Tag Archives: The Letterbox Cat

Photos from the Awards

Thanks for all the lovely messages. 

I hardly slept a wink as I am not used to the city noises. It’s true! The city never sleeps. Always someone doing something. Cars buses rubbish bins laughter sirens chat chat chatting. I can’t wait to get out and go roaming. A day roaming with my daughter. 

Here are a few photos from last night. I am still smiling that children voted for poetry! Thank you so much. Everyone was saying how wonderful it was that children love poetry!  Yeah!

Here I am with Myles Lawford the illustrator and Lynette Evans, the Publisher (Scholastic). 

The winners. I am standing next to the extraordinary Jenny Cooper. She did the Treasury but last night she deservedly won Best Picture Book with Glyn Harper for Jim’s Letters. Can’t see supreme winner Mandy Hager!?!


That’s Lynette  with winner Donovan Bixley.  
Government House sparkles


You have until July 31st to vote for CHILDREN’s Choice -here is the correct link

Here is the link to the list of finalists in Children’s Choice categories in the NZ Children’s B Awards.

– as chosen already by children – now is the time to vote – and by the end of this week – Friday 31st July

A vote for The Letterbox Cat is a vote for poetry! Yeah! Woohoo!

Letterbox Cat

Visiting Seba’s class at Richmond Road School

Some of Seba Dilaimi’s class performed two poems at my event at the National Library but she missed seeing them as she was sick. So I popped into her class to meet her, read a few poems, answer some questions and check out the ones they had written. (we wrote a cool bird poem too!)

Inspired by my picture poems (shape poems or concrete poetry) in The Letter Box the class had done a whole batch of their own and they were magnificent! Just magnificent!

I am posting them here for you to see because you might be inspired to try some too. I loved them all. Looking at them and reading them made me want to get cracking and do some more of my own.

Thanks … I really loved visiting your class. Happy poetry days!

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AN UPDATE Posting my favourites in the Treasury Challenges: Here are some cool poem videos!

The video-poem challenge was a tough challenge but Gemma and Daniel from Adventure School in Whitby and Izak from Russley School in Christchurch gave it a go! The results are fabulous. If you click on the link it will take you to YouTube where they posted their work. Wonderful. I have a copy of The Treasury of NZ Poems for Children for Izak.

First up a video poem by Izak. He also managed to lay down the sound of a train. Very cool:

And here’s his poem

THE TRAIN’S MISSION – by Izak, age 9

The engine powering over the railway
putting all of its effort into the one trip
Meeting amazing people
with amazing things
My Dad taking photos of passing cliffs
Steam rising into the air
like a machine cloud-gun
Stepping through carriages on the squiggly bridge
Chocolate ice-cream covering my delighted face
as we return to the station

Next up, Gemma and Daniel. I  think they had fun doing this. All they needed was a digital camera or one on their computer. I loved hearing them read my poems as well as their own.

Dear Paula,

Today we went a bit crazy and created “Poetry TV” for the video poem challenge!!!  We did some of your poems, and some of our poems.  Amber the cat was being a pain so we had to let her join in too. It was very fun!  There are lots of links if you want to watch our poems 🙂

From Gemma and Daniel

The Place At the End of My Bed

At the end of my bed

There is a place

That is sometimes filled with books

And sometimes filled with a cat

And sometimes filled with…


That is uncomfortable

Do you know why?

Because the cat shoves me down

To the end of my bed

And she is happy

With her head on my pillow.

I think in my mind

That she is the person

And I am the cat.

Daniel  Adventure School

At The Table

Some people have a certain place at the table

But I like to change where I sit

Near the window

Or close to the kitchen

Or far away from my brother

Our table is our imagination station

Sometimes it’s covered in books

Sometimes crafty creations

Or science experiments

You name it… you’ll find it on the table at my place

Our table is so old and worn

Every day a new screw falls out

I think the food, water and glue that has

Been spilt on the table over all its years

Is what holds it together

Gemma  Adventure School








Three more cool places to read a book of poetry: a wardrobe, a dress-up box , upside down and a reading cat…..

Last night I had some late arrivals for this challenge and I can’t resist posting them.

Today it was wild and cold at the beach and the thought of snuggling up with a book of poetry in a cosy place was very inviting. My plan for this afternoon! I have a stack of poetry books I want to share on my other blog, NZ Poetry Shelf.  My favourite place is on the long couch by the large window with the big view of the sky and the bush. Bliss!

Thank you so much for sending me these! Very cool.

Jude aged 9, reads tucked in between jackets, inside his Dad’s wardrobe. (Oh how exciting! He is reading my first ever book of poems for children, Flamingo Bendalingo!)

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Venetia aged 11, and Lyla aged 1, read in the dress up box – cosy! (From Paula: I love the way the gorgeous cat, Lyla, is reading too!)

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Lyla reads in bed. (From Paula: I wonder what poem she is reading? A cat poem I hope!)

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Theo, aged 7, reads upside down in the lounge. (Note from Paula: I have never read a poem or a story upside down in my life!)photo 2

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My picks from the Treasury challenge to take a photo of a cool place to read poetry: a poetry nest and at the zoo

I challenged you to photograph yourself in a cool place reading poetry. Here are my top two picks. Love them!

This from Daniel and Gemma:

(Note from Paula: This is an extra cool idea and all you need is a cardboard box and some cushions. I have one $50 book voucher to give away for this challenge so I am giving it to Gemma and Daniel to get more stock for the nest. Thanks for sharing.)

We built a poetry nest and read lots of poems in it and then wrote poems too.  It was a stormy day so it was nice to be in a poetry nest! We go to Adventure school in Whitby.


This from Room 8 at Adventure School:

(Note from Paula: What a cool idea. I started to think of all the perfect poems in the Treasury to read at a zoo and I came up with quite a few! I love this and have shared with Stephanie. Thanks so much!)

Room 8 from Adventure School Whitby had a zoo sleepover last week at Wellington Zoo.  We had an amazing time and what better place than the zoo to read some poetry to the wonderful array of animals there.  We thought that ‘Zoo Chimpanzee’ by Stephanie Mayne was a pretty good poem to share at the zoo.

We hope you like the photo of Jorja, Noah, Matthias, Angus and Luci  — some of the children from the Room 8 Poetry Group, Adventure School, Whitby, sharing poetry at the zoo!

Poetry Group

The Treasure Interviews: Monica interviews Adrienne Jansen


Monica Koster  I was born in Christchurch in 2002. My passions in life are running, writing and music. So far, I have published three different things. In 2010, when I was 8 years old, my earthquake poem was published on the NZEPC website along with Jeffrey Paparoa Holman’s. In 2013, I was published in the Margaret Mahy Governor’s Bay Poetry book when I won the Senior Poem with Illustration Competition. In 2014, I was excited and honoured to be published in Paula Green’s book, The Letter Box Cat.

Adrienne Jansen

The Score photo A Jansen

Adrienne Jansen writes poetry, fiction and non-fiction for children and
adults. In 2014 she edited The Curioseum, a collection of strange and
wonderful stories based on weird objects in Te Papa’s collections. She lives
in Titahi Bay, with a big ocean view and lots of wind. (note from Paula: I adore The Curioseum so much I posted about it on Poetry Box!)

  1. When you were younger, what was your favourite book character?

When I was a kid, I absolutely loved Ian Seraillier’s The Silver Sword and the family in that novel.

  1. When did you start writing?

When I was a kid. The Evening Post (which was a Wellington newspaper then) had a Children’s Page, and I started sending little things to it when I was about 8.

  1. Did you ever play a sport?

I played badminton a lot, bit of tennis, but my real love is swimming. In the sea and in the pool both.

  1. Who was the most interesting person you met in Canada?

Probably a man we met the summer we went to the Yukon. He’d been goldmining up there for years. They’re a different breed, people who live long periods of time in huge remote places like that.

  1. It must have been fun editing the book, The Curioseum. What was your favourite piece in it?

It was fun – and hard work both, because quite a few of those writers didn’t usually write for children, so the stories needed quite a lot of work. I don’t think I can pick a favourite – I like them all a lot, and the writers as well.

  1. What (or who) inspired you to write “‘Clean as a Whistle,’ I say. That’s what I want.” (I’m guessing it was your son! How did he feel about it?)

Yes it was our younger son. And that’s exactly what happened (except that he was cleaning the laundry floor and I made it the kitchen floor). But everything else is exactly as it happened. I didn’t read it to him for quite a long time, but then he thought it was very funny! It was very unusual for him to clean the floor – he must have wanted something!

  1. I like thinking up ideas for poems when I’m sitting high in a tree. Where is your favourite place to write?

We’ve got a little yard out the back of our house. It’s very sheltered (that matters at our house because we get a big sea wind), there are tuis everywhere now, and there’s a big chunky table and two benches. Every morning that it’s fine I have breakfast there, and more and more I write out there. But really I write any old place.

Thanks Monica and Adrienne for such a wonderful interview. I really loved reading this. Adrienne has two poems in The Treasury including one of my all-time favourite poems about the wind!

The_Curioseum_cover-197x300    The_Curioseum_cover-197x300   The_Curioseum_cover-197x300

A Christchurch Hot Spot Poetry Tour event photo album thanks to Paul Koster

Take the lovely Russely School Hall, loads of young participants, a handful of local authors, two new books, an audience of 200 plus, poems new and old —  and you get one very good event.

I didn’t know at the time, but Jenny Cooper, the very cool illustrator of A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children, was in the audience. If I had known, we would have made a song and dance about her fabulous illustrations. Yes I would have sung a song for her! Her heavenly illustrations transform the book into the treasure box that it is. I keep replaying the whole event in my mind and these photos bring it all back. Thanks to a Russley parent for them (only Russley School children in these as we only had permission to post participants from that school). But great offerings from Fendalton School, Lyttelton School, Ilam School and Selwyn House amongst others. In one photo, you can see Caleb reading his poem from The Treasury and in other Ewen and Monica reading their pieces from the back of The Letterbox Cat. Special guests! A highlight at the end … a magnificent performance of Apirana Taylor’s poem, ‘haka.’ Definitely deserved that high five!

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Wainui Beach is a heavenly place to run as the sun comes up

Day One of my tour

I am in gorgeous Gisborne. Woke early and went for a run on the beach. Much busier than mine early in the morning with lots of dogs and walkers. The sea was gleaming blue just like the sky. Friendly people! Two schools and a bookshop event today. What fun!





A Hot Spot Poetry of New Zealand ….. all the details for you!

ATreasuryOfNZPoemsForChildrenJKT_FNL.indd   Letterbox Cat


Today I am setting off on a poetry tour to celebrate poetry for and by children, my two new books (The Letterbox Cat with Scholastic and A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children with Random House) and my blog NZ Poetry Box. I will be keeping a travel diary on my blog over the month.

Big thanks to Creative New Zealand, Random House and Scholastic. Without you this tour would not be possible. And to The New Zealand Book Council for hosting a Speed Date Event in Dunedin.

Where: Gisborne, New Plymouth, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown, Arrowtown, Tauranga, Papamoa and Auckland

Who: Elizabeth Smither, Apirana Taylor, Anna Jackson, Maria McMillan, Richard Langston, Adrienne Jansen, Belinda Wong, Fifi Colston, Melanie Drewery, Rachel Bush, Fiona Farrell, Gavin Bishop, Bill Nagelkirke, Greg O’Connell, James Norcliffe, Helen Jacobs, Doc Drumheller, David Eggleton, Sue Wootton, Jenny Powell, Elizabeth Pulford, Kyle Mewburn, Brian Turner, Wendy Clarke, Pauline Cartwright, Peter Bland, Elena de Roo, Tessa Duder, Stephanie Mayne, Claire Gummer, John Parker, Siobhan Harvey, Tamsin Flynn

Te Papa Wellington, Puke Ariki New Plymouth

Wainui Beach School, Ormond School, Matawai School, Egmont Village School, Woodleigh School, Frankley School, Ngaio School, Adventure School, Te Aro School, Brooklyn School, Karori West School, St Brigid’s School, Lyall Bay School, Pakakariki School, Kapanui School, Newbury School, Khandallah School, Pauatahanui School, St Joseph’s School Nelson, Russley School, Fendalton School, Cobham Intermediate, Kirkwood Intermediate, Ilam School, Lyttelton School, Paparoa School, Medbury School, Freeville School, Redcliffs School, Selwyn House School, East-Taieri School, Columbia College, Remarkables School, Arrowtown School, Queenstown School, Golden Sands School, Maungatapere School, Kamai School, Gladstone School, Richmond Road School, Ellerslie School, Freemans Bay School, St Kentigern’s School, Cornall Park District School, Upper Harbour Primary School, Royal Oak Primary School, Westmere School

Taranaki Libraries, Eltham Library, Wellington Libraries, Porirua Library, Nelson Libraries, South Library, Dunedin Libraries, Queenstown Library, Tauranga City Library, Auckland Libraries, National Library

Muir’s Bookshop Gisborne, Poppies New Plymouth, New Plymouth Paper Plus, Children’s Bookshop Wellington, Page & Blackmoore Nelson, Canterbury University Bookshop, University Bookshop Dunedin, Paper Plus Queenstown Airport, Children’s Bookshop Auckland

Events open to the public involving local authors and children:

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