Tag Archives: A Treasury of New Zealand Poems for Children

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.

My very EXCELLENT Poetry Day news! time to dance and whoop and clap





I am really excited because Penguin Random House

are going to reprint a paperback version of

A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children.

It will be out in November this year!

Yeah! I am so happy, thank you PRH!


H a  p p y     N a t i o n a  l   P o e  t r y     D a y  !


from Paula






I am on the hunt for A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children



This week I went up north to talk about my poetry at the Tai Tokerau Literacy Conference in spectacular Paihia and Russell and I discovered the Treasury I edited is now out of print.

Most of my books are out of print but this book gave me a sad day because it felt like a special book for New Zealand’s children’s poetry had disappeared. The book feels like taonga because we have so few poetry books for children in print. There has never been a book quite like it.

The publisher is sad too but they can’t reprint it because it just doesn’t work budget wise.

So I had a day of tears and then picked myself up and got back to my big book I am writing and my new collection of poems for children I have been working on.


I thought there were still hundreds of copies left because I forgot to check, so am now on the hunt to buy a few copies for myself.

I am sending out a request for Treasury hunters: If you spot a copy somewhere in NZ can you let me know where so I can buy it please? I just wanted a little pile in case there are any new children in my family tree.


I have been wondering how we can keep books like this – that are important literary celebrations of who we are – alive for children readers. I have made myself the unofficial ambassador for children’s poetry in New Zealand but this week it has felt like a very tough job.


Maybe a generous benefactor will put in an order for 1000 copies!


If you spot a copy  for me, I will be over the moon!  paulajoygreen@gmail.com

thank you New Zealand Book Council for such lovely words

The New Zealand Book Council have done a very lovely piece on me and my blogs and my new books and have included Gemma‘s fabulous word-biscuit poem. I felt utterly chuffed to read all the good things they said about Poetry Box.

Poetry Box, remember, is nothing without    y    o    u !

Here is the link.

Final Treasury Challenge Favourites: Using titles from The Treasury to make tremendous new poems


I had such fun reading all the poems that took a Treasury title as their starting point. Many of you know I collected titles for my next collection at all my events and school visits on my tour so I can’t wait to start writing those  .. but it won’t be until next year. Lots of writing projects for next year which I am very excited about.

I loved the way your poems took the title and then went off in all directions. Just what poems and poets like to do! Some played with how they looked and all sounded good! Lots of sizzling imagination too!

I LOVED all the poems you sent me, but I couldn’t post them all.  If you missed out this time do try again. I have picked Noah from Adventure School to send a copy of A Treasury of NZ Poems. Noah was inspired by Margaret Mahy’s poem, ‘The Dictionary Bird.’  His poem is full of delicious sounds and scrumptious words just as her poem is.  Congratulations to all the young poets.

Inspired by Harry Ricketts:

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Inspired by Greg O’Connell:

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Inspired by Stephanie Mayne:

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By Ollie, Year 6 aged 11, Gladstone Primary School, Auckland

Inspired by Bill Nagelkerke:

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Inspired by Pauline Cartwright:


Sloppy curly spaghetti

Very good for lunch

Yummy slurpy spaghetti

My brother goes munch

Toasty cheesy spaghetti

I love it in my tum

Messy messy spaghetti

Tum tum spaghetti yum yum

Ruby T age 6, Year 2, Ilam School


Slippy spaghetti slides down my chin

Slimy spaghetti makes me grin

By Gemma and Daniel, Adventure School

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Russley School sent in a bunch of terrific poems. Here are a few of my favourites:

Inspired by Roger Hall:

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Inspired by Joy Cowley:

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Inspired by Greg O’Connell:

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Inspired by James K Baxter:

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One Breath Poems (inspired by Greg O’Connell – to be recited in one breath!):

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I also received a tremendous bunch of poems from Room 8 at Adventure School. Again it was very hard to pick just a few to post.

Inspired by Pauline Cartwright:

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Inspired by Bill Nagelkerke:

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Inspired by Peter Bland:

Screen shot 2014-11-25 at 11.36.58 AM

Inspired by Stephanie Mayne:

Screen shot 2014-11-25 at 11.39.06 AM

Inspired by Paula Green:

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Inspired by Margaret Mahy:

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Inspired by Greg O’Connell:

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Inspired by David Hill:

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The Hot Spot Poetry Tour’s Auckland finale – a little photo album

A great audience and lots of authors, schools, teachers, librarians and children turned up to celebrate children’s poetry and my two new books at the National Library in Parnell. Lots of new poems penned by children on the Our Place theme and some great performances by children of the poems in the books. I wish I had got these on video so I could put links to them on my blog and so the authors could see what children did with their poems. Richmond Road: I loved the wind and leaves in Apirana Taylor’s ‘Huri Huri’ swirling about the stage and the animals popping up for my ‘When I am Cold Poem.’ Really sad Seba couldn’t be there to see how wonderful her students were.

I also loved the clear, confident voices ringing out from the Cornwall Park students all in costume (Fiona Farrell missed out on hearing her ‘Once a Little Kiwi Fruit’ and Joy Cowley on hearing ‘Tree Cat.’). Magnificent.

And everyone loved the girls from St Kentigern’s and their breathtaking performance of two very-hard-to-say poems: my poem ‘Tui’ (also known as ‘The Gargle Bird’)  and Sarah Aileen’s ‘The Pumperknickle Pirate.’ These were almost song and almost dance and brought the poems alive in such a tremendous way.

Lots of terrific Our Place poems from Gladstone School, Royal Oak Primary School and Westmere School. I especially loved the poems about grandparents’ homes and what favourite places they are. I was so moved to hear all the poems. Just wonderful.

It has been fascinating to see which poems the authors pick to read as it has always been different. Great renditions from Courtney Sina Meredith, John Parker, Tamsin Flynn, Tessa Duder, Siobhan Harvey, Claire Gummer, Melinda Szymanik and Elena de Roo (as well as their own poems).

Very special to hear the students with poems in the Treasury read too: Charley, Sofia, Eden and Anne-Marie. You did so well. I was so proud of you all. I read Luke’s poem as he couldn’t make it.

The National Library had made displays of poetry books north, south, east and west! Fabulous touch!

I have spent the last few days in a bit of zombie state after my fabulous time on the road (and in the air) but what a great way to finish it. Such a lovely atmosphere.

Thanks to you all! Thanks to the National Library for hosting this event and Elizabeth Jones for taking these photos. (I love the Margaret Mahy chair to read in!) Some more at the end taken by Catriona Ferguson on my phone. Thanks.

IMG_3967 IMG_3971 IMG_3960 IMG_3972  IMG_3977 IMG_3979 IMG_3980 IMG_3981 IMG_3979  IMG_3982 IMG_3984 IMG_3992 IMG_3990 IMG_4009 IMG_4002 IMG_3995 IMG_4006  IMG_3924 IMG_3929 IMG_3943 IMG_3937 IMG_3933 IMG_3935

photo 3 photo 3 photo 1 photo 1 photo 3 photo 2  photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 2 photo 3 photo 1

photo 1

The ribbon! There are three!

The Treasury Interviews: Izak interviews David Eggleton

The interviewer:

My name is Izak, I am 9 years old. My hobbies are electronics, gardening and pottery. I also play the drums, basketball and soccer. I have a sister called Monica, and two cats called Ziggy and Mischief. My favourite author is Andy Griffiths and my favourite book is the 52 Storey Treehouse. I don’t like writing much, but I do like writing poems because they can be very short! (Note from Paula: I have seen some of Izak’s pottery and it is astonishingly good!)

T4 Izak Koster

The interviewed:

David Eggleton is  poet and writer who lives in Dunedin. His books include Time of the Icebergs, a collection of poems published in 2010. His new collection of poems, The Conch Trumpet, will be published by Otago University Press early in 2015.


  1. What was your favourite book when you were a child?

I didn’t have a favourite book as a child, but I still remember my excitement at primary school when a teacher whose name I forget read Grimm Brothers fairytales to us every week for what seemed like a whole year, but was probably only a few weeks. There were scary but also really good. I had never heard anything like them before.

  1. What is your favourite book now?

One of my favourite books for a long time has been Moby Dick, by Herman Melville. It’s a story of a great white whale that turns on the American sailors who are hunting it and then destroys their ship. It tells you lots of things about whales, and also about whale-hunters.

  1. Do you have a favourite author?

No, I don’t have one favourite author, but I do have lots of favourite poets. Here are some of them: William Blake, Lewis Carroll, Hone Tuwhare, Wendy Cope, Emily Dickinson, James K. Baxter. They have all written some magical poems.

  1. How old were you when you did your first performance poetry event, and were you scared?

A poetry performance event is not quite the same as a poetry reading. I first learnt my poems off by heart, and then recited them on-stage in a break between two rock bands to a noisy crowd, when I was in my early twenties. I was a bit nervous, but most of the crowd liked it. That was my first poetry performance event.

  1. What was the first car you owned?

I used to own a Holden Belmont that was made in Australia. It had a powerful engine. I travelled all around New Zealand in that car.

  1. Did you like school?

I liked some subjects at school more than others. I liked music and English and art.

  1. Who was your favourite teacher and why?

I remember when I was at secondary school — I went to Aorere College in south Auckland — a teacher read out the poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins to us, and she made us study his poems very closely because he was her favourite poet. And he became a poet I liked, to the extent that that my poems are sometimes compared to his. So she — Mz Wellsford — would have to be one of my favourite teachers.

  1. What was the naughtiest thing that you ever did when you were a kid?

Well, there were many naughty things, but one of the most dangerous was when I was eight years old and me and my friends wandered, on a Sunday when it was closed, onto an air-force base firing range, looking for unexploded bullets which we could bash with rocks to make them explode. We were collecting bullet-shells and bullets, and we had just started smashing them with rocks and bits of wire and nails when we were caught, and not just chased off but escorted back home.

  1. Do you have any brothers or sisters, and have you ever written a poem about them?

I have one sister and two brothers. I have written poems about some members of my family and I hope eventually to write about all of them. One of my brothers is an artist, and we are working together at the moment on a collection of poems about animals of the South Pacific. He is making woodblock prints for my poems about whales and frogs and lizards and bats.

Thanks David and Izak for a great interview. David has a poem in The Treasury about bats, and having heard him read it in Dunedin, I can tell you it is an excellent poem to read out loud!



The Treasure Interviews: Monica interviews Adrienne Jansen


Monica Koster  I was born in Christchurch in 2002. My passions in life are running, writing and music. So far, I have published three different things. In 2010, when I was 8 years old, my earthquake poem was published on the NZEPC website along with Jeffrey Paparoa Holman’s. In 2013, I was published in the Margaret Mahy Governor’s Bay Poetry book when I won the Senior Poem with Illustration Competition. In 2014, I was excited and honoured to be published in Paula Green’s book, The Letter Box Cat.

Adrienne Jansen

The Score photo A Jansen

Adrienne Jansen writes poetry, fiction and non-fiction for children and
adults. In 2014 she edited The Curioseum, a collection of strange and
wonderful stories based on weird objects in Te Papa’s collections. She lives
in Titahi Bay, with a big ocean view and lots of wind. (note from Paula: I adore The Curioseum so much I posted about it on Poetry Box!)

  1. When you were younger, what was your favourite book character?

When I was a kid, I absolutely loved Ian Seraillier’s The Silver Sword and the family in that novel.

  1. When did you start writing?

When I was a kid. The Evening Post (which was a Wellington newspaper then) had a Children’s Page, and I started sending little things to it when I was about 8.

  1. Did you ever play a sport?

I played badminton a lot, bit of tennis, but my real love is swimming. In the sea and in the pool both.

  1. Who was the most interesting person you met in Canada?

Probably a man we met the summer we went to the Yukon. He’d been goldmining up there for years. They’re a different breed, people who live long periods of time in huge remote places like that.

  1. It must have been fun editing the book, The Curioseum. What was your favourite piece in it?

It was fun – and hard work both, because quite a few of those writers didn’t usually write for children, so the stories needed quite a lot of work. I don’t think I can pick a favourite – I like them all a lot, and the writers as well.

  1. What (or who) inspired you to write “‘Clean as a Whistle,’ I say. That’s what I want.” (I’m guessing it was your son! How did he feel about it?)

Yes it was our younger son. And that’s exactly what happened (except that he was cleaning the laundry floor and I made it the kitchen floor). But everything else is exactly as it happened. I didn’t read it to him for quite a long time, but then he thought it was very funny! It was very unusual for him to clean the floor – he must have wanted something!

  1. I like thinking up ideas for poems when I’m sitting high in a tree. Where is your favourite place to write?

We’ve got a little yard out the back of our house. It’s very sheltered (that matters at our house because we get a big sea wind), there are tuis everywhere now, and there’s a big chunky table and two benches. Every morning that it’s fine I have breakfast there, and more and more I write out there. But really I write any old place.

Thanks Monica and Adrienne for such a wonderful interview. I really loved reading this. Adrienne has two poems in The Treasury including one of my all-time favourite poems about the wind!

The_Curioseum_cover-197x300    The_Curioseum_cover-197x300   The_Curioseum_cover-197x300

On the way home from Tauranga

On the way home from Tauranga yesterday, I dropped into Kaimai School for an hour to visit the whole school. It is a wee country school that can fit into the library and we fitted a lot of poems into an hour. Some from my books and some we made up. It was freezing outside and drizzling, but inside it was warm and cosy and I could tell there were lots of students passionate about writing (Along with their teachers!). I got to hear a number of budding writers read their poems including George and Steffin.



Next stop: Maungatapu School where I visited Deirdre Duggan’s class. She and her students have contributed to Poetry Box. I was going to stay for thirty minutes but nearly stayed for an hour as we had a mini workshop on writing poems. I especially loved the bird poem which we gathered material for and then edited to show how it could take a different form. Again students and teacher were passionate about writing.

It was such a fantastic visit it was hard to get back on the road to get home. I stopped off at the Woodcutters Cafe for a late lunch and sat under a row of chiming cuckoos. I sat there at 2pm and they all chimed one after the other — but they didn’t chime they made different animal noises. Crazy!

With Deirdre:


With Annie my interviewer extraordinaire:


With Kaley who won James Norcliffe’s book for her winter poem (find it here):


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Off to Tauranga for beach poems

I am about to drive to Papamoa for my wild-card visit. Very exciting.

Tomorrow I am visiting Golden Sands School and then we are going down to the beach to do beach poems in the sand.

In the afternoon I am doing an event at Tauranga City Library at 4pm with lots of local children helping out. Would love to see you there!

And on Saturday there is my Hot Spot Poetry Tour finale at National Library in Parnell at 2pm. Loads of local authors and children are joining me in this poetry celebration. Do join us!