I'm away in Australia for two weeks researching an ANZAC book from this Sunday so will put up a few reviews before I go - to make up for the time lost. Here's one that you'll want to get for your kids or classroom for Christmas.
A Treasury of New Zealand Poems for Children edited by Paula Green, illustrated by Jenny Cooper (Random House)
Paula Green has been busy - this is her second book of poetry this year! Paula also started a poetry blog for children and toured around the country giving performances with other poets who featured in A Treasury of New Zealand Poems. She's a woman on a mission to promote poetry in this country! She's doing a great job.
Back to the book ... Wow, this book sure is a treasure. Jenny Cooper's colourful and humorous illustrations adorn every page. Each poem has its own page (some several pages; depending on how long it is). You'll find poems from well-known adult poets such as James K. Baxter, Peter Bland, Jenny Bornholdt, Jacqueline Crompton Ottaway, Brian Turner, Siobhan Harvey, Apirana Taylor, Sam Hunt, Glen Colquhoin, Hone Tuwhare, Apirana Taylor, Elizabeth Smither and Lauris Edmond; and children's poets such as James Norcliffe, Elena de Roo, Paula Green ; and well known children's authors such as Margaret Mahy, Joy Cowley, Tessa Duder, David Hill, Elizabeth Pulford, John Parker, Kyle Mewburn, Melinda Szymanik, Peter Millett, Fifi Colston, Melanie Drewery; and adult authors such as Bill Manhire, C.K. Stead, Emma Neale, Janet Frame, Albert Wendt; and even some from children such as 8 year old Laura Ranger and Sofia Pawley, 10 year old Adam Scammell, and 12 year old Caleb Stewart; and more. Some were written long ago, some were published in school journals, and some were written especially for this Treasury.
There's poems about animals and aliens, homework and hangi, books and birthdays, love and libraries, weather and washing, plants and pets, food and family, computers and creatures - such a diverse range of topics sure to please every reader.
This is a perfect book for grandparents to buy for their mokopuna; kids will want to keep it to give to their children (alongside Margaret Mahy's collection of poems in 'The Magical Verse of Margaret Mahy: The Word Witch). And if you want children in your classroom to love poetry then this book will have the kids arguing over whose turn it is to read it next.
ISBN: 978-1-77553-356-6 RRP $37.99
Paula's earlier poetry book was:
The Letter Box Cat and Other Poems (Scholastic)
The Letter Box Cat and Other Poems released in August, 2014, illustrated by Myles Lawford, contains Paula's poems, as well as poems written by children. The book has a Dr Seuss feel to it with zany lyrics and shape (also called concrete) poems. There are poems about cats, dogs, birds and snails. Some have made-up words and some just look great.
Myles illustrations are in striking red drawn on the computer. I love the cover! His artwork has featured in two other books published by Scholastic: The 12 Days of Kiwi Christmas and the humorous Doggy Ditties from A to A.
There haven't been many poetry books published in the past - Paula is making sure poetry comes back in fashion! This is Paula's seventh (the eighth is above) book. Her other books include: children's poetry books 'Flamingo Bendalingo' and 'Macaroni Moon' and adult poetry collections '99 Ways into New Zealand Poetry' and 'Dear Heart: 150 New Zealand Love Poems'; a picture book 'Aunt Concertina and her niece' and a junior chapter book 'The Terrible Night'.
Another poetry book you'll want for your classroom library. Great for getting kids interested in writing shape poems.