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  • Published: 5 October 2022
  • ISBN: 9780143775140
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $36.99

Roar Squeak Purr

A New Zealand Treasury of Animal Poems

A marvellous menagerie of animal poems for children by New Zealand's best writers - some of them children - selected by star New Zealand poet Paula Green and adorably illustrated by Jenny Cooper.

A marvellous menagerie of more than 200 animal poems by Aotearoa's best writers, ROAR SQUEAK PURR shows just how fun poetry can be, and is sure to inspire a new generation of poets.

In between the covers of this book you will meet creatures large and small. They might pad, or skitter, swoosh or soar. They could be fuzzy, feathery, suckery, scaly or spiky. These animals might ROAR or squeak or Purrrrrrrrrr. Just like the animals they are about, these poems come in all shapes and sizes! They tell stories, pose questions, make us feel things - and they all make glorious music.

If your kids think poetry isn’t for them, Roar Squeak Purr will cure that thought forever! This exuberant treasury brings together over 200 animal poems by New Zealand's best writers, many of them written by children. The poems were selected and edited by champion poet Paula Green, winner of the Prime Minister's Award for Poetry and creator of the popular Poetry Box blog, and teamed with Jenny Cooper’s cheeky, whimsical and adorable illustrations.
Roar Squeak Purr is destined to be a family treasure – and to inspire a new generation of poets.

  • Published: 5 October 2022
  • ISBN: 9780143775140
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $36.99

About the authors

Paula Green

Paula Green is a poet, writer, reviewer and anthologist. She has written and edited a great many collections of poetry, including several for children. She has also published two novels for children, The Terrible Night and Little Tales of Hedgehog and Goat. Her poetry collection The Letter Box Cat and other poems won Children’s Choice at the New Zealand Post Book Awards, and she has won a number of Storylines Notable Book Awards for her books for children.

Paula is also the creator of the popular NZ Poetry Shelf and NZ Poetry Box blogs, championing poetry in Aotearoa New Zealand and nurturing its poets young and old, emerging and celebrated. In 2017 Paula received the Prime Minister’s Award for Poetry and was made Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Literature and Poetry.

She lives near Te Henga Bethells Beach on Tamaki Makaurau’s West Coast with her partner, the artist Michael Hight.

Jenny Cooper

Jenny Cooper is an award-winning and prolific illustrator of more than 70 children’s books, and says she finds each new title “completely different and a new adventure”. Noted for being an exceptionally versatile, characterful and exuberant illustrator, the judges of the 2015 LIANZA Children and Young Adult Book Awards praised Jenny for the “multitude of talents in her basket of goodies . . . she is able to draw a variety of animals convincingly well; her command of emotional drawing is also superb. The depth of feeling in the faces of her characters brings tears to the reader’s eyes. She is surely envied by other illustrators.” Jenny’s recent work includes a series of critically acclaimed First World War picture books with text by Glyn Harper – Roly, the Anzac Donkey, Jim’s Letters and Le Quesnoy: The Story of the Town New Zealand Saved – and the beautiful A Treasury of New Zealand Poems for Children edited by Paula Green. In 2015 Jenny was honoured as one of New Zealand’s foremost illustrators with the presentation of The Arts Foundation Mallinson Rendel Illustrators Award. The award’s patron Ann Mallinson declared her the “perfect recipient”, saying that “Whether a pencil sketch or a realistic, photographic based style, Jenny’s illustrations jump out of the page with an invigorating spirit . . . Jenny is a greatly admired and very experienced artist who has illustrated a large number of picture books. Her work is always of the highest standard. She can tackle any subject, and if it requires more than her wonderful imagination, she will do thorough research.” In August 2015 Jim’s Letters, Jenny's and author Glyn Harper’s memorable depiction of a World War One correspondence between two brothers, one a soldier in Gallipoli and the other at home on their Central Otago farm, won the Picture Book category of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. Jenny has also won a number of Storylines Notable Book Awards — for A Treasury of New Zealand Poems for Children edited by Paula Green (2015); Jim’s Letters with Glyn Harper (2015); Ria the Reckless Wrybill with Jane Buxton (2011); A. W. Reed’s classic Illustrated Myths and Legends of the Pacific (2008); The Mad Tadpole Adventure with Melanie Drewery (2008); Duck Walk with Joy Cowley (2003); The Great Pavlova Cover-up edited by Jo Noble (2002); and The Wooden Fish with Tim Tipene (2000). Jenny lives in Amberley, near Christchurch.

Praise for Roar Squeak Purr

It was a joy to see this new compilation that will be a true keepsake and the perfect gift. This is a New Zealand treasury of animal poems, beautifully teamed together with a visual feast of illustrations by Jenny Cooper...a great reminder that poetry can be enjoyed by the whole whānau, either to be read aloud or independently read by junior readers.

Sue's Reviews, Wairarapa Times-Age

There’s such playfulness and warmth among the pages of this hefty hardback, with glorious illustrations by the awesome Jenny Cooper. I love the variety of illustration styles and stunning colours throughout. Jenny Cooper is so clever at capturing an animal’s personality and I particularly adore her illustration of Powell’s ‘Horse Lips’ (pg 128). Surely an almighty feat to pull together such a rich collection of New Zealand poems, Paula Green (something of a NZ treasure herself), has proved once again she truly is a valiant poetry treasure hunter. I implore you to get your hands on a copy of this aptly named treasury and share it with someone special.

Melanie Koster, Down the Back of the Bookcase

The title of this book says it all. It is a superb treasury of poems and a real treasure. Every poem deserves its place in this collection...The poems are funny, informative, imaginative, cheeky and cover so many animal topics. Each and every one is accompanied by one of Jenny Cooper's delightful, warm, funny and thoughtful full-colour illustrations...wonderful matching up of words and pictures.

Desna Wallace, Book Trailers 4 Kids & YA

With old favourites, new poems, and poems by children around the motu, charmingly illustrated and both funny and thoughtful, this is a treasure all homes and schools should have.

Stuff's Best Books of 2022

It's a book to turn to when wanting to be inspired, uplifted, and just want to appreciate great New Zealand writing. Grandparents, buy it for your grandchildren and sit them on your knees and share this gorgeous book with them. I showed it to a group of fellow writers one afternoon, and they all said they're going to buy it for a child for Christmas. I should be passing my book onto a child, but I selfishly won't be parting with my copy! It'll be on my bookshelf in easy reach.

Maria Gill, Kids Books NZ

A treasury indeed! Who knew so many Kiwi poets - including kids - had captured the antics and oddities of our birds, bees, butterflies and pets? "Poems can do anything, " says Green. "There are no rules. Poetry is PLAY."

Ann Packer, NZ Listener 50 Best Kids' Books

The language throughout the poems is rich and descriptive...Jenny Cooper has made this book a visual delight with her stunning colourful artwork. She has managed to capture the animals’ facial expressions beautifully...Recommended

Nova Gibson, Read NZ - The School Library

Awards & recognition

Storylines Notable Book Award

Awarded  •  2022  •  A Storylines Notable Non-Fiction Book