Tag Archives: Festival of Letters

A festival of letters to NZ children’s authors: Paula Green writes back to Jimmy


Dear Jimmy

What a great letter to get. I loved reading it and discovering you think I can be funny.

I like writing poems that make me laugh out loud and make our dog sit up.

And I love sprinkling alliteration through my poems like salt and pepper.


Warm poem greetings

from Paula Green







A festival of letters to NZ children’s authors: Tom (9) writes to Paula Green



Dear Paula,

Kia ora.  I recommend The Letterbox Cat and other poems, by Paula Green to the children of New Zealand. The book is filled with creative poems.  They are light and bright. They make me write in the night.

This Letterbox Cat, waits for ideas like I do when I am writing.

Paula, how do you know when a poem is the best you can make it?

I wish I was a poem-maker every Monday.

Best wishes,



Tom N (9 years)

Hoon Hay School





A festival of letters to NZ children’s authors: Brigid Lowry writes back to Elsa


Dear Elsa

I am thrilled that you like my book. It was really aimed at slightly older girls but you are obviously a talented reader and thinker, so bravo you and thanks for letting me know it was a hit with you.

Good luck with your writing, and your life.


Write often.

Read lots

Ask questions

Use your five senses

Cultivate happiness

Buy a nice pen for yourself every now and again.

May all your tomorrows be beautiful  🌺🎼🌈💮🌸🕊🌠


Brigid Lowry





A festival of letters to NZ children’s authors: letter in memory of Margaret Mahy



Dear Margaret Mahy,

I really do love your books and your poems.

My granny has a giant book of all of your stories.But my favourite two books are: The Witch in the Cherry Tree,  The Man Eating Shark. I really did like the part in the witch in the cherry tree when the witch smelt the cakes in the oven. Before I read that  book I didn’t know that witches liked cakes and colour.

I am so sorry you are not living any more and I wish you could of read this.

Best Wishes


Age:10  Year:6

Richmond Road School    

A festival of letters to NZ children’s authors: Frankie, Eme and Maddie write to Jo van Dam




Dear Jo van Dam

I love your books, I love how they rhyme. I love the way the they make me feel. They make me feel happy. My favorite one is “kaia the korora” because of the adventure feel and I myself love adventures.

Best wishes!!!


Age: 10

School: richmond road school




Dear Jo

I like your stories because they are funny

rhymes and I like the way that you can imagine

The pictures in the story.

But my favorite book you have is the Doggy Ditties, the dog book.

My favorite funnest part of the story is when you say

Roxy the foxy loves to dig dig dig.

Roxy the foxy isn’t big big big.

Watch as she dances a jig jig jig..

Roxy the foxy in a wig wig wig.

By Eme L  Age 10 Richmond Road School




I am a person…… I am indeed.

I am a fan of  your book……..

Or did you write more than one book?

Why yes you did….

You did indeed.

We seem to be overloaded with facts we never knew……

Or did you know?


Are you as fat as a whale or as skinny as a skinny something?

Or did I know?


Enough of the indeeds!

Enough indeed!!!!!!

When I was a little………what gender am I again???? I seem to have forgotten.

Well anyway I thought Jo was the perfect name for a bowl of porridge….

I did indeed!!!!!!!

Ah porridge. You should write a book about porridge.

You are a librarian……

You are indeed!!!

Find me a book about porridge.

While I am reading it, GET BUSY!!!!!!

Hairless cats are dead to me.

Who would be there to put hair all over the couch so my dad would get angry and I can watch and laugh.

Who indeed?????

If you have read this far I thank you……

I do indeed.

I might be ten years old…….

But then again I might be two thousand.


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PORRIDGE!!!!!!!! Dont forget.

From Maddie Richmond Road School

A festival of letters: Daniel writes to Lynley Dodd






Dear Lynley Dodd


I am writing to tell you that you are my favourite author!

I love your books because it is so easy to remember the words, because of the rhymes.  I am astounded that you can also illustrate your own books.  You are amazing!

My all time favourite is “My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes”.  This book was also my Mum’s favourite book when she was little!

I must go now, I need to get to the bookstore to buy the latest Slinky Malinki story…


Best wishes,

From Daniel L (age 8, year 5, Adventure School)


A festival of letters: Robyn L writes to Tessa Duder




Dear Tessa

I am taking the opportunity to write to you to thank you for your stories, and all the time and love you have given to the literary community of NZ.

I was lucky enough to meet you at a school visit, when I was 12 and had just discovered the power of the Alex series.  I got to know Alex Archer very well, as I read each of the books about four times.  These stories have stayed with me, and now I am watching as my daughter reads them – the messages as relevant now as they were then.

I went on to read many more of your books and short stories, and was amazed at how you could tackle so many different topics, seemingly with ease.  I especially loved your sailing themed stories.  “Night Race to Kawau” is still a favourite, not forgotten!

I am glad I had the opportunity to meet you again at the Storylines festival in Wellington a couple of years ago.  You are clearly a highly admired figure, even amongst the newer writers, who were so delighted to be in your presence.

NZ is lucky to have been blessed by such a talented author.

Thank you for the stories!


Kind regards,

Robyn L (mother of some Poetry Box fans)


Festival of letter challenge details here