Tag Archives: Calef Brown

Here is a taste of my A to Z of some favourite children’s poetry books at The Sapling – I have a small challenge and a book on offer

For the delight of reading poetry to your children and the delight of your children reading poetry to you, or to themselves as the sun comes up, here is an A to Z of some of my favourite children’s poetry reads (this is merely the start!). Most New Zealand poetry books for children are out-of-print, but you can find them in libraries. Maybe next year we will get some new poetry treats!
And my good news is that Penguin Random House is reprinting A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children as a paperback and it’s out in November.
I really love the way Sarah at The Sapling set out my A to Z. Thank you!
Here is  C  and   I   :
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Go here to find my A to Z!
Let me know your favourite poetry book or books I have missed (I couldn’t say all the books I love on my shelves!!). Say why you like it.
I have a poetry book for my favourite answer. I will post a wee list of your picks.
Include your name, age and school if a child, just your name if you are an adult!
You might like to do this as a class.
Deadline: September 3rd
…. what other alphabets can I do?

Soup for Breakfast by Calef Brown

I love the poetry of Calef Brown. He has a deliciously inventive and sideways mind because he writes deliciously wacky poems.

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When I read his poems I just want to race off and write a poem myself! I LOVE that! Not all poetry books make you do this. But when I read these poems my fingers start twitching and my mind starts twitching and the words start to tumble and turn.


Calef’s bio at the back of one of his books says: ‘Calef Brown was, until recently, a blue elephant.’ I need to think about my bios as they always so ordinary. Calef tells us he truly enjoys soup for breakfast. He lives on an island in Maine in the USA.

You can get a good idea about the kind of poems he writes from the titles of his books:

Flamingos on the Roof

Dutch Sneakers and Flea Keepers

Polkabats and Octopus Slacks

Soup for Breakfast

Calef loves the squidgy, tasty way words pop and crackle together on the page. Sometimes they rhyme and sometimes they don’t, but they always make little sound explosions in my ear.

He loves surprising you. One poem tells you why he would rather have a bear’s paws than hands. Another poem is all about a painting on a piece of toast.

This is how one of his poem starts:

‘Why do all gownups

like donuts so much?’

This beginning could lead a poem to a thousand jiggity places. Try writing a poem with this beginning!


Plus Calef does electric paintings with acrylic paint to match the poems.

I can’t post one of his poems as I don’t have permission (I went to his website and have written him a letter so we will see — www.calefbrown.com!).  So …….

Go on a poetry hunt and see if you can find one of his books in your school or local library. I think it is time to order another one for my collection!

Let me know if you find one and what you think of it. Send your letter to paulajoygreen@gmail.com. Include your name, age, year, name of school. You can include the name of your teacher and email address if you like.