Tag Archives: Joy Cowley

Hans Christian Anderson winner announced 1.30am Tuesday 27 March NZ time: Joy Cowley is on the shortlist

Joy Cowley one of five authors shortlisted for world’s most prestigious children’s literature award – the Hans Christian Andersen  –
announced 1.30am Tuesday 27 March NZ time


New Zealand is gearing up to hear if beloved children’s author Joy Cowley (81) will win the world’s leading children’s literature award, the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, given by the global children’s literature organisation IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People).

Joy Cowley joins four other nominees, Marie-Aude Murail (France), Farhad Hassanzadeh (Iran), Ulf Stark (Sweden) and Eiko Kadano (Japan), selected from authors from 33 countries.
Presented for an outstanding and lasting contribution to world children’s literature, the award will be announced at the Bologna International Children’s Book Fair on Monday 26 March 14:30 CET – (NZ time 1.30am Tuesday 27 March).

To view the presentation via LIVE STREAMING click on LINK
“Storylines, which is the New Zealand Section of IBBY, is delighted that its Patron Joy Cowley, so recently acknowledged with the Order of New Zealand, has now been acknowledged internationally with this shortlisting for the 2018 Hans Christian Andersen Award”, says Storylines chair Dr Libby Limbrick.

“No writer has done more to promote children’s reading and love of books with both her tireless advocacy and literally hundreds of published stories so appealing to two generations of young readers.”
The Andersen award is judged by an international jury on each author’s entire body of work, its aesthetic and literary quality, freshness, innovation, the ability to see the child’s point of view and to stretch their curiosity, and the continuing relevance of the books to children and young people.

In a lifetime of writing for children, Joy Cowley, recently awarded New Zealand’s top honour, the Order of New Zealand, has published around 800 ‘school readers,’ more than 40 picture books, some 20 novels for children and young adults, plays and poetry.  Her books, especially the educational texts, have been translated into multiple languages, and she is regarded in many countries, particularly USA, as a leading advocate for children’s literacy.

Over more than two decades, she has travelled extensively, conducting workshops as well as consultancy work on writing for emergent readers in many countries including Korea, Singapore, Brunei and Hong Kong.

She is the second New Zealander to be acknowledged by IBBY.  The Hans Christian Andersen Medal for writing was won by Margaret Mahy in 2006.

The 2018 award will be presented at the 36th IBBY Congress in Athens, Greece on Friday, 31 August.  The organisation, the oldest and most prestigious body working for children’s books, has a membership of 75 countries.

A festival of letters to NZ children’s authors: Gretel writes to Joy Cowley



Dear Joy Cowley,

Some of my favourite  books by you are the Greedy Cat ones. I also like Cowshed Christmas. Yuck Soup is one  I like too.

From Gretel, age 8 Richmond Rd School


I am posting letters until March 30th! Festival of letters details here

A festival of letters to children’s authors: Gemma writes to Joy Cowley



Dear Joy

Recently, Paula Green invited her followers of Poetry Box to write a letter to their favourite NZ author. I have now read wonderful books, by so many incredible NZ authors: Kate De Goldi, Maurice Gee, Barbara Else, and so many more.  But you remain my favourite.

What I love about your writing is the way your readers can grow up with it.  We start with the wonderful Mrs Wishy Washy, and move our way up through adventures with Snake and Lizard, and then progress to challenging ourselves with books such as Speed of Light and Dunger.

Your stories inspire not only a love of reading, but also an understanding of writing, because as kids read your work, they can identify the structure, description, and character development in all your books.  I can model my own writing on what I have learnt from reading all of your books.

Now, I get to help younger kids learn to read by reading one of my first favourite series: Greedy Cat.  I know that one day I will teach my own kids to read using your books, and I know they will love them as much as I do!

Thank you for all the joy you have brought to kiwi kids, and readers around the world!


Best wishes

Gemma L (age 12, Year 8, Adventure School)


Festival of letter challenge details here



Dear Gemma, Thank you. I am honoured to be one of the authors who has shaped you as a reader and writer. Perhaps you will do this in some way for a future generation. A love of books is something we always pass on to others. Aroha nui, Joy Cowley

Some poems by children to celebrate NZ poets in the reissued Treasury





Thanks for sending all the poems in – it was fun reading them all. I am sending a copy of The Treasury to Gabriella.

Extra thanks to Churton Park School for sending all the pop popping poems in! I loved them.



(a reply to Elizabeth Smither’s “The Stapler”)

Paper clips are nice to paper
not like any nasty staple
Can hold a lot of paper
5 or 6 its favourite number
Wants to end the staple families.

Paper clips can connect and bend
They are paper’s best friend
Easy to collect with a magnet
Never tears or rips the paper
Paper clips are best, not staples

By James K    Age 11, Year 6  Churton Park School


The scissors
As in response to ‘The stapler’ by Elizabeth Smither

What a ferocious beasts are scissors
With blades that ruin knickers
They do not like to feed on snickers*
They do not like large rocks

They must have two sheets at least
Or else they can’t be deceased
They prefer more at least four
As when you cut up a story.


*as in the chocolate bar
Gabriella R age 10, Year 6  Churton Park School
Note: There are ones similar, but these are all my ideas. By the way I put deceased there as in getting worn out.


The Scissors
In Response to Elizabeth Smither’s ‘The Stapler’

What a strange beast are a pair of scissors
With sharp blades that ruin pictures
They have an appetite for stickers
They do not like cardboard

Over time the things it can cut
Begins to be not as much
It does not care how many sheets
It will tear up your story

Nathan S Year 6    Churton Park School



Wiggly Wiggly

Wiggly, Wiggly,
Do the harlem
Wiggle a jellyfish,
Touch a marlin.

Wiggly, Wiggly,
Bend a worm,
Twist a leg,
Squirm a berm.

Wiggly, Wiggly,
Twist a head,
Break a led,
¨Oh! No!¨ he said

Wiggly, Wiggly,
Kiss a frog,
Buy a dog
Climb through fog.

In response to Joy Cowley’s Wriggly Wriggly

Ryan L 11 years old   Year 6   Churton Park School



Inspired by Joy Cowley:

Muddly Muddly

Muddly Muddly
feed a cat
It wears a hat
Big and fat
Muddly Muddly
Feed a cat

Muddly Muddly
Feed a dog
Eat a hotdog
Than take a jog
Muddly Muddly
Feed a dog

Muddly Muddly
Feed a horse
Use the force
Become the source
Muddly Muddly
Feed a horse

Muddly Muddly
Feed a kiwi
Wee wee
Very sneaky
Muddly Muddly
Feed a kiwi

By Angad Gill, Churton Park School, Year 6


To Joy Cowley

Muddly Muddly,
Feed a horse,
Give it a tomato,
Make a sauce,
Eat it up,
With some paws,
Put it down,
On the floors,
Feed a horse

Muddly Muddly,
Feed a dog,
In it’s bowl,
Feed it hogs,
Eat them up with,
Some Hogs,
Muddly Muddly,
Feed a Dog

Muddly Muddly,
Feed a cat,
Stuff it,
Inside a hat,
Tip it out onto,
A mat,
Muddly Muddly,
Feed at Cat

by Hannah age 10 Year 6 Churton Park School




for Robin Hyde (inspired by ‘The Last Ones’)

Galloping along wild prairie
Paddling through the cool waters of the lake
Resting under a weeping willow
Braving the fierce winds of the desert
Soaring through grasses
Mane and tail billowing
To be wild
To be free


Name: Nell  Age: 9 Year: 4   Homeschool

A delightful bundle of Gecko Press books with TWO hidden poem challenges for you

Four gorgeous books from Gecko Press to share!


The illustrations are

s   c   i   n   t   i   l   l   a   t   i   n  g .

The stories are

m   o   u   t   h   w   a   t   e   r   i   n   g.

Which means I gobbled them UP in a F L A S H.

And then I came back for a   l o n g          s   l   o   w       feast.


Thanks Gecko Press!



Bathtime for Little Rabbit by Jörg Mühle is a small board book for very young children about a rabbit that needs a bath so he gets to be SQUEAKY clean.  I love the way Little Rabbit gets dried. This is a FUN read.


The Lost Kitten is a scrumptious picture book by Lee with illustrations by Komako Sakai. I loved reading this book, because as you know from my children’s poems, we have cats. In fact Charlie arrived at OUR door lost and hungry and wanted to stay with us for EVER and EVER. We seemed to become a magnet for lost and hungry kittens, but now we live in the country we are too far away.

In this story though, a mother cat brings her hungry kitten to Hina’s place because she knows it needs looking after. You will see it is the cutest little ball of fluff that deserves a warm and cosy cat basket.

Just like us, Hina and her mum feed the cat and make it a cat box and take it to the vet.

Just like us, the kitten makes Hina very, very happy.

But NOT like us (and Charlie), the sweetest cutest little ball of kitten fluff goes missing.

I especially loved the illustrations by Komako Saki. She is a famous and much-loved illustrator in Japan where she lives. You feel like you are inside the story when you look at the pictures, because she knows just how to paint how Hina feels.


Bruno: Some of the more interesting days in my life so far is a splendiferous read by Catharina Valckx. There are six linked stories with very cool illustrations by Nicolas Hubesch that make me want to get my pencils and draw.

Catharina has written over 30 books and is published in over 11 languages and has been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Awards 4 times.

Nicolas Hubesch lives in PARIS where he also draws comics. I LOVELOVELOVELOVE his drawings. They do have a PARIS feel about them.

The first story starts like this: ‘The peculiar day started out as an ordinary day.’

This is how poems start sometimes and it means you can begin with what you know and end up somewhere rather marvelous. Catharina has a very BOUNCY imagination because Bruno gets followed by a flying fish that is a tincy bit lost and is nowhere near the ocean. In fact this is a story of strange things in an ordinary day, AND to make it especially GOOD – normal things on a normal day.

In ‘A rainy day,’ Poor old Bruno finds his house is just as wet inside as it is outside when it is RAINING RAINING RAINING. All his friends turn up WET WET WET and EAT EAT EAT all his food. Everyone makes a MESS MESS MESS.

We get to read about:

A peculiar day

A rainy day

A day when the power went out

A much less interesting day

An almost perfect day

A stupid day (that ends pretty well)

This is a very INTERESTING book to read!



a    l i t t l e   c h a l l e n g e   f o  r   y o u        (YO – Y8 in NZ)


I LOVE LOVE LOVE these titles so much, I am challenging you to use one as the title for a poem (You can do more than one!). Let your imagination BOUNCE with what you know and what you make up!


Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com by 5th MAY. I will post some favourites on MAY 10th and have a copy of the book for one reader.

Include your name, age, year and name of school.

Put GECKO challenge in the subject line of the email please.



I am a HUGE fan of Joy Cowley and Gavin Bishop and I especially love their Snake and Lizard books.


So on a very wet Sunday afternoon I gobbled up the new one: Helper and Helper.


Gavin’s illustrations are sheer beauty.

Joy’s stories are warm and wise and witty. Her sentences are like clear shiny streams.


Snake and Lizard are full to the brim with life and show us the power of friendship. Being friends is bumps and hills and new days and arguments and listening and kindness and discoveries.

When I read these stories I fill with warmth and good feelings and just want to write poems or even give stories a go.


a n o t h e r   c h a l l e n g e

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these stories so much I am challenging you to write a ‘Snake and Lizard’ poem (You can do more than one!). Read the book first to get inspired by the characters. Make up what happens. It can be something very small and curious.


Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com by 5th MAY. I will post some favourites on MAY 10th and have a copy of the book for one reader.

Include your name, age, year and name of school.

Put SNAKE and LIZARD challenge in the subject line of the email please.


PS: I won’t answer your emails until May as I will be away!

Favourite authors

I invited you to send in your favourite authors.

These three young writers did just that. Thank you so much. I enjoyed reading all of these and couldn’t decide which one to send a book to so I put all the names in the hat and pulled out Gemma.

200px-Basil_E_Frankweiler   200px-Basil_E_Frankweiler


I am sending Gemma  From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler by e. l. kronigsbug. I love this book. It was published forty years ago, so it is a classic. A girl runs away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and it makes it all the more special to me as I have been there. It is part adventure and part mystery and a whole lot more!



220px-TheBFG   220px-TheBFG

I love Roald Dahl because he writes about crazy imaginary things. He plays with words like “am I right or am I left” in the BFG and “you have the Wong number” in Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. I like the funny words he makes up like scrumdiddlyumptious and fantabulous and frobscottle. And I like it how grown ups get in a tangle when they try to say the crazy words that are easy for kids to say!

By Daniel  Age 6, Year 1  Room 1  Adventure School



9781877579936    9781877579936   9781877579936


My favourite author is Joy Cowley. She writes interesting books about all kinds of things, and she can write any kind of book: picture books, readers, non fiction, chapter books and poems. She makes her characters interesting and they do and say funny things. The NZ setting makes her stories extra special. I like that you can read fun books like Mrs Wishy-Washy when you are learning to read and then as you get older you can read her early chapter books like the Wild West Gang, right up to older fiction like Speed of Light. Joy Cowley helps grow the reader inside you. She helps young NZ writers. She visits places and meets her fans. She shows you that stories are more than just words on a page. Joy Cowley is one of the reasons I love books, reading, and writing so much.

By Gemma  Age 8, year 4 Room 8 Adventure School



200px-Skulduggery_Pleasant_book_cover     200px-Skulduggery_Pleasant_book_cover

One of my favourite authors is Derek Landy because he creates really catchy, punchy and humorous dialogue. He also adds a wide range of words, action and reality to his novels. But most uniquely, he appreciates and shows no remorse in killing or seriously harming his characters- the Skulduggery Pleasant series is a MUST-READ!

Ewen W aged 12, Room 20, Year 7, Cobham Intermediate School, Christchurch

Puke Ariki event was a smorgasbord of poems

Wow! What a great event at Puke Ariki last night. A good crowd of parents and children and poetry fans turned up. We even made up a poem for the library and museum.

I would have loved Fiona Farrell, Bill Nagelkerke and Joy Cowley to hear children from Egmont Village School recite their poems. Just fabulous. If only you could have heard Breanna recite Joy’s ‘Haere Mai ki te Moe. ‘ wonderful! Jasmin had brought a gigantic bear to hold as she recited James K Baxter’s ‘Growley Bear. ‘

Emily Boulton, who now goes to Hawera Intermediate, read her poem in the Treasury and a few newer ones.
So lovely to meet her and have her sign books with me and Elizabeth Smither. Elizabeth was our special Taranaki guest. She picked a squishy tomato poem by Fiona Farrell and one of Sam Hunt’s earliest poems (written when he was about 7!) along with her own. I just love her daisy poem and had read to a school in the afternoon!

So moving to hear children from Egmont Village School, Woodleigh School and Frankley School read poems on the theme of Our Place.

I loved them all but I especially loved Emma Kehely reading ‘My Grandma Cup Cake Making’ and Riley Tuuta reading ‘My Special Place.’ Congratulations young poets, you all did your selves and schools proud.

It is 6am as I write this and I have glowing goose bumps thinking of it!

Thank you New Plymouth. Thank you teachers, Poppies and Puke Ariki.