World Penguin Day Poem – Adélies

Technically yesterday was World Penguin Day – but since yesterday was ANZAC Day, deserving of its own reflective contemplation and gratitude, I’m running to American time and posting my penguin poem for Poetry Friday.

A number of years ago I was given Irene Latham’s name in Tabatha’s Yeatts’ Poetry Swap – which absolutely thrilled me, because not only is Irene such a beautiful person, but we also share a love of Antarctica – and we had in fact just done our own little book-swap earlier that year… with Irene sending me her picture/poetry book, ‘When the Sun Shines on Antarctica’. (I just hunted up the post I did at the time of receiving Irene’s book, and funnily enough, it was just-on two years ago.)

My favourite poem from the book was, ‘Adélie Seeking Adélie‘… so when I was given Irene’s name in the poetry swap, I knew what poem I was choosing for my mentor text. For whatever reason, I never did get to share it on my blog – so I’m sharing it here today.

Irene’s poem runs down the left. The photo is just one of my (many!) faves, taken from our time in Antarctica, earlier that same year. (You have no idea how much that holiday has influenced my writing – or how much I still yearn to go back… (It is like a physical tug inside me, I tell you!))

Carol Varsalona is hosting Poetry Friday at Beyond Literacy Link. I’m sure she will have a whole bunch of poetry treasures for us. And don’t forget to get up-to-date on the Progressive Poem, with Linda @Write Time. Not many days left, now!

In the meantime, scroll through some penguin hashtags and enjoy these shuffling, sliding, soaring, sleek little characters. Like these two!🐧🐧 (I would include the original @AusAntarctic post, if I could find it, but alas…)

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Is There Anybody There?

I’m rather thrilled to be asked to judge the Primary category of the 2019 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards. As a teacher, I used these awards to give students a real audience. I know what a big deal these awards are in the classroom! To be on the other side (and expecting to read thousands of students poems) is exciting – and a wee-bit daunting.

But mostly, it’s a huge honour – because of course, Dorothea Mackellar’s ‘My Country‘ has been burnt into my mind since first learning those impassioned words. (My overseas readers, if you haven’t read it, then you must, here.) ‘Waltzing Matilda’ is all well and good – but if we were ever to talk about a new, Australian anthem? Look no further than ‘My Country’!

It inspired my Australia Day golden shovel (above left) during #MoPoetry2019 – using the strike line from the final stanza of ‘My Country’’, Dorothea Mackellar’s iconic poem, above right.

Intrigued? You might enjoy learning more about Dorothea, with this YouTube, by Libby Hathorn.

If you’re a classroom teacher and want a poetry form to kickstart kids writing, the golden shovel is a great form to try!

HOW TO:

  1. Find a strike line (any length) from an existing poem and attribute it.
  2. Put each word from the strike line at the end of individual lines in your poem… If your strike line has 4 words, your poem has four lines. (The strike line in my poem is written are in bold. )
  3. Now fill in the gaps to make your poem. Lines can be any length.

See also Seeds of Hope for another example of a golden shovel.

Today’s Poetry Friday is hosted by Irene Latham, creator of the Progressive Poem I took part in earlier in the month. (You can catch up with the poem as it builds at the links below.) Thanks, Irene, for hosting today (during your month of happy poems!) and for sharing the Progressive Poem with the world. 🙂

The Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem – April 2019

2 Kat @ Kathryn Apel
4 Jone @ DeoWriter
5 Linda @ TeacherDance
6 Tara @ Going to Walden
8 Mary Lee @ A Year of Reading
9 Rebecca @ Rebecca Herzog
10 Janet F. @ Live Your Poem
13 Doraine @ Dori Reads
17 Amy @ The Poem Farm
18 Linda @A Word Edgewise
20 Buffy @ Buffy’s Blog
21 Michelle @ Michelle Kogan
22 Catherine @ Reading to the Core
25 Jan @ Bookseestudio
26 Linda @ Write Time
27 Sheila @ Sheila Renfro
29 Irene @ Live Your Poem
30 Donna @ Mainely Write

Progressive Poem – Day Two

Not only is the Progressive Poem Irene Latham‘s idea, but I am following with her sentiment for her personal month-long poetry project, and bringing ‘happy’ into this poem.

  1. As a group, we agreed to write a poem for children.
  2. Matt’s Day One post challenged us to use found lines.
  3. I personally wanted to bring in some rhyme play – but not tie others to a pattern.

Matt’s first line brought back childhood days of Christmas holidays, when it seemed like we were gazing into infinity – ’cause in Australia, that’s our summer 6-week break.

Endless summer; I can see for miles

I was determined not to choose ‘smiles’ as my rhyme, as that would be so predictable.

Since Matt’s line uses a Beach Boys album title, I went there first… and found lots of surfing scenarios… and ‘Fun, Fun, Fun.’ Nope. Too easy! And it doesn’t rhyme with miles.

I then thought to give a shout out to an iconic Aussie singer, and bring some Johnny Farnham to the party; ‘well I can’t sleep, but I can dream’‘set the wheels in motion’‘I want to sail across the ocean’… If you discount the lack of rhyme, they had possibilities (especially that ocean!) – yet I just kept coming back to FUN!

So I started searching for songs with ‘iles’ rhymes, hoping to cobble something together. And had to eat my words. 🙃

Endless summer; I can see for miles …
Fun, fun, fun – and the whole world smiles

Found Lines:

  • L1 The Who, ‘I Can See for Miles / The Beach Boys, ‘Endless Summer’
  • L2 The Beach Boys, ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ / Dean Martin, ‘When You’re Smiling’

Thanks for the wide open spaces, Matt. I’m smiling, as I tag … Kimberly!

2019-kidlitosphere-progressive-poem-copy

The Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem – April 2019

2 Kat @ Kathryn Apel
4 Jone @ DeoWriter
5 Linda @ TeacherDance
6 Tara @ Going to Walden
8 Mary Lee @ A Year of Reading
9 Rebecca @ Rebecca Herzog
10 Janet F. @ Live Your Poem
13 Doraine @ Dori Reads
17 Amy @ The Poem Farm
18 Linda @ A Word Edgewise
20 Buffy @ Buffy’s Blog
21 Michelle @ Michelle Kogan
22 Catherine @ Reading to the Core
25 Jan @ Bookseestudio
26 Linda @ Write Time
27 Sheila @ Sheila Renfro
29 Irene @ Live Your Poem
30 Donna @ Mainely Write

Raising Readers

This week I’m sharing a wonderful new book that all Australian parents and carers need to get their hands on. (Teachers too, because you’ll learn heaps – and also have an excellent resource you can recommend.)

Rather chuffed to be asked to write a segment about verse novels.

Raising Readers‘ is an ambitious project, inspired by the lovely Kristina Schultz, at UQP, and undertaken by award-winning children’s librarian, and queen of kid-literature, Megan Daley, aka Children’s Books Daily. I cannot believe that they’ve pulled it off – not just in compiling the information, but making it so user-friendly and easy to navigate. They amaze me! It looks gorgeous (Jo Hunt has designed my three verse novel covers – and this one is almost as beautiful.😉) and it truly is an interesting and effortless read. You get the sense you’re sitting down for a chat with Megan – without the gourmet food. (And you get to absorb her wisdom at a slightly less frenetic pace than IRL. (Megan is a dynamite and everyone who knows her loves her.))

Megan writes;

“I find being a parent a very hard job at times and every stage of child-rearing seems to be filled with guilt. I do, however, feel confident that I will be able to look back and say, ‘But I read to them and gave them the joy of books’ and know that I did my best.”

‘Raising Reader’s is Megan’s gift to other parents, to help them unlock that magical world of books with their children.

At which point I will insert the Table of Contents, and my job is done. Because how you can read through these topics and not NEED this book!


Such a brilliant resource, as you can see! I was rather chuffed to be asked to write the segment about verse novels. (There’s even a mention of me in the section about author visits.😊)


From the section on Poetry, by Natalie Jane Prior;

Nothing enriches a child’s understanding of how language works more than poetry. Reading it teaches children to think outside the square, to see things from unexpected angles.

I can’t argue with that.

‘Raising Readers’ will be released in Australia in April. As author Rebecca Sparrow says, “This is not a book. It’s a magic key which will unlock a love of stories and reading within your child.”

I recommend it! #thatisall

You’ll find this week’s Poetry Friday round-up at Carol’s Corner.

And don’t forget to follow the Progressive Poem, organised by Irene Latham, and kicking off on Matt’s blog on 1st April. (He’s no fool!) Day Two will be right back here again. What fun! Can’t wait to see what Matt throws out for me to play with.

Even More #MoPoetry

I do love diarising January in poetry – and have been especially enjoying the dual creativity of picture and poetry. (And the process of combining the two! Such fun.)

Here is this past week’s #MoPoetry2019 for your perusual of the week-that-was. Ending rather excitingly, too, I must say!

Day 18:

Day 19:

Which sparked this little conversation with @annashop_cronulla;

Day 20:

View this post on Instagram

The worst thing about writing a poem-a-day (and sharing them each day!!) is that sometimes, you’re posting a poem that doesn’t feel finished. This is one of those times… (Yes, there have been others.) FORM: Golden Shovel HOW TO: Find a strike line (and attribute it) then put each word from that line at the end of your poem… Fill in the gaps with your own words. In truth, I adore Golden Shovels. But I think I will make a rule to avoid lines with ‘you’ in them – because I should have learnt by now, ‘you’ always complicates a poem! #vulnerable #notreadyyet #bloom #whereyoureplanted #beyourself #motivation #inspiration #waterlily #flowersofinstagram #mybackyard #GoldenShovel #MoPoetry2019 #InstaPoetry #poemaday #authorsofinstagram #poetryofinstagram #poetrygram #poetry

A post shared by Kathryn Apel – kidlit creator (@kat.apel) on

Day 21: If I thought it was bad posting a poem that doesn’t feel finished, it is worse to look back on a poem you’ve posted and find a BLATANT MISTAKE!!! Urgh! This is what happens when you become too obsessed with design and layout. (Though this is the least creative of all my Insta-Poems – but I was playing with two pictures, so… #stilltooktoolong)

I have inserted an edited version into this post – because it’s bad enough looking at the mistake every time I open my insta-page. (I decided to leave it as it was there (with a blushing comment!)… because of course I didn’t notice it until late in the day…🙄 #nobodyisperfect #iaintnobody…🙃)

I was asked if I wrote limericks. Not many – but here’s one, for a bit of fun. I don’t follow cricket – so if there is a Matt or a Gina playing, this is not about either of them! #justforfun #playingwithwords#betterthanplayingcricket😉#watchinggrassgrow #cricket#backyardcricket #summerfun#MoPoetry2019 #InstaPoetry #poemaday#authorsofinstagram #poetryofinstagram#poetrygram #poetry #rhyme #wordplay

Day 22:

Day 23:

Day 24: (Why, hello Good News!)

This week we’re going to Walden with Tara Smith, so join the #PoetryFriday excursion for more great posts. And pop back here next week for the final instalment of #MoPoetry2019! Looking forward to seeing what the week produces. Have a great one.

More #MoPoetry2019

Welcome poetry peeps! Once again I’m linking to my #MoPoetry2019 Insta-Poems for PoetryFriday. This week marked halfway… Rolling downhill now! Thank-you Michelle Kogan, Carol Varsalona, Linda Baie and Jone MacCulloch for also jumping in and sharing the creativity! It’s been fun. I’m looking forward to another week of word art.😊

Day 11:

Day 12:

Day 13:

Day 14:

Day 15:

Day 16:

Ooops. Turns out I was getting ahead of myself – and today is only Thursday! (All day!!) So – here is one more Insta-Poem, to round off my week of #MoPoetry2019.

Day 17:

If you’ve got a fave, I’d love to hear it. It’s always interesting to know what appeals to others. 🙂 If you’re tempted to join in with some of your own, you’ll find us at #MoPoetry2019 on Instagram.

You’ll find the full #PoetryFriday roundup here; http://missrumphiuseffect.blogspot.com.

G’day Poetry Friday Peeps!

G’day! How wonderful to welcome all you Poetry Friday people, not just to my blog, but Downunder. Yes, the round-up is coming to you from Australia, where it’s the middle of summer (soooo hot!) – yet beautiful, none-the-less. So, slip into your togs, (perhaps I can tempt you for a dip in our beautiful Burnett River, later?) find a cool shady breeze, (you might need to make one) take a wedge of watermelon, or a mango cheek, then kick back and enjoy.

I’m in the process of writing a poem-a-day as a snapshot diary-of-sorts for the start of 2019, which I’ve been sharing as Insta-poetry. Perhaps you’d like to take a wander through the week with me before, you plunge into a host of poetry posts from around the world. Day 1, 2 and 3 featured in last week’s post, and on Instagram, but feel free to click back. 🙂 (I would delete the Instagram captions from this post, if I could, but alas…)

Day 4:

Day 5:

View this post on Instagram

Yowzers! Sliding in a wee-bit late with this one – because the poem I was hoping to post just would not come together! (Maybe another day?) There is nothing quite like a time-constraint to make your brain freeze – and I am reminded yet again of why I don’t like NAPLAN! (You have no idea how many poems I scrapped in the past hour. I’ve often wondered what would happen if a child produced an exquisite/emotive haiku for a NAPLAN writing sample. :P) Anyway, for Day 5 #MoPoetry2019, I give you a haiku, capturing the serenity of the Burnett River. I love the River Walk of an evening. . . #MoPoetry2019 #haiku #poemaday #authorsofinstagram #poetryofinstagram #poetrygram #Bundaberg #lovebundy #BurnettRiver #lorikeets #InstaPoetry #riverwalk

A post shared by Kathryn Apel – kidlit creator (@kat.apel) on

Day 6:

Day 7:

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

I’m using the hashtag #MoPoetry2019 on Instagram. You’re welcome to join! There’ll be a newbie up from me today… and more to come each day this month. Meanwhile, the Poetry Friday linkup is below. Can’t wait to check out all your goodies. 🙂

Share your Poetry Friday links here. All are welcome to read… and be inspired! 🙂

Click here to enter

Insta-Poetry

I hope your year has got off to a 🎉cracker🎊 start. 2018 was an amazing writing journey, and I am hoping it keeps rolling into 2019. It’s already been quite productive, writing a synopsis and query letter for that historical Antarctic verse novel I worked on throughout 2018, (So excited about that!) and putting down some words for a new picture book that has been rolling around in my mind the past 12 months. AND … In the spirit of Month of Poetry from years gone by, I spur-of-the-moment started writing a poem-a-day as a snapshot diary-of-sorts for the start of 2019. Some Insta-Poetry! I’m not sure I’ll stick with it for the full month (I am quite happy to fall down a hole with other writing projects) … but wordplay is always a good thing, and good fun! If you want to jump on board, I’m using the hashtag #MoPoetry2019 on Instagram. (It’s just me, at the moment.🙂)

If you’re intrigued by that flower in the top pic, you can see more on my instagram, starting at this post. My camera was a wee-bit busy over the 12hr period it bloomed so beautifully.

Sylvia has the roundup this week, at Poetry for Children. Next week I’ll be hosting the #PoetryFriday roundup – so check back then for links to poetry posts around the world and be inspired! For now… I’m off for a crit & chat with some lovely local kidlit peeps. I may be gone for a while… 😂

Cat Call – Me? Ow!

Sliding into the Poetry Friday round-up with a cat-themed poem, and a hint of Christmas. (That is my Christmas tree box and tinsel sprinkled on the floor.)

What cat doesn’t like to hide in boxes? (And what human can resist those poised paws, and twitching tail!)

Our cat has been affectionately dubbed many things, but methinks Little Lion and Tiger may be the most accurate… Those claws!!

You’ll find the full round-up of poetry-packed posts at Laura Shovan’s blog. Or you can stay and play with SavvyCat … who really does have the twitchiest tail.

Poetry at Sharjah International Book Fair 2018

I am really struggling with blog posts these days. It feels there are so many things I need to write in other places – most especially in my stories (LOVE), and the submissions to accompany them (Aaargh!) and blog posts just keep getting pushed to the bottom of the pile …

I do want to share some pics from my second visit to Sharjah – this for the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) which was even bigger than the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival. It was so good to go back again, and, with so many people in attendance, it was amazing to recognise people from my previous visit! It was especially lovely to have children and adults come up, eyes alight and smiles wide and thank me again for my sessions in April. One very busy day saw 50K kids pass through the doors, with a record 2.3million people in attendance over the 10 day event. (Sometimes just getting through the door felt like an achievement.😉)

All my sessions involved poetry – though sometimes it was more about creating than writing. We made jigsaws and tag poems and 3D poetry and poetry wall plaques. I especially loved the school groups that came through in the mornings. These were half-hour sessions, and I was astounded with how much we achieved in such a short space of time! The kids were awesome – so polite, and yet enthusiastic and instantly engaged with their ‘writing’ tasks. We talked and laughed lots – and they often delighted me with their witty way with words. I was also incredibly touched by the feedback from every teacher, who took activities away to use with other groups in their classrooms. And this beautiful comment from one lovely teacher, on finding out I no longer teach, but write fulltime and present at festivals, like SIBF; “It is better, you not working in one school. Now you can share your skills with the world.” 💞

Sharjah was beautiful! The people so wonderfully warm and welcoming. Sharing the adventure with lovely Aussie kidlit creators, Catherine Pelosi, Dee White and Claire Richards made the adventure even more enjoyable. As did the beautiful accommodation. This time I didn’t just see the beach from a passing car – I swam! And it was glorious! (I had planned to write heaps, in gorgeous settings … but talked heaps, instead! Networking … 😉 There truly were lots of discussions about a dreaded synopsis!!) I didn’t get out to the desert this time – or see a single camel… but I did get lovely views over the desert as I was flying out, so it was good to see it in this new perspective.

SIBF18 was another amazing event and adventure, and a delight to be involved! I could be tempted to go back… ☺️

This week I’m in for #PoetryFriday – and you can Live Your Poem and all things poetry at Irene Latham’s blog. Having just had a peep in preparation for linking this post, it would seem as if Irene has been busy in recent weeks, which included the news that her book, ‘Can I Touch Your Hair’, (in partnership with Charles Waters), was announced as a Charolotte Huck Honour Book. How exciting!

Edit: I had meant to include a link to the interview on Sharjah24 News. You can see me in hypo-bunny mode here;