is a taonga that reminds us of our taonga and how important it is for us to join hands and find ways to care for this place we love. I absolutely love it.


Penguin Random House page

Gavin Bishop’s web page











Poetry fireworks: Storylines Hui poems from children’s authors Gavin, Stephanie, Melinda, Heather and Kerin


I took a poetry workshop at the Storylines Hui in October with about 30 children’s authors. It was fast-speed fun! We spent 90 minutes playing with words.

I loved the hui – so many highlights but what a treat to do workshops with Kate De Goldi and Joy Cowley and catch up with all my friends in the children’s book world.

I got the writers to send in some poems, even though, for most of them, poetry is NOT what they usually do. I think they are  word-sparkingly good and I just love the energy that sparks from their sounds and images and surprise!

Just the thing to say out loud in the rain!


from Gavin Bishop (who has the most amazing new book (Aotearoa A New Zealand Story) which I will review soon):




Tongue and groove dripped ginger beer

onto the bench-top, onto the floor.

Like a guinea pig to the door, I slid,

like a pig through the door – the dripping kitchen door.



Window View


The Alps zig-zag between the frame.

The foot-hills scramble across the glass.

Looking down now, with kahu eyes, the city jives beneath my gaze.



Sun Shower

The sunshine is awash with water.

A blue raincoat flaps in light.

Sparrows spray aside as my daughter splashes by,

on her hydroponic bike.




from Stephanie Mayne (who has excellent poems in A Treasury of NZ Poetry reissued this month):


In My Pocket.

A blade of grass, a rusty nail

Marbles blue as a peacock’s tail.

Pale white shells, and out of reach

Sand, from swimming at the beach.

Half bus ticket, scrunched up note

(Hard to read what the writer wrote!)

Leaf I liked, old cough lolly

One glass eye from my sister’s dolly.

Half a biscuit, apple core

Yellow crumbs and ants galore.

Soft grey feather, cicada case

Fidget spinner? No more space!



from Melinda Szymanik (who wrote the completely amazing A Winter’s Day in 1939 among other excellent things):


Water’s for Ducks

Sun’s out

Birds try

Bird bath

Clouds come

Rain drips

Slow fills

Bath, spills

Clouds go

Sun’s out

Drips dry

Birds try

Bird bath


In Your Pocket

In your pocket

Are five pink

Shrink-wrapped sausages

Wriggling worms

In close white

Knitted tight

On knuckled digits

Hand in glove

In your pocket



Here. In School

I went to work

A school visit, close to home

And because I am polite

Not rude

I put my phone on silent

At morning tea

Messages are always checked

And this time,

This time

The message was different

“Is your boy home sick?” they asked

Just checking

Because he’s not at school.

I’d seen him off that morning

Uniformed, lunch packed, back pack hoisted.

Heart sick.

I felt heart sick

My boy was not in school

As he should be

Not in school

The message was different

Had I heard it right?

At lunch

The message was different

They had not heard him


When he said “here”

In school.



from Heather Haylock whose first picture book is to be published by Penguin Random House next year (Granny McFlitter the Champion Knitter – the current Gavin Bishop Award book, illustrated by Lael Chisholm):


River Fog
Low and slow, the dampness creeping.
Hid beneath, the river weeping.
Dark and deep, moving, masking,
underneath, the dragon dancing.


My pocket left home this morning,
Full of possibilities.

My pocket came home
bulging with shame.

Two detention slips.
Another teacher’s note.
Grades too far down the alphabet.

My pocket, my friend,
hid my shame.

Until washing day.


From Kerin Casey who is busy writing children’s stories:


Griffin’s Hug


Wiry warm arms

Wrap tight around my neck

Squeezing love in

Wringing forgiveness



Snug as a bug in a rug

Griffin’s hug




This soggy day of bedraggled entanglements

Drips and slips

Through my melting fingers

Sticky and limp




In My Pocket


In my pocket is a small round stone

Sea green

Warm heart

Whipped smooth by sand on a cold surf beach

Foam flying

Waves smashing

Found, weighed, then tossed by a friendly hand

Moves on


Returns and seeks it out, desperate

Sea green

Warm heart

Smooths a gnarled thumb across its surface

And thinks of me






November challenges: reinventing acrostic poems and leaping off from art


I am going to post a few more things between now and December but these are the last challenges for the year.


I was inspired by two books:

a poem by James Brown in Annual 2 which I really really LOVED (check it out!!)

and the brand new, absolutely AMAZING  The New Zealand Art Activity Book.


There are two challenges!


I will have a copy of The Letterbox Cat and a copy of The New Zealand Art Activity Book (grateful thanks to Te Papa Press) to give away.


Send to by 27th November. I will post some favourites on 30th November.

Please include your name, age, year and name of school. I won’t post poems if I don’t have these details.

IMPORTANT:  Put ACROSTIC POEM or ART POEM  in the subject line of the email please. PLEASE say which artwork you picked under the title of your poem or in subject line of email.

First Up: Art Poems



The New Zealand Art Activity Book by Helen Lloyd, Te Papa Press 2017 (a new edition)

Te Papa Press have published a new art activity book and it is such fun. Helen Lloyd chose more than 50 artworks in the museum collection and asked 15 artists to do page works for the book especially.

You get to see old works and news works, from famous artists and not so famous artists, from Māori, Pākehā, Pasifika and Asian artists.

I really really like this book  because not only do I get to check out art but there are very cool activities. It is the perfect book for the summer holidays when you want a break from gadgets or tree climbing or boogie boarding.

You can colour in, make a tivaevae or flying sculpture, design a treasure box or patterns. There are 150 pages of things to do and look at.

I thought it might be fun to use one of the artworks as a starting point for a poem.


The challenge:

Pick an artwork. There are four images below to choose from.

let the artwork take you wherever you like!

You might take one small thing in the work that catches your eye as a starting point. Then you can leap into your imagination.

You might just use a colour and see where it leads you – mindwander on a page before you start writing. Especially for Sara’s painting.

Does anything in the painting hook a memory? Use that for your poem.

Play with colour words to make a word pattern (blue ultramarine grey). Try doing it in black font. Listen to your poem.

Try describing what you see in the painting in a poem. Play with the words.

Explore the feeling you get from the painting in a poem.

Invent a little story that your imagination hooks up from the work.

Try painting a picture with words – real things help make pictures grow.


Four artworks from four of my favourite NZ artists to choose from:



  1. ‘Millions of colours’ by Sara Hughes




2. ‘Ulumago’ by John Pule



3. ‘Untitled’ by Saskia Leek



4. ‘The dancing chicken’ by Dick Frizzell



Thank you!!!!   Activities/images reproduced with permission from The New Zealand Art Activity Book by Helen Lloyd, published by Te Papa Press. Available at all good bookstores or online here.


Second Up: Acrostic Poems


We all write acrostic poems where the first letters of each line spell a word – and often it is just one word that follows:


My cat





Sometimes the lines stretch and make the poem grow:


My cat

Catching scraps of paper

As though she is a vacuum cleaner,

The tail flicks, the whiskers quiver.


James Brown though was a very tricky acrostic poet because he made the first letters make a word and the last letters make a word. I have had a go with my cat poem:


My cat

Cheeky cat crept,  kitchen hectic

Ate the fishy pasta

That  we cooked tonight.


I decided to try putting the word in down the middle of the poem:


My Cat

The Cat sleeps on

my lAp, dreaming

of sTrange sardines.


Have fun playing with what acrostic poems can do!


And    h a v e   fun doing these two challenges.

Some favourite poems from the October challenges

I had fun writing some found poems and some book-spine poems.

I also had fun reading yours so a big THANK YOU for sending them.

This is a MAMMOTH post because there were so MANY  p o e m s.


Selwyn House School and Paparoa Street School were so enthusiastic about the book-spine poems and Westmere School cooked up a storm with found poems.

I am sending a copy of The Letterbox Cat to Te Wana class at Paparoa Street School. I loved the way you used the words in a book to take your poems off in a thousand different  s u r p r i s i n g   directions.


On November 1st, I am posting my last challenges for the year.



Here are some book-spine poems:


Juliet G, 10 years old, Selwyn School



Our story
Jumping cross country fences
Staying clean
Ice skating school
Caring for cats and kittens
Dogs and puppies
The world’s shoulders

Juliet G, 10 years old, Selwyn House School


The Other Side Of Dawn

Petals in the ashes
The white darkness
Taking off
A very unusual pursuit
Let me whisper you my story


Photo on 24-10-17 at 9.30 AM.jpg

Sylvie King Age: 11 Year: 6 Selwyn House School
The Cup Of The World

Fly Away Home
By The Monkey’s Tail
Out Of My Mind
The Deadly Dare Mysteries
The 10pm Question

Photo on 24-10-17 at 10.16.jpg

Masha P, ten years old, Selwyn House School


The pearl of one foot island
The pearl of one foot island
The colossus rises
The wind in the willows
You’ve got guts
Mao’s last dancer
Treasure hunters

Photo on 24-10-17 at 10.07 AM.jpg

Ruby A, 10 years old,  Year 5,  Selwyn House School



Through the tiger’s eye

Against the tide
No survivors
A very unusual pursuit
The spook’s apprentice
The gray king
The seeing stone
The power of one

Harriet  age 9 year five Selwyn House School

Beware of the Dark!

The dark is rising
Thief Lord
Daughter of the wind
Alone on a wide, wide sea
Chasing Vermeer
The cup of the world
The prisoner
Out of my mind
When friendship followed me home

Laura M Age 10,  Selwyn House School

What the raven saw

What the raven saw
Through the tiger’s eye
Jungle hunters
Liar and spy.

Gemma W 10 years old, Year 5, Selwyn House School


Juggling with Mandarins,
if i stay,
call me HOPE,
Forever Rose.

Photo on 24-10-17 at 11.20 AM.jpg

Alice M 10 years old, Y5, Selwyn House School


Here are some found poems:



Students from Te Wana, Paparoa Street School sent me a bunch of fabulous found poems using words random pages in the Lemonade Genie by Adrian Boote.



Spikes lemonade glitter exploded

Lemon yellow ear-rings dangly on silver

Dazzling shoes


By Noah and Toby B Year 3



Almost all-powerful genie stared

Jiggly lemon yellow eyebrow

Magnificent golden seagull a lump

Old cocker chewing-gum wishes

Could giggled Moonwood eagle



By Mason and Xavier Year 3



Lookout Tower


everything up

to the

Lookout tower



By Humnah and Esther Year 4









Disastrous knocking flapping tripping and

Horribly falling

Ooooh nooo!!


By Charlie and Liam Year 4


Young Man

Young man




Yellow shoes dangly

Huge suit

Yellow lemon


By Finn and Ciaran Year 4



Three wishes?

All-powerful genie




By William Year 4




The Lemon Poem

Lemon yellow shoes

Winked and sparkled under the classroom

Big, dangly lemon ear-rings

Yello-rimmed sunglasses

He wore a dazzling lemon yellow shirt

I’m the lemonade genie


By Elsie and Nicholas Year 3-4



Mystery Man

Young man

Winked and sparkled silver glitter

Dazzling lemon yellow lights stuck up in spikes

Yellow-rimmed sunglasses classroom exploded

Who are you?

Call me Keith


 By Romey and Drew  Year 3-4


The Super Hero





Moonwood golden



By Lucas and Fin B Year 3-4


Silver Glitter

Huge suit made of silver glitter

Stuck up in spikes


A dazzling lemon yellow

Rimmed sunglasses


By Tadhg and Isaac Year 4


Terrifying horribleness poem

Knocking chairs

Spilling disastrous

Tucking horribleness

Terrifying handkerchiefs

Shirt-tails sink in


By William and Sree Year 4


Ranger in a lookout tower

I heard a noise



Stone moving



What’s what?


By Neve, Milly and Maddie Year 4


The students from LS6 at Westmere have been finding poems in signs around the library and from their library books. Here is a sample:


Found Poem

Another code to crack,
That white hair again!
Ah, let me think…
A violin named Allegro is sparkling,
But which bridge?

(found in False Note by Susannah McFarlane)

By Hannah LS6 Age 9



Break the Glass

Break glass switch
It’s the fire alarm
Grab your hat
Discover the world
If you want to succeed.

By Neve LS6 Age 10



I can’t
I won’t
I don’t
I nod
I pray
I stand frozen
I knock
I run.

(found in Girl Underground by Morris Gleitzman)

By Neve LS6 Age 9


Just a Library

Keep calm and read Harry Potter
Driven to read
What shall I read next?
Grab your hat and read with the cat!
Look after the books, look after each other.
The more you read the more things you know
the more that you learn the more places you’ll go!

By Henri LS6 Age 10



Christian replied
Christian Fontaine cradled his chin
Christian turned and stared
Christian frowned
Christian shook his head
Christian said nothing

(found in Alice Miranda in Paris by Jacqueline Harvey)

By Lola LS6 Age 9




Gusty trees, cloudy seas
most disposed, shutters closed.
He read his story thinking,
forests sinking?
Ochre skies before his eyes.
The other day full of dismay.
“A very good morning to you, Bluejay!”

(found in Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke)

By Petra LS6 Age 10


The Library Signs

We are the world, being and becoming.
We are one world
Belonging to hands
Driven to read
Full of surprises
You need to succeed
Discover the world
With a pull of a lead
Walk do not run
We are the hands of the world.

By Petra LS Age 10


Jo’s Library

Welcome, Read
Grab your hat and read with the cat.
Discover, Graphic novels
A to Z, X to Y
Becoming, being and belonging.
If you want to lead, read.
If you want to succeed, read.
What shall I read next? Hairy Maclary?
Schnitzel von Krum, Bottomly Potts,
Doggy Ditties, Fiction, Non-Fiction.
One world, The more you read
the more things you’ll know, the
more that you’ll learn, the more
places you’ll go!
No food or drinks
Look after each other
Te Reo Maori
Reading is Fabumouse
Fire Alarm
Book marks, Book marks, Book Marks!
Returns, Exit.

By Brooke LS6 Age 10 and Isabelle LS6 Age 10


LS7 have been busy finding poems in the library, the first poem is from the signs, and the others are from library books.

In the Westmere Library

The more that you read
The more things you’ll know
The more things that you learn
The more places you’ll go!
DIAL 111
Once out, stay out.
Matariki is when we celebrate the Maori new year.
Rules for the library:
USE QUiet voices…
look after the books
Get your books issued
Look after each other.
Bring your books back each week.
And the most important rule of all…
Enjoy the Library!

By Willa LS7Age 11


Cindy and the Prince

She bellowed help! and let me out
The magic fairy heard her shout…
The prince cried NO!
He grabbed her dress.
As Cindy shouted Let me go
the dress ripped from head to toe.
She ran out in her underwear
and slipped on a stair.
Cindy heard thuds of bouncing heads upon the floor
and poked her head around the door…
Poor Cindy’s heart was torn to shreds.
My Prince, she cried, He chops off heads!

(From Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes)

By Ruby LS7 Age 10




“Let’s start at the beginning.”
“What will you do then?”
“You really think so?”
“Of course!”


(From A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickett)

By Olive LS 6 Age 9





The Silver Donkey

I’m ten.
This is my sister Coco, her real name is Therese.
Because she has black hair like a poodle’s
Everyone calls her Coco.
A soldier goes to war
with a donkey by his side.
Guns fired, war started
But the donkey saved the soldier.
The silver donkey took him back safely
To Coco and the 10-year-old girl.
They lived together happily.

(From The Silver Donkey by Sonya Hartnett)

By Amelia LS7 Age 9



The Land of Secrets

The home for Dame Know-it-all.
The home for the Enchanter wise-man.
The home for the wizard-tall-hat.
The home for Miss Quiet-mouth.
The home for Witch Know-a-lot.
The home for all secrets of the world.

(From The folk of the Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton)

By Sarah LS7 Age 11


The Twits

“I’ve come for a holiday.” said the Roly-Poly bird.
And the Roly-Poly bird watched.
“What’s happened?”
“He’ll stew us alive,” wailed the second one.
“I’ll bite off your toes.”
And everyone including Fred shouted… “HOORAY.”

(From The Twits by Roald Dahl)

By Pippi LS7 Age 10



Kasper Prince of Cats

More and more he just didn’t want to.
I wasn’t frightened, not exactly.
He was just nervous, restless and anxious.
Those children, wretched children, she fumed.
He just skipped down the corridor.
I don’t want to leave my family she said.
Go my dear, go now.
Now I would lay awake at night thinking about it.
So I climbed the stairs to look.
I hadn’t any choice.
It didn’t matter much either way.

(From Kasper Prince of Cats by Michael Morpurgo)

By Honor LS7 Age 10








Maria Gill’s Toroa’s Journey: This is a must-have glorious book


I love watching birds: the kereru, tūī and pīwakawaka around my place and a symphony of birds at the beach near me. I especially love seeing the endangered dotterels scampering across the black sand. They do scamper and they do cheep! I also love going out to the gannet colony at Muriwai. It is the best-view bird colony in the world I reckon. You can watch the chicks learning to walk and fly. The parents head out swooping and feeding across the wild waves. So happy days to get a bird book in the mail!



Toroa’s Journey Maria Gill Illustrated by Gavin Mouldy Potton & Burton


Maria Gill is on of my favourite non-fiction children’s authors. Her new book, Toroa’s Journey follows the life of a baby albatross chick hatched at Taiaroa Head (near Dunedin). The bird was named Toroa which is the Maori word for ‘albatross’. Just before the little bird has leaned to fly (fledged), a transmitter device was attached to his back.

This is astonishing: the royal albatross is one of the biggest seabirds in the world ( think of two cats!) and once it takes flight, it takes flight for years, hardly ever touching land.

This is astonishing: Will Toroa arrived back at Taiaroa Head? Around seventy per cent of the birds make it back to where they were born and start new families. What dangers will he face on his journey? What can we do if we care about birds and the environment?

Maria has used facts for her story. There are gold-mine information boxes that helped me understand more about the life of this extraordinary bird. However Maria also uses her imagination to imagine what happened sea. The tracking device told her where the bird went but not what he saw and felt. That was up to her.


At nightfall, Toroa rides the waves like a sea plane.

He swoops squid with his hooked bill and gobbles it up.


When full, he taxies off the watery runway,

paddling his webbed feet and spreading his

wings wide ready to catch the up-draught.


I have been to the albatross colony and gazed out at the baby birds in awe. Now that I have read this story, I want to go back. Maria writes beautifully; her sentences flow like honey and she makes the journey and the bird spark with life on the page.



Plus you get the evocative illustrations by Gavin Mouldey.

This is a must-have glorious book.


Craig & Burton page

Maria Gill’s teaching notes on her website

October challenges in time for the holidays: found poems and book-spine poems

A few months ago, I invited you to invent some poetry challenges. Daniel and Gemma sent in these two which I thought would be fun. Thanks!

So your challenge is to write a found poem (you have to go finding first so see my tips and examples) or assemble a book-spine poem (see my tips).


Gemma: Write a found poem

 So what is a found poem?

You use words or phrases you read or hear and turn them into a poem.

It might be signs or something in the newspaper. You borrow the words or phrases!

It might be a letter or a notice. Circle the words and phrases you want to use as Gemma does below.

It might be billboard or road signs.

It might be words and phrases you read in a book. Say what the book is.


It might be a conversation you hear. I love collecting things people say when I am out.

It might be comments in a visitor’s book. Bill Manhire did this at Shackleton’s Hut!!

It might be junk mail headings or ad slogans.

Give your poem a title.


Here are three I did:


Happy Days!

This is not any sofa.

The milk on everyone’s lips.

Need long shoes?


[I got these lines from ads in a magazine]


The Beach

keep off the grass

swim between the flags

falling rocks unstable cliffs

dottorel nesting

west coast veggie burger

[signs I saw at the beach]


Road Trip

Slow down

Slow down

Give way

Children crossing







Stop Stop

[road signs]



Something good

much hope,

count the chickens

the horses

the little palace

the curving staircase

afternoon tea,

his birthday.


[from first page of Barbara Else’s fabulous The Travelling Restaurant]



Here’s one Gemma did:

A motivation found poem

Plan consistently
Prepare for improvements
And learn more.



You can see where she got her words from (you could use a magazine or newspaper or book page – say what you used):





Daniel: Use the the titles on books spines to make a poem.

You can photo them like Daniel did or just type them like I did.

So what is a book-spine poem?

You stack books so the tiles on the spines read like a poem.

See my example and the photo Gemma and Daniel sent.



A Very Busy Kitchen

The 10 PM Question:

Stuart Little

Little Bear

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

In the Midnight Kitchen


Go Dogs Go’

Green Eggs and Ham

Goodnight Moon



Here’s one Daniel and Gemma did for their school library



Only one you
An unexpected hero
Not bad for a bad lad
Braving it
Being happy
You be you.


H a v e     f u n    !  !   !


Send to by 27th October. I will post some favourites on 31st October and have a poetry book for at least one reader. It is not a competition though!

Please include your name, age, year and name of school. I won’t post poems if I don’t have these details.

IMPORTANT:  Put FOUND POEM or BOOK SPINE POEM  in the subject line of the email please.

September challenge: Some of my favourite IMAGINATIVE poems

Thanks so much for sharing your BOUNDING imaginations in the form of a poem.

Poems are HUNGRY for bounding imaginations.

I loved reading them all and it was hard to pick a few  (well this is quite a LOT!)


I have a book for Lily, Tom and Cale.


Elementor Leopards

Their eyes are like the stormiest nights,
like Poseidon and Zeus fighting, the water.
Their noses are redder than a foxes tail, fire.
The lips of this leopard are the darkest green ever seen, earth.
There is a swirl on their forehead whiter than cloud, sky.
It was wonderful.

Its rosettes are like all the elements in a ball.
Earth was in the middle then little stripes of fire, water and air
were curved around the sides.
It was beautiful.

Leopards of the elements.

Lily M age: 8 year: 4 Paekakariki School


A stone

A stone lay high on the mountain top

And it turned into a bright blue gem

And that gem turned into a carbon black flame

Which flickered bright as the distant stars

And that plane turned into a tiny beige leaf

And that leaf turned into a jaguar

And that jaguar ran down the mountain

And came to a sudden halt.

At the edge of a forest he stood there waiting

And turned into a piece of cobalt

And that miniature piece of cobalt

Was picked up by a drone

And that drone dropped it on a mountain

where it warped back into a stone.


By Cale Year 8, age 12 Rangeview Intermediate School


A Giol Called Scover
I saw a Giol on Sunday,
A Giol is a bird.
It looked at me as if to say,
Gee man, you’re absurd.

He looked kind of green
With pink spots all over
I said to him
“I think I’ll name you Scover.”

Scover climbed a tree
And then he climbed the sky
I said I thought it was impossible
And he said na- you try.

I climbed the sky but fell back
And yelled the bad word sciof
I came back down again black and bruised
And he said guiltily “Well I’d better be off.”

He never came back after that
I thought I’d changed his mind
But he came back on Thursday
But he was a whole lot less kind.

Sylvie King, age 10, Selwyn House School



The fluttering pack of birds fly away to open a magnificent wonder world of magic. I see a pack of whirling wolves and flying pigs. I walk forward to find a castle filled with colour. I then discover a dark room. I walk to the middle of the room then start flying. I crash through the window and into the world.

By Daniel F Age 9 Fendalton School


Wild Imagination
I woke one morning.
The moon was cooking me breakfast.
I went outside.
There was the sun playing Go Fish.
I raced to school.
Instead of my teacher, there was a seagull.
My school was just a school of sardines.
I raced back home.
The house next door was made of cats and yarn.
My room was floating on water.

Honor, age 10, Selwyn House School


My best friend and I used to make up stories,
Of dragons, princesses and knights,
Of beautiful maidens,
And ballerinas in shining lights.

We would be the main characters in each story,
Fighting dragons and slimy creatures,
Killing all the villains,
And all the evil teachers.

We would dance like elegant swans,
And sing like chirping birds,
We would leap like fierce cheetahs,
With emotion coming out from every single move or word.

My friend and I are older now,
Instead of books,
We have phones,
It keeps us busy every single day,
Keeping us prisoners in our homes.

There is no such thing as magic anymore,
No faraway lands to see,
That used to keep us up late at night,
Fidgeting in our beds with glee.

I guess everybody gets older someday,
And forgets about their childish ways,
Some people don’t see what’s happening,
When they waste away their days.

Zoe G 12 years old St Cuthberts College



Screen Shot 2017-10-01 at 9.04.15 AM.png

Kylie, age 12, Rangeview Intermediate


Burnt Toast

Burnt your toast?

Not such a bad thing

Look at what you have created

Or even better… imaginated


Carve a shape for a toast sculpture

Or use little pieces for a toast mosaic


With a pinch of out of the box thinking

You might find you’ve made a mask

Or a fly swat

Or a trail marker on the ground


Add a smear of peanut butter and it is a bird feeder

Or turn it into chippies for ducks


Look, you’ve made a new Frisbee!

Or grab a Ping-Pong ball and play toast tennis


Stack it up. Make a hole in the middle. Enjoy your candle holder.

Or perhaps it is a fire starter


You could even strap it to your feet and show the world your new shoes


Burnt toast

The end of the world

Or the start of something great

It’s all in the way you imaginate

Gemma, age 11, Adventure School



The Eeb Evih Needs

The Eeb Evih needs:
peanut butter ice cream
visiting its evih
travelling in swarms
from Cape Reinga
to Bluff

The Eeb Evih needs:
wings to carry it
to New Plymouth
to visit the Len Lye Gallery

The Eeb Evih needs:
legs to carry honey
to Te Papa
to show New Zealand
how clever they are

The Eeb Evih needs:
arms to repair the evih
after its journey.

Joshua P 12 yrs old Medbury School, Christchurch



I store the light

So it’s bright at night

Though I do feel sad when I’m on all night

I flicker and flutter

And run out of power.


I am happy when you are under me

I am comforted and not lonely

I would like to change my glow

So there is a soft light flow


But please don’t leave me on all night

Otherwise I won’t be so bright.

Daniel, age 9, Adventure School


Candy Man

Meet Candy Man
His name is Dan.
His hair is chocolate ice,
his head is chocolate rice.
Mentos eyes,
candy cane nose.
His mouth is in
two jelly bean rows.
Chewing gum scarf,
makes me laugh.
Candy floss tummy,
that’s so yummy.
M&M spots,
lots of dots.
Boots of jelly
for his welly boots.

By Philipp Age 9 Samoan Unit Richmond Road School


Wild Pet

My wild pet is a lion and a bird.
Together I call him Liord.
He has a long beak
a tired tale
It’s feathers fling
It’s wings go up and down
when he’s in town.
His fur is bushy
just like my hair.
That’s Liord!

By Alani Age 9 Samoan Unit Richmond Road School



Lamb and Genie, riding in a Lamborghini.
Bear and horse together is Borse.
Poster and book, a Pohook.
Water and fizzy is Wafizzy.
Apple and banana, a Panana.
Computer and iPad, Compad.
Black and blue, red an white
What do they have in common?
They are all colours.
What about Blaue?
and Rite?
Are they colours too?

By Videl Age 11 Samoan Unit Richmond Road School


Fruit Man

His feet are medium oranges
His legs are rotten bananas
His stomach is a humungous apple
His chest is a poisoned pear
His neck is a bumpy boysenberry
His head is a square strawberry
His mouth is a bearded banana
His nose is a little blackberry
His eyes are ice-cream blueberries
His ears are small pineapples
and his hair is black and yellow liquorice!

By Oliana Age 10 Samoan Unit Richmond Road School



The Imagination Road

The dim lights cover,
The Imagination road,
Where anything is possible.
Just take a stroll.
The candy floss may fall on your head,
The chocolate coated trees may be just divine,
But as long as you make it to the
Jelly pit,
And do 5 flips,
Until you feel bouncy,
And alive.
At the end of the day,
Animals will parole the streets,
And deliver you back,
To the Imagination station.

Evie Johnson age 11 Selwyn House School



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Tom, age 9, Hoon Hay School, Christchurch


The Golcher

The Golcher is a scary beast.
It lives in a cave under the street
and feeds
on chuckly bones and goblin meat,
and when it feeds
its scaly wings
flap with joy.
His body is the opposite…
as cuddly as a fluffy toy.

By Alexander M Age 9 LS7 Westmere School


The Land of Topsy Turvey

Sea in the sky
where dolphins fly
and little fish dive
and octopie jive.
Unicorns dance
and Pegasus prance.
Griffins from France
look on in askance.
At the land of Topsy Turvey
people come to ride a whale or
swim in the rainbow sea.
Kids come to eat
unhealthy, healthy things or
run around in an upside down tower
looking around at teacher’s dancing
and relievers prancing
at the land of Topsy Turvey.

By Sophie M-R Age 10 LS7 Westmere School



Endless eyes
endless flies.
The Labrasneel.
Is a snake
and an
Walking on the beach
with his ugly
webbed feet.
With his black labrador face
He’ll win every race…
Beneath the sharp teeth
Lies the toungue.
Number one!

By Mia M Age 10 LS7 Westmere School


Drip Drop

Drip Drop
Round the clock.
Tic toc
Tic toc
Mr Dun made a bun
Out of pungy lungy lung.
He started to lick
Then ate it quick.
Tic toc
Tic toc

By Taylor M Age 11 LS6 Westmere School



Jiggle juggle what a struggle
Here and there a flying pear.
Listening out, can’t get out.
The moon is so bright, like the sunlight.
Can’t get to sleep without counting sheep.
Shimmering here, limmering there.
My eyes are rocks, theyr’e starting to stop.
Tic Toc that’s the clock.
Stars are so bright, like the moonlight.
The phone is buzzing all night long.
I roll over from side to side.
Pitter patter, the rain is starting.

By: Genevieve age 9, Neve age 10 and Charlie D age 10 LS6 Westmere School



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By Aastha Year 8, age 13 Rangeview intermediate school



Standing in the cold damp darkness

I stare at the faint sunlight above

My slimy green legs stuck on the mossy green grass

I croak for Hungry

My long tongue slips out catching a fly that was hovering above

I’m tired

I sleep

And I never wake up again

Iris, Fendalton School