Sisters of Tomorrow Land – Interview with Marg Gibbs and Kim Roberts

It is with great pleasure to invite sisters and authors, Marg Gibbs and Kim Roberts to speak about their new collaboration – a beautiful lyrical and visual delight; Tomorrow Land: Poems to make you wonder. Thanks, ladies, and congratulations on your fabulous book launch celebrations! 🙂

Kim, left and Marg, right

Kim, tell us how you came to be involved with this poetry collection.

My sister is four years older than me. When she retired from teaching and claimed serious time writing children’s stories, I felt envious. She was in her element, and whilst I love teaching, I had no spare time or energy for writing. I knew my day would come. That day came quicker than anticipated when out of the blue, I had a stroke.

Margaret kindly suggested that I could write some poems to go in her book she was beginning to formulate. This gave me something to do that I felt passionate about, but it also gave me hope. I had no idea what my road to recovery looked like, but I had the ideal distraction.

Marg, you have written poetry before. Tell us about this new book.

Like Kim, I am passionate about writing and reading poems. Tomorrow Land is my 4th collection for children. I liked the idea of including Kim in the process of writing and brainstorming ideas. She’s taught in primary schools whereas I taught secondary. Together we combined our creative hats, minds, and efforts to complete this body of work.

Kim, what is your background in writing and education?

I’ve always had a passion for playing with words. I had my first poem published in the Sunday Mail when I was 13 and was paid $1.50. Bedtime was full of made-up stories and rhymes when I had my own children. My favourite movie, ‘Princess Bride,’ has the part where the giant and the Spaniard are talking in ad-lib riddles that rhyme. So, poetry is all around.

Marg, how long did this book take to write and plan?

Once I came up with the time sequence structure, I played around with fun poems that pushed my imagination. There are six sections based on “time” words, like “before, now, next, always.” From rough drafts and writing to sending them to a designer for the layout and typeset to printing the book, it took eight months. During this time, I worked on the collages and artwork. We took a break in January. Delivery of boxes and books came….

Kim, why do you like poetry?

It is a great literary form because it is predictable and straightforward. As a school librarian, I love watching each class anticipate what is coming next. I love playing rhyming games with the Preps and taking the Year Ones further by looking into combinations of phonograms and spelling. Looking at the syllables and clapping out rhythms adds to their early learning.

My youngest son takes care of a small farm in Marburg. I am very hands-on and enjoy mucking about with him. Compost, worms, cow poo interest me. A few of my poems are farm-related. ‘Two for the Price of One’ and ‘Wormy Wedding’ have the subject of that precious garden specimen.

I tend to get ideas from being curious about things like children are. Phrases like ‘laughing your head off and ‘when pigs fly’ stimulate me visually. ‘The Midnight Librarian’ is something I’ve always dreamed about, not going home from school and sleeping there! And there are so many interesting characters in children’s stories that I wouldn’t mind meeting them in person.

Marg, what poems did you enjoy writing?

I enjoyed the flow and movement of The Hairies and Platform Pigeon; both have humour and allow children to stretch their imaginations. Tomorrow Toys started with the alliterative title, some research on current games and toys children play, then I sat down to write the poem. Dreaming with Eyes Open started with the Book Week slogan for 2022. I asked Kim to send me two lines and we went back and forwards until we both liked the whole poem. I like the sounds in Land of the Giants with the “stomp, rumble and snore.”

Kim, what is a poem to you? How do you use these poems?

Poetry is like a mini-story. For teachers, it contains many teachable components yet can be enjoyed purely for aesthetic or personal value. Please note that many free classroom activities are available for Tomorrow Land on the website, www.mjgibbs.com.au

Marg, what do you love most about poetry for children?

It’s the wonder of words thrown together. The beat and rhythm of the lines, the imagery or visual story. Some poems have a powerful effect; others trigger emotions that can ignite hidden feelings. For children, it can be about rhyme and flow. One of my grandchildren wrote a poem called Popcorn. He knew it by heart and recited it to me four times. Then on the fifth time, I said it aloud. It was both memorable and fun to share this experience.

Kim, what do you hope children will take away from this book?

The joy of seeing what is there. The pleasure of putting themselves in different situations.

And the love of words.


Tomorrow Land: Poems to make you wonder

Read about the boy who laughed his head off; discover what’s in your belly button; tap along with dancing worms and rhinos that fly.
From a magic treehouse, Island of cheeses, Land of the Giants to dreaming with eyes opened, tomorrow brings with it all sorts of possibilities.
Tomorrow is a blank page for you to fill.
Sisters in crime, Marg Gibbs and Kim Roberts bring to you a collection of thought-provoking poems in their book ‘Tomorrow Land’.
Enjoy this wonderful journey through time.

Tomorrow Land is available for purchase from www.mjgibbs.com.au

Contact Marg, m.j.gibbs@bigpond.com

Kim Roberts, kimdcalder@hotmail.com

Thank you again, Marg and Kim, for sharing your passion for poetry and your delightful collection with us! 🙂


BONUS!

The fabulous Marg Gibbs and Kim Roberts have provided a collection of FUN RESOURCES for FREE download, including poems, activities, teaching tips and more! Please click the link to download your free copies.

Poems about Worms (6 pages) | House of Words (2 pages) | Time Poems and Activities (10 pages)


BOOK LAUNCH PHOTOS!

Leave a Reply