Zombies and Vegans

There! I knew the title of this blog post would attract your attention.

Last year I was doing a writing workshop with a Year 6 class on the day after Halloween. They were all still excited about it so I gave them some coloured pens and paper and asked them to create a menu for a zombie restaurant. I have never seen a class of kids so excited about a writing activity in my life. Ideas were popping and fizzing around the room as if someone had lit a match in a fireworks factory.

This picture shows one of the menus the class came up with.

One boy came up with an idea that was so simple, clever and funny that I have to share it. On the top of his page he had written just 3 words: Zombie Vegetarian Restaurant.  I said, “That’s a very creative idea, but I don’t think your restaurant will make much money because zombies much prefer to eat people than vegetables. What are the zombies going to eat at your restaurant?”

He looked at me with a straight face and said, “Vegans.”

As well as a writer I am stand-up comedian, I see lots of comedians and hear lots of jokes, but that joke was one of the best I have heard. It proved  to me again that kids are very creative and very funny. It also proved to me that you don’t have to write much to be creative. All you need to do is look at things from a slightly different angle than most people.

Thanks kids, keep the jokes and creativity coming.

Multi-lingual at last!

Hi Kids,

I might not be multi-lingual but I am thrilled to find out that 12 of my latest books are! The Te Reo translations of the 12 story books I wrote for the SPCA in 2016 and 2017 are now in schools, and the Samoan, Tongan, and Mandarin translations are now available for teachers to use from the SPCA’s  teacher website.

What’s the Buzz?

Hi Kids,

As well as writing poems for children I sometimes write and perform poetry to adults as well. Recently I got to perform poems to 900 people at the Auckland Writers Festival. That is a huge heap of adults for a poetry show and I’m still buzzing like a bee with a chainsaw about it.

Some of the best performing poets in New Zealand and the world were there, including a group of 4 slam poets from Dilworth School who are only 16-17 years old!

Look at the excitement on their faces. No, they are not rock stars or rappers, they are poets! If you like writing poetry and performing on stage, this could be you one day.

Also in the show was Alex Wheatle a poet from England who writes books for children as well. Last year he won a big award for his book “Crongdon Knights”. Check it out at the library and if its not there ask your librarian to get it in, you’ll love it.


190 million is a lot of wimpy kids

Hi Kids,

Wow! Last week I found myself in the same book as one of the best-known children’s writers in the world!

The book is the programme for this year’s Auckland Writers Festival, and the famous writer is Jeff Kinney who has sold more than 190 million books about a wimpy kid!

Jeff is coming to Auckland to talk about his writing and kids are welcome as long as they can talk your parents into bringing them along. Tap the secret full-stop at the end of this sentence to find out more. I can’t wait.

There are lots of other wonderful sessions by the authors of children’s books as well. Most of them are on Sunday May 20 and almost all of them are free! Check them out here!

I won’t be doing any sessions for kids at the festival but I will be performing in a poetry show for adults. I think it will be my job is to make people laugh because sometimes poetry is a very serious business.



The Invasion of the Giant Owls!


Hi Kids! Welcome to my first Web Log post. Don’t worry it is not as scary as the title suggests.

 The Invasion of the Giant Owls!

If you live in Auckland you may have noticed that giant hand-painted owls have been invading parks, shopping centres and malls all around the city.

Tell your parents not to panic. The owls have been painted by well known artists and school children. They are quite harmless, and so are the owls. They are there to raise money for the Child Cancer Foundation to help children with cancer and their families. The art show is called “Big Hoot” and you can find out more about it by clicking or tapping the top secret, multi-purpose full-stop at the end of this sentence.

Last year I was asked if I could write a children’s book that would be part of the “Big Hoot” project. I was pleased to be asked but also a bit unsure if I could do it. Most of my books are funny and child cancer is a very serious subject. I decided to have a go at it and I surprised myself. I am very pleased with the book, and it was launched last week at the same time as the giant owls invaded the city.

The book is called “Manu’s Journey” and it is about a young owl’s journey to recover from cancer.



Before the book was printed I got the chance to share it with some real children who are on the same journey as Manu. I was thrilled to see that they enjoyed the book and were able to laugh at some of the funny stuff I was able to sneak into the book.


All of the money from “Manu’s Journey” will go to the Child Cancer Foundation. If anyone wants to buy it online all they have to do is click or tap on the top secret, multi-purpose, second word in this sentence.