Tag Archives: children’s poems

My favourite l OO k poems

Here are some of my favourite poems that play with how a poem looks on the page. I like the way words do tricky things in the poems.

 I like what the words are doing on the screen! I like the way Georgia‘s ‘play’ is playful! I like the way Tarn‘s ‘motorbike’ and ‘down’ stretches out, Ruby-Rhain‘s ‘down’ stretches down and Fern‘s ‘wobbly’ wobbles. I like the way Phoebe has really zipped and zimmed her words in her poem.

I have a notebook for Phoebe to write poems in and thanks to Scholastic the special collection of The Little Yellow Digger Books for Tarn. For Fern I have James Norcliffe’s The Enchanted Flute which follows on from his fabulous book The Loblolly Boy.

Thanks for all the poems you sent in. Do keep trying my challenges and you may get your poem posted!

The Awesome Zoom
I am zooming d o w n the hill

Faster than a m o t o r b i k e

by Tarn (age 5) Ormond School

Wood Drums at School

My friends and I made a B I G band t-o-g-e-t-h-e-r

we used inch thin branches

against thick tree stumps

Finn finished the c n e t o c r

by whacking his “drum sticks”

against the old

w~o~b~b~l~y

barbed~wire~fence

’BANG!’

by Fern (age 9) Ormond School

Screen shot 2014-08-18 at 9.42.21 PM  Screen shot 2014-08-18 at 9.42.52 PM

S  P  A  C  E  S

L oooo ng      mis  ing      let te r s

left                     w ith ou t     a     re pla c em ent

Th e    w orld    o f

l o n e l i n e s s

be in g                           f a r

a    p    a   r    t

som et hi ng’s    n ot   rig ht

t he   re d   j ag ged

line

u n de r

t he    wo r ds   sa y

“ Help!”

yo u    h it    th e

kcab – s p a c e    bu tt on

a nd…

AllisOne!

I’m Phoebe. I am in Year 7, I am 12 years old, and I go to St Mary’s College.

My Exciting News! Whoopity whoo little dances for you

Today is a red letter day as I have just signed a contract with Scholastic for my new collection of children’s poems.

It is not easy getting published at the moment as we all know so to have a new book coming out is rather special.

My book is called The Letter Box Cat and Other Poems but that may change!

Now starts the wonderful adventure of making a book.

So a big thank you to Scholastic and I look forward to working with the publisher and sharing the book with you later on.

Joy Cowley cats leave pawprints in the butter

Joy Cowley has written a terrific book of cat poems. All of the poems sound good and some of the poems tell stories. There are mean cats and cheeky cats and surprising cats. I rather like Jake who has such a long tail it looks like a broom. This book is in some libraries so you will be able to order it in if you are lucky.

The other splendiferous thing about this book is that all the gorgeous colour illustrations were done by children. Not just paint — but crayons and dye and felt pens and colour pencils were used.

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Joy has very kindly let me post ‘Apricot Cat’ (which is very fitting in the week we have her book Friends as a prize due to the lovely Gecko Press!). I love the way this poem sounds good when you say it aloud  — so good it almost becomes a song. And then – it is also a poem with a little twist. Joy shows that sometimes the very best poems can use quite simple words to tell a story. The extra special ingredient in this poem is … repetition. Listen to the way some lines echo and change through the poem. Try reading aloud in class with different groups taking different lines so the classroom fills with a delicious, echoey apricot cat!

Apricot Cat

The apricot cat said to the mouse,

‘Mousie, I do love you!

Come with me to my beautiful house

With its table set for two.

And you will hear me sing:

Mousie dear, Mousie dear,

You’re the sweetest thing.’

The mouse said, ‘No!’ to the apricot cat.

‘I will not go with you!’

One place at your table is set for cat,

The other for mousie stew.

And I would hear you sing:

Mousie stew, Mousie stew.

You’re the sweetest thing.’

© Joy Cowley with friends (the children illustrators!) Pawprints in the Butter: A Collection of Cats Mallinson Rendel 1991

Fat, squelchy, sour, sweet, sticky, gooey, melting, icy, hot … Poetry

Kim Hill had a terrific conversation with Patrick Ness on National Radio on Saturday. When asked that tricky question on what YA fiction is Patrick suggested that teenage fiction is fiction that is enjoyed by teenagers (or something along those lines). Which makes it gloriously open and gloriously real.

I have been pondering the same issue on what children’s poetry is (a highly pertinent question while I am editing an anthology of children’s poetry). As a writer, when I write poems for children that is always my primary audience. I want children to pick up my books and want to read them. If they do, game, set, match.

Poetry can ignite word sparks for children, even the most reluctant reader and writer, in ways that are utterly magical. Poetry can lead a child back to their own world and find surprising and wonderful pathways through. It can lead a child back into memory and it can take a child into the productive world of the imagination. It can do all these things and more, but what makes it such a tool for children is that it can render words delicious. Fat, squelchy, sour, sweet, sticky, gooey, melting, icy, hot. Words are the playground extrordinaire (to shift metaphors) when that playground is full of poetry beams and mats and jungle gyms and whirligigs.

So, yes, a children’s poem is a poem a child wants to pick up and read and then maybe but not necessarily have a go at writing their own. Other poets have other ideas on this of course and rightly so!

One of the biggest thrills I have is when a child comes up to me (or writes) and tells me they have loved one of my poems. This is bigger and better by far than awards or reviews or sales. I am sure other children’s authors will agree with me.

A Poetry Bonanza on Poetry Box and my leapy cat poem (not!)

Today is the last day of Term One! Which means tomorrow is the first day of the holidays and the beginning of our poetry bonanza. First I have posted a poem I wrote about one of our cats then I have some more writing ideas for you.

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Our Cat

 

A frisky cat

a whisker cat

a flippy flappy zippy cat.

 

A sniffy cat

a hissy cat

a dishy dashy darty cat.

 

BUT WAIT A SECOND!

 

Our cat likes to lounge and laze,

she likes the fire on winter days

she likes my lap, she likes to nap.

 

A sleepy cat, a slow cat

a stretched-out-on-the-couch cat.

 

© Paula Green 2013

 

 

 

Here are some ideas for the school holidays if you want to send things to NZ Poetry Box.

 

1. Write a letter about a book you love or a poem you love or an author you love to read.

 

2. Choose any challenge I have already posted and give that a go.

 

3. Try writing a funny poem with a fish, a cat and a hat in it.

 

4. Try writing another funny poem with spaghetti, shoes and a bird in it.

 

5. Try writing a poem about the funniest thing that ever happened to you (you can make this up if you like).

 

6. Try writing a poem about the strangest thing that has happened to you (you can also make this up if you like!).

 

7. Try writing a poem about your earliest memory.

 

8. Try writing a poem about what you would like to do in the holidays if you had super powers and could do anything.

 

9. Try rewriting my hat poem and putting your own things in it (look for the poem on my blog on April 12th).

 

10. Try writing a poem about your favourite toy but you can only use twelve words.

 

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com. Include your name, age, year, name of school. Sayb it is for the holiday bonanza.

 

Happy Holidays young writers and thank you so much for making this a fun and inspiring project. Bravo!

 

Skye’s list poem from Redcliffs School

OOh I liked this list poem so much I am sending Skye a copy of my book Macaroni Moon!  I commented it on my last post. I only have a few copies left!  Redcliffs School you have a done a great job with all the poems you sent in.

The Race

The gun goes

The splash comes

Nervous parents

twiddle thumbs

closing in

on the line

almost there

fastest time

golden cup

flashing brightly

I skipped back

Very sprightly.

Skye. Aged 8, Year 4, Redcliffs School.

List Poems that Leap in Your Ear on Poetry Box Bravo young poets

List poems are such fun to write and are the perfect opportunity to play with words.

List poems can have set patterns but you can play with the pattern. List poems often sound really good when you read them out loud because they can have great rhythm. Some list poems come alive with delicious rhyme. List poems often surprise you but some list poems can make you laugh or remember things that put a smile on your face.

 

I had such fun reading all your list poems it was hard picking my favourites. You all did an amazing job. So bravo to you! It was such a popular challenge I think we will do it again later in the year.

 

Sam S from Ohaupo School has already been a winner on Poetry Box but his list poem, ‘Life is Trouble’ ticked all the right boxes for me. Poems come alive with great detail and Sam was an expert at finding great examples of things going wrong. I loved the way the poem changes track at the end and surprises you (not that poems always have to do this!). The poem sounds really good too. Great job Sam. I will send you a copy of my book Flamingo Bendalingo thanks to Auckland University Press.

 

 

Life is trouble

I hurt

When I do something wrong

When I flip off my bike

When my guinea pig died

When my sister is bossy

When I flew off the flying fox

When I get stuck in a fight

When I bang my toe on the door

When I get a whooper cold

When I got my warts freezed off

When I see something funny

I laugh

By Sam S 8yr Year 4 Ohaupo School

 

 

Skye hasn’t written your usual list poem with a set pattern but as a list of things happening at a race it works magnificently! I love the pace, the tension, the sound, the rhythm, the words chosen. Great job Skye!

 

The Race

The gun goes

The splash comes

Nervous parents

twiddle thumbs

closing in

on the line

almost there

fastest time

golden cup

flashing brightly

I skipped back

Very sprightly.

Skye. Aged 8, Year 4, Redcliffs School.

 

 

Ewen sent in three list poems but this was my favourite. The poem really makes the clothes come alive  — from the ones she loved to the ones that weren’t so good to wear! This poem also has great detail and has a great ending! Great job Ewen.

 

Clothes of inheritance

The grubby size six Popeye shirt

that I had two of.

The mickey mouse t-shirt and shorts

that I used to wear as pyjamas.

The blue and orange skate boarding top

that I couldn’t recall wearing.

The navy blue denim jacket

that made me feel all stiff.

The orange and black pants

that were prickly and hairy.

The browny grey jeans

that were so prodigious.

The dull red shirt

that was as thick as snow.

These inherited clothes are history

but the next lot is a mystery.

 

Ewen W aged 10, Year 6, Fendalton Open Air Primary School

 

 

Patrick has written a thoughtful list poem that brings together opposites so it really makes you think. List poems can be really good at that. He has ended up giving a fuller picture of what music might be. Great job Patrick!

 

 

Music Is

Music is the rising sun,

But also the dark side of the moon,

Music is the beauty of nature,

But also pollution of the planet,

Music is the spirit of life,

But also the coming of death,

Music is the greatest happiness,

But also the strongest sadness.

By Patrick K, aged 10, Room 11, Fendalton Open Air School.

 

 

And here are some more poems from Redcliffs School. I think I had as much fun reading these as you had writing them! Great job! I love Hamish’s ‘carpet of sand’ and Olivia’s mouth watering chicken list and I really loved Mitchell’s line “Hey don’t wear those, throw them in the bin” kind of shoes. Bravo Redcliffs School and bravo to your teachers Ann and Dion!

 

 

The beach

I see …..

shells

waves crashing

dogs playing

friendly faces

stones

carpet of sand

stones

boats

whales

the setting sand.

Hamish Aged 8 Redcliffs School.

 

My Brother

He is …

Kind

Caring

Annoying

Friendly

Playful

Loving

That’s my awesome brother.

Raffy, aged 8 Redcliffs School.

 

Chicken

I eat chicken

Chicken noodles

Crispy chicken

Marinated chicken

Battered chicken

Spicy chicken

Kentucky fried chicken

Chicken nibbles

Butter chicken

Nando chicken

I like chicken.

 

Olivia  C  Year 6,  Aged 10, Redcliffs School.

 

I like Beans.

Cocoa beans

Green beans

Canned beans

Humungous beans

Tiny beans

Frozen beans

Baked beans

BOOM !!

Mark, Year 6, Aged 10 Redcliffs School.

 

Fav Food.

I eat eyeball

I eat fish

I eat everything

That is delish

I eat ice cream

I eat mince

Best of all

Smoores yum!!

 

Charli, Year 4, Redcliffs School, Aged 8

 

Shoes

Sneakers

High heels

Ugg boots

Jandals

Gumboots

Sandals.

Shoes.

Emma, Aged 8 Redcliffs School.

 

Cheese

I eat cheese

Mozzarella cheese

Edam cheese

Blue brie cheese

Camber cheese

Colby cheese

Tasty cheese

Gourda cheese

I like cheese.

Olivia C, Aged 9 Redcliffs School.

 

Lollies 

I like lollies

Spinning tops, Lolly Pops

Smelly pops

TNT like

BOOM, BOOM, BOOM

I like lollies

But not too many!

 

By Charlie H aged 7, Year 3 Redcliffs School

 

I like colours

Sparkly Blue

Leafy Green

Crunchy Red

Pretty Pink

Primrose Purple

Sun Yellow

Bright Indigo

Lava Orange

First Gold

Paper White

Second Silver

Dark Black

Dolphin Grey

Bull Brown

Jewel Emerald

I like colours

 

By Siena C aged 6, Year 2 Redcliffs School

 

 

I Love shoes

Yellow shoes

Black Shoes

High Heeled Shoes

Smelly Shoes

Stinky Shoes

Worn out shoes

“Hey don’t wear those, throw them in the bin”

All kinds of shoes

I love shoes

 

By Mitchell aged 6, Year 2 Redcliffs School

 

Books 

Small books

Big books

Cool books

Funny books

Bunny books

Sea books

Animal books

Silly Books

Fish Books

Wish books

Nonfiction books

Fiction books

Thinking books

I like fiction books

 

By Ethan aged 7 Year 3, Redcliffs School