Tag Archives: The Letterbox Cat

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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A picture poem inspired by The Letterbox Cat

I challenged you to create pictures with words to celebrate my new book The Letterbox Cat (Scholastic) as it is full of picture poems (Concrete Poetry).

Here is a favourite.

Ewen did a picture poem but she also included the poem separately as ‘it may be hard to read upside down.’ I put it at the bottom. That is the fun of it but it is easier to read a twisty poem in a book than on a computer screen! She is Y7 and goes to Cobham Intermediate in Christchurch.

I am sending Ewen a copy of the book (she actually has a wee poem at the back!)

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A Fly for a Spider

Beside me
is a spider
apple cider
eight beady
dark eyes
eight legs
no thighs
I am its lunch
for today
I wish I could live
another day.

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

Aimee, Neo and I go the TV studio to record poems and an interview for The Book Show on Face TV


To celebrate The Letterbox Cat (Scholastic, out now) and A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children (Random House, out Oct 3rd), Carole Beu invited me to The Book Show. Aimee and Neo read poems and Carole and I chatted about the books, Poetry Box and my Hot Spot Poetry Tour of NZ.

Aimee and Neo go to Cornwall Park District School and read some poems. They got their mics on, stood against the green backdrop and recited their poems beautifully. I was so proud of them.

Afterwards we went to a cafe for hot chocolate and talked about books and poems and being on TV.

It was a great morning and I especially loved talking with Carole about poetry for and by children.

Here’s where and when you can see the episode:

Where: The Book Show, Face TV Sky 083

When: Wednesday October 1st 8.30pm, Thursday October 2nd 12.30pm

and from Thursday morning you watch it on YouTube.

Tomorrow morning you can find the link here if you look at the top of the Women’s Bookshop homepage and click on The Book Show. This is Episode Three.

Poems that make pictures: two cats, a crane and a flock of scavenging seagulls

Here are my favourite picture poems (shape poems, concrete poetry) from the challenge I set (inspired by all the picture poems in my new book The Letterbox Cat).

These four poems are all different, but I love the way the words sound as good as the picture looks!

I loved these so much I want to give you a chance to do some more in the holidays. See end of post for details.

Meanwhile I have picked Gemma to send a book to as the poem sings in my ear and the cat poem is like a pawprint on the page (very cunning!). I am sending her a copy of my favourite childhood poetry book — AA Milne’s Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace. His poems used to sing in my ear and they still do.

Concrete Cat by Gemma age 8 Adventure School

Concrete Cat

Seagulls by Daniel, Age 5 Adventure School


Cat by Maya, Year 4,  Stonefields School

maya stonefields school

Cranes by Arya, Year 5, Gladstone School

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DEADLINE for your Picture-Poem Challenge: Thursday October 9th

It can be on any subject! Check my new book out for ideas or these poems.

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com. Include your name, year, age and name of school. You can include your teacher’s name and email. PLEASE say it’s for the Picture-Poem challenge.

I will post my favourites  and have a book prize for a poet (Year 0 to Year 8).