Tag Archives: Joy Cowley

Poetry Box review: Joy Cowley’s scrumptious The Gobbledegook Book

 

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Joy Cowley with illustrations by Giselle Clarkson, Gecko Press

 

see below for two pop-up Joy Cowley challenges! I have some surprise giveaways!

 

Gecko Press has published the most gorgeous anthology of Joy Cowley’s favourite stories, poems and nonsense rhymes. Everything about this book is perfect. The size. The feel of the paper. The way the words dance on the page. The way the stories and poems dance in your mind. The way words are so deliciously playful. And the way Giselle Clarkson’s heavenly illustrations are poems on the page.

This is a book to treasure.

This is a book to read when the rain slaps the windows so you feel warm inside.

This is a book to read when you feel a bit flat and dreary and need a book to set you soaring.

This is a book to snuggle up with and read to your mum or dad, or your son or daughter, or your best friend. Even a cat would start purring. Even the howling wind would listen.

 

‘The Tiny Woman’s Coat’ is the first poem in the book and is about a tiny woman who needs a coat and needs help to get it.

Joy sets her imagination dancing like the autumn leaves and brings in a porcupine and a horse and hey presto! A happy ending. You will have to read it to find out how these things fit into the story but here is the first verse:

 

The tiny woman wanted a coat.

“Where will I get the cloth?”

“Try some of our leaves,”

said the autumn leaves.

Rustle, rustle, rustle.

 

Enter this anthology and you will find intriguing cats and a storm of ducks, jellybeans and tractors, a cheese trap and elephants. Oh and even an old singlet!

You will definitely grin from ear to ear.

The poems move and squawk and whoosh!

You will find old favourites such as ‘Nicketty- Nacketty, Noo-Noo-Noo’ and ‘Greedy Cat’.

 

Like Margaret Mahy, Joy is the Queen of Having Fun with WORDS, especially made up words. I love ‘Goggly Gookers’.

Grandma has her own names for things – spectacles are goggly gookers, gardens are fizz-bustles, cabbages are grimlings, cows are clops and pickles are bundajins. See what you make of the last verse! I adore it.

 

“Grandma, Grandma,

put on your googly gookers.

The clop is in the fizz-bustle

eating all the grimlings.

If you don’t get her out

you’ll be in a bundajin.

And that’s a fact.”

 

Joy is also the Queen of WHAT IF POEMS. Like what if you drop your jellybeans – what a ROLLICKING WHOOSH of story-book imagination in Do Not Drop Your Jellybeans’ – follow what happens when the jellybeans get dropped and you end up (after all kinds of catastrophes and calamities) on an iceberg! Wow!

I love the writing so much because Joy is our poetry trapeze artist: her words swing and soar with such agility on the line. I love how every line flows so sweetly with rhyme and invented words; the words that fit together like music. And all the delicious music goes hand in hand with storytelling that is equally delicious. The combination makes you feel so GOOD. Here is the start to ‘Super Jumble’:

 

There was trouble in the jungle

wen a buffalo tried to swingle

like a monkey from a bundle of vines.

 

He got into a tangle

and was left there to dangle

at a very awkward angle, in the lines.

 

 

The Goobledegook Book is the perfect book to read up a mountain or by a river, in the tent when you go camping or in the kitchen as the soup simmers, or in bed before you nod off to sleep and dream of cats and more cats and acrobatic words.

I love this book so much.

Gecko Press page

 

Two challenges for you

If you love this book tell me what your favourite poem or story in it is and why you like it in a few sentences and I will post some answers.

I would also love to post some fan mail for Joy Cowley. Write a letter to Joy saying what you love about her books – a bit about you – anything! I will post some and then she can get to read them.

I will have some giveaway surprises for some lucky young poetry fans!

 

Deadline: Friday October 25th

Send to: paulajoygreen@gmail.com

Include your name, age year and name of school (or say home schooled)

Don’t forget to write Joy Cowley challenge in the subject line so I don’t miss your email.

I will post on Monday 28th October.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry Box review: Song of the River by Joy Cowley & Kimberly Andrews

 

My Groovy Fish poem challenge

My Groovy Fish holiday event invitations

 

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Song of the River  by Joy Cowley, illustrated by Kimberley Andrews

Gecko Press, July 2019

 

 

Joy Cowley’s delightful story Song of the River was originally published 25 years ago but Gecko Press have published a new edition with gorgeous artwork by Kimberley Andrews.

Reading Joy’s story filled me with a warm hum that I carried with me all day.

Cam lives in the mountains and he tells his grandfather he wishes he could see the sea. One day a trickle of water – running through the trees and the snow – calls out to the boy:

‘Come with me. Come with me. I will take you to the sea.’

Joy writes like a poet as she tells her story; the words ripple and chatter over the stones of its telling. I am carried along by the voice of the water. I am enchanted by the sound as the water moves down the mountain. First it sounds like snow, then like a creek, then like a waterfall, and then like leaping trout. On and on it goes with Cam running along, the view changing, the river sounds changing, and always there is the pull of the sea.

Cam might wonder what the sea looks like but what will it sound like? You will find out!

This a story about a boy wanting to see the sea. It is about imagining. It is about beginnings and endings. It is about paying attention with ears and eyes. And it is absolute treat to read – you might fill with a warm hum too.

 

Reading the book made me want to write a poem!

 

Kimberley’s illustrations fill the landscapes with life and mood. She is a trained biologist who grew up in the Canadian Rockies  and now lives in  a shipping container tiny house in Wellington. In 2018 she illustrated Explore Aotearoa (shortlisted for NZ  Book Awards for Children and Young Adults). She also wrote and illustrated Puffin the Architect published last year.

Joy Cowley is one of our most beloved children’s authors. She has won many awards and honours including the Prime Minister’s Award for Contribution to Literature (Fiction). In 2018 she was shortlisted for the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

# 102 A festival of letters to NZ children’s authors: Diane McCarthy (long-time fan) writes back to Joy Cowley

Thank you Joy.

I talked with Megan by cell last night. Megan accurately confirmed the plot and characters, and the misunderstandings between the parents and children that led to their actions to protect Shadrach. Megan’s highlight was the foal that was born afterwards! Megan now writes and performs indie music and teaches young emerging musicians at Naenae College. Still the writing about kiwi stories goes on!

Diane

 

 

A festival of letters to NZ children’s authors: Joy Cowley writes back to Diane McCarthy (long-time fan)

 

 

Kia ora Diane, That is such a lovely letter. Thank you. Shadrach was inspired by Blossom, an elderly Clydesdale who lived at the head of Kenepuru Sound. Being severely arthritic, Blossom chose to stand on the road rather than her cold paddock, and our children had to push her off so that we could drive on. Old horses have a habit of farting as they walk, so there was usually an argument as to who would do the pushing. When Blossom died in her paddock, the kindly road man brought in his digger to bury her, and we all said goodbye to a fine draught horse. But it wasn’t really goodbye, because then she became Shadrach,

Warm regards to you and yours, Diane,

Joy

 

 

 

A festival of letters to NZ children’s authors: Diane McCarthy (long-time fan) writes to Joy Cowley

 

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Kia ora Joy Cowley.

I am 67, and my daughter who is 33. We both love your book, Bow Down Shadrach.

When Megan was young, I had a job where I had to travel away from home, and visit teachers in schools. I visited bookshops in Nelson, Blenheim and Wellington. We read each new book together when I returned.

We liked this story best because it was about children being kind to an old horse. We loved it because it was set in the Marlborough Sounds where my father, Megan’s Grand Dad Jock, lived as a boy. You lived there too.

Thank you for writing real kiwi stories for kiwi kids. You can’t do better than that!

 

Nga mihi Diane McCarthy.

A festival of letters to NZ children’s authors: Ethan (7) writes to Joy Cowley

 

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Dear Mrs Joy Cowley 

I love your books, they are one of a kind and now I can copy your special skills. You are my favourite New Zealand author. I like Mrs Wishy Washy Makes a Splash because the animals didn’t want to go in the bath. It made me laugh when they went back in the mud. 

I really like your book with 8 stories in it called Wishy-Washy World. I didn’t think there was a Mr Wishy Washy and in one of the books I like it because they play music and the animals play along. In Wishy Washy Road it was kind of funny because the police man said that all the animals had to get off the road. 

Your books are so good!

Ethan 

Aged 7 Year 3 

St Francis Primary School 

 

 

 

A festival of letters to NZ children’s authors: Joy Cowley writes back to William, Renita, Francesca, Tyla and Isla,

A happy hello to WILLIAM, RENITA, FRANCESCA, TYLA and ISLA,
Your letters are so delicious I nearly ate them! Thank you for writing to me. Do you write your own stories? When I want to write a story I need two things – a character, and something that happens. If you like, you can borrow Greedy Cat as your character. What happens in your story?

Maybe Greedy Cat comes to school and eats your teacher’s lunch. Then what happens? Can you think of some good ideas?

 

With love from Joy Cowley ( Greedy Cat’s mother. )