Tag Archives: Storylines

Poetry Box noticeboard: Storylines Notable Books 2019

Storylines Notable Books List 2019

The 2019 Storylines Children’s Literature  Notable Book List, for the highest quality books in four genres published during 2018, is compiled from more than 100 entries from publishers by expert panels of authors, teachers, librarians, academics and parents.

The annual list was begun by Storylines in 1999 and selection is eagerly sought by authors, illustrators and publishers. It provides a useful reading and purchasing guide to families, schools and libraries, and to young readers.

Go here to see the list
If you have a favourite on the list let me know why you love it and I will post your comments and the book cover.
This was my favourite. I posted about it on the blog because I LOVED it so much!

The Mapmakers’ Race, Eirlys Hunter, Gecko Press, 2018

The Mapmakers’ Race is a glorious read.

If you are looking for a story that ripples with imagination and sings in the ear because it is so beautifully written, this your perfect holiday read. I adore it.

The Santander family is an adventurous family and they are hoping to go on The Great Map Race to win lots of money. But the father is mysteriously not back from exploring and the mother got left behind in a train mishap.

So it is up to the four children to get to the finishing line first (it takes a month) and chart the best train route through treacherous terrain.

Most of the other teams are so greedy to win they will do anything to get there. Villainous!

Once I started reading this book, I didn’t want to stop. I loved the characters and their special skills, especially the way Francie draws the maps for the train routes by seeing everything from above. She doesn’t talk but she has a special sight skill that drains her rather perilously at times.

I also grew very fond of young Beckett who drove them in a horse and trap to the race meeting. He ended up travelling with them because he wanted the train route to go through his neglected village. He turned out to be a godsend because he made their food supplies stretch further in the most delicious ways.


Plus there are the bonus little stories that get told to Humphrey, the youngest sibling, to soothe him. Oh and the mechanical horses that belong to another team!

This book, like Barbara Else’s magnificent Travelling Restaurant series, is set to become a classic because it has all the ingredients that make a story shine: suspense, tricky situations, learning curves, real things shifted a little by an agile imagination, fascinating places and equally fascinating characters.

I was sorry when the book ended but I spotted a launch point for a sequel. Fingers crossed!

Congratulations Eirlys Hunter on this must-read book.


Gecko Press page


Thank you Storylines — and a few favourite poems from today

I had a hairy drive from the west into the city in the driving rain. It was worth it!

But what a lovely day I had talking about poetry with individual children in the poetry zone, signing the odd book or two and doing a book talk with the fabulous Leonie Agnew and Sacha Cotter on becoming an author.

Storylines works so hard to bring events like this to families. Bravo and thank you for all your hard work and dedication. I salute you.

Here are a couple of poems I loved from the Poetry Zone. I loved these poems because they sounded really good when I read them aloud. They are often quite simple. I loved some of the repeating words which helped the sound of the poems. These poems are all quite simple. I love the way squid shimmers in the middle of Maren’s poem. Ah poetry bliss!

I just got to breeze in and read what they had written. Lucky me!

photo 3 photo 1 photo 2 photo



Poetry Bonanza Monday; a little pack of popping poetry news and surprises for you



This is the last week of Term One!  Happy holidays dear poetry fans!

1. Last night the NZ cricket team showed they can be gracious winners and gracious losers. For me good cricket can be like poetry which ever side is shining!

2. Yesterday I went to the Storylines Award Ceremony where new writers won awards that will see their very first book published. Exciting!

Storylines also announced the Notable Book Awards for 2014. I was very delighted that The Letterbox Cat and Other Poems and A Treasury of NZ Poems For Children were picked. I got to read three poems there. I read one by me, one by my hero Margaret Mahy and Caleb‘s fabulous poem ‘The Poet’ (he was from Russley School in Christchurch).  Storylines work hard for children and children’s books all year!

Poetry doesn’t know where its home is! Sometimes it is non fiction and sometimes it is junior fiction! I always think it is fiction as so much of poetry is invented but sometimes it records the world and then I think it is non fiction …. so I guess it belongs in both places.


3. This week I am going to post my favourite odes on Thursday.


4. This week  I am also going to post a surprise pack of poems I got from Russley School that I just LOVE!

5. And I will tell you about my fabulous visit to another school.

6. In the first week of term Three I will announce the details of The Fourth Fabulous Poetry Competition!


7. I have started work on my next collection of poems for children … using the titles you gave me on my Hot Spot Poetry Tour. It is such fun.  It will take me at least a year to write these poems.

8. You still have time to send me an Ode to Cricket!

9. During the holidays you can write me a letter in the form of a poem and tell me something wonderful you saw. Details below.

10. Interview challenge: I am on the hunt for children and classes to interview NZ writers again this year. If you want  to do this you need to tell me the name of the author and why you want to interview them. You need to tell me your name, school, age, year and name of teacher and if you are a whole class. I will pick my favourites and see if I can get the author to do the interview  with you. I will post this challenge again at the beginning of Term 2. If I pick you, I will give your more details. I will have a prize pack of books for my favourite interview.




My Storylines Family Day and Book Launch album

Yesterday was a rainy rainy day in Auckland but that didn’t stop masses of children and parents coming to the Aotea Centre to meet loads of children’s authors and do loads of activities. I got to launch my new book, The Letterbox Cat and Other Poems, and to spend time in the wonderful poetry zone.

I had a wonderful minder called Patricia who went and got me pumpkin soup to keep my energy up.

Penny from Scholastic launched my book with the best speech ever. She talked about what poetry does and why they picked the book. Just like me, she loves American poet, Shel Silverstein‘s Where the Sidewalk Ends.

I had picked him in my Top 5 Poetry Books for children for The New Zealand Book Council’s latest Booknotes Unbound.

My launch was special to me as children helped me out.

Emily from Balmoral School read a cat poem, along with Venetia, Lucy, Helen and Ollie from Gladstone School, and Skye, Sultan, Sarah, Lyrix and Toa from Glen Eden Primary School. The cat poems were stunning and the children all read with poise and confidence.

Cornwall Park School had students perform three of my poems and i was so moved at the way they brought the poems to life: ‘At Sea,’ ‘Faces,’ and ‘A Snail Poem.’ They made me smile and laugh out loud! And we all loved the reciting snail sliding across the stage. Oh the funny faces and the wavy sea. Thanks to Colleen and Jane for taking time out of your busy school schedules.

St Kentigern’s School for Girls also astonished me with their performances of ‘The Gargle Bird’ and ‘Rain.’ They made poems make music in the air. I loved the way they used their hands as much as their voices. Wow! Thanks to Judy for her dedication to words and books and creating such terrific recitals.

Myles Lawford, the illustrator, turned up to help me sign books and did cool pictures for everyone. Paper P;lus and Glenfield has some left over signed copies by him!

The Poetry Zone was full of cool activities. There was a poetry picnic, poetry mystery boxes and poetry feel boxes. Children who wrote poems got to read them at the mic! That was pretty amazing. I have posted my favourite poems from the mystery box below.

I was delighted to meet so many poetry fans. It was a splendid day so a big and especial thanks to the wonderful Storylines team. Thank you!

Here is my Family Day Photo Album (some photos are a bit fuzyy but you get the occasion!)

photo photo photo photo photo photo photo photo photo photo photo photo photo  photo photo photo photo photo photo photo photo photo photo photo photo photo photo photo


And here is my favourite poem from the mystery box:

Storylines Poem by Evan (age 11)

A poem ‘about green’

LEAVES falling, spinning down to the
GRASS, covered in fresh morning dew.  A young boy wears green
SHORTS and a loose stripy green
T-SHIRT too.  The sounds of the mountain
KEA squawking very proudly.  Nearby in a green
ALLIGATOR chomps loudly and as the young boy retires to bed
He has sweet dreams about the colour….RED

Juliette MacIver takes the stage at the Vodafone Events Centre

Juliette MacIver is about to go on stage talking about the fabulous toucan that has landed on her head.

I love the way her stories are zimming and zittering with delicious words. Juliette is really great with rhyme and beat so her stories always sound good. This is a story writer who uses her ear.

Google her and discover her fabulous books.


Write and tell me about one of her books that you love!

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com

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

I might be able to find a book prize for you.




Dear poetry fans

Only two more sleeps until the launch of The Letterbox Cat at Storylines Family Day.

Noon at Aotea Centre on Sunday

Only four more sleeps until I fly to Christchurch to visit schools thanks to The New Zealand Book Council. I am looking forward to meeting Russley School, the South Island winner of The Third Fabulous Poetry Competition.

And you still have time to send in your ‘Our Place’ poems to get a spot to read with me on my Hot Spot Poetry Tour of NZ.