Eighth Poetry Show on Children’s Stories & Poems

Stories about life, love and travel that inspired the poet to write. Listen to poetry readings and responses.

Stories about life, love and travel that inspired the poet to write. Listen to poetry readings and responses.

On my eighth podcast poetry show I reflect on how I was inspired to write through my work with children. I give ideas for parents and teachers on how to use my poems to educate their children on different topics.

Do an artist study on Hunderwasser, learn about the Magic E to help with spelling, and learn about self-concept through songs and drama. Some of the poems can be sung at bed time too!

I talk about the inspiration for my book, ‘One Little Caterpillar’ and how I used it to teach concepts in English. Each time I read the story to the children, it captures their attention straight away. They’re expecting to see caterpillars but they see hands. Once all the caterpillars hatch, they crawl all over the children’s body to find a leaf, and we say ‘Ewwwww!’ to shoo them away. In a sense, we are the trees.

The simple lyrics tell a longer story through the pictures which are transformed into actions. The actions use hands, body and it can be acted out as a group, much like a play.

Another story that is also a play is called ‘Colour My Ball.’ It has blank pages so that the children can draw their own illustrations. The book is about a group of friends who enter a mirror. I got the idea for the poem when I was mixing play dough colours with the children at the school I was working at. We were also mixing paints and creating our own mask, reflecting our feelings.

I also watched a dance class of children who were doing dance improvisation and playing with props. And as I was taking the photos, I was creating the story and choreography.

The illustrations don’t show the full potential of the ideas I have in my head. I haven’t written these anywhere, though I’d like to develop it into a dance musical some day.

I also created my own poems to teach skills such as spelling. This next poem is called ‘Magic E’. It teaches about how the vowel changes its sound when an ‘e’ is added at the end. For example, ‘rid’ turns to ‘ride’. As the poem is read, it gives examples of different words and tells a fun simple story.

Many of my poems are about developing self-concept. Who you are, what you look like, how you feel and so on. These help children develop their own self-confidence and feelings which in turn help them identify in the feeling of others and empathize. Being egocentric helps them keep safe and learn to take care of themselves.

I sing a poem called, ‘Little Mirror’. Listen to it at the 11.30 minute mark of the audio. The poem is about looking at your own reflection as you discover how to stand tall, and what your laugh looks like, and so on, as you develop confidence.

The poem ‘Yellow Shadow’ is about a guardian angel or a spirit that follows you, much like your own shadow. The yellow shadow looks after you. It’s also a symbol of protection from the dark.

Sometimes children might feel scared at night at bedtime. They need a little light, not too much to keep them awake, but just enough so that they can feel at ease. And also the yellow shadow is a symbol of confidence, a spark that gives confidence. Listen to it at the 15.20 minute mark of the audio.

Truth: As I create these Poetry Podcast Shows I have in the back of my mind the hope that my family will some day listen to them. I haven’t had the chance to sit down and chat to them about everything I’ve experienced. I also hope that if some day I’m gone, that my family, especially my nephews and nieces will have a place to listen to Auntie.

Listen to the full audio here for more poems and stories about how I was inspired to write with children.

If you find value in my Podcast Poetry Show, please sign into itunes and rate it. I would very much appreciate it. Thanks for visiting!

signature Maria Grujicic Poems That Dance

Smiling Kisses

Hi Everyone!
A few days ago I created this video for fun. I love creating and video is such a great way to get a message across. My creations are more than stories and pictures, they are concepts that encompass emotions and thought. A sophistication that reveals a story through imagery.

My philosophy stems from my belief that children are more intelligent that we might expect. They see with different eyes, and this is why I love working with them.

Enjoy, and as always please like my posts and leave a message to show your appreciation. :)

Maria Grujicic (Malena)


Colour My Ball Picture Book Preview!

What colour is your ball?
Is it a blue, is it a brown?

Is it yellow? Is it red?
Is it a mix of both?

How it is that you feel?
What feelings do the colours represent to you?

Green could be frightened, blue could be brave!
Yellow could be happy and orange could give you a frown!

All emotions and colours are beautiful.
are beautiful.

The book includes blank pages you can draw on! Take a look at the preview here.

If you know the password, enter it on the official Poems That Dance page and it will take you to the full version video telling. The password is the last word on the last page of the book.
Also check on my Facebook Page.

Come and join me on Facebook. I love to chat about writing, art and creating, philosophy and life!

There’s a game that goes with this book and I’ll be posting it soon!

Keep on dancing!

How The Book Colour My Ball Was Created

Colour My Ball By Maria Grujicic

I created a mask and wondered why human beings love to dress up and play. I made a sad face on one side of the mask and a happy side on the other side, showing opposite feelings.

I took care making it and afterwards realized that the sad face was just as beautiful as the happy face. I developed the idea that all emotions are beautiful because it is what makes the person’s character. I felt that having an understanding of why we have certain feelings allow children to have a positive self concept and be more in control of solving problems. This idea makes children feel accepted and accepting of others.

At dance class I noticed the children looking in the mirror and wondered why they were doing this. I wondered what they were thinking.

Perhaps the children were playing with their emotions along with acting out the character of their dreams. They wanted to see what that looked like and it was why they were looking in the mirror. There were lots of balls everywhere and I noticed the pattern of movement. They threw the balls away from them and ran to catch them. The spontaneous choreography that occurred was delightful to watch.

At school I used a small tennis ball and passed it around the group. I asked children to choose a colour of their ball and imagine a character.

One child said, “Colour my ball, colour my ball and makes a wish! Colour my ball blue. Blue is the colour of a wizard.”

The next child wanted to be a princess. At a later lesson I used different coloured play dough. I demonstrated the idea of mixing colours that represented a particular emotion. This was a trial of another concept in the illustrations in the book.

The first page is a mix of white and black. The second page is a mix of red and white. The third page mixes red with another colour. Read the book and see the rest of the colours. The colours mix and the friends come together at the end.

Another interesting aspect of the choreography was how they played in parallel to each other. The dance instructor gave them ideas and comments, and encouraged certain children to pair up.  The children came together at the end to form a circle.

MaskThe children made a mask of their favourite character using the mix of colours to represent their feelings.

They carefully designed the mask because when the feelings get too mixed up it is hard to see them. Feelings don’t stay the same all the time. They mix and turn, and it was a good way to experience this visually and in a hands on way.

All feelings are beautiful, we are beautiful was the main message of the project.

For the mask they chose 2 contrasting feelings to draw, and the colours were feelings that complimented them. Feelings weren’t as straight forward as sad and happy. They were “yellow makes me feel safe because it keeps me away from the dark.” Recently this was a comment one of my year 2 students made after reading the class novel, Komiko And The Dragon.

It was insightful to her personal response of the characters in the book of which she could relate to.

Lena Truper and I met at tribal fusion dance class and began working with Gala Yakovleva, our dance teacher with the children’s classes. What interested me was that Gala had a philosophy of dance where the participants created the dance.

Gala applied the same dances and philosophy with the children’s and adult classes. The characters relate to my personal life of which I wrote a novel that I probably will never publish because of how personal it is. I used the novel as a feeder of my ideas as I recollected events and emotions, and applied them into the present and future.

The wizard is my father. He told me stories and did creative projects with me as a child. Whenever I had a problem, he may not have had a solution but he knew what to say to make me feel better and think about life.

The butterfly is the symbol of my mother. From a caterpillar I saw her life grow into a beautiful butterfly and a nurturer of her children. She is more beautiful as she grows. The ageless, timeless quality of a piece is what makes it unique and everyone, regardless of age can relate to the story.

The princess is the character I always wanted to be but never thought it possible. The prince is the yellow shadow, and that’s another story. I have a story to share about all the characters in the book!

It was a pleasure to work with Lena. Lena is a good listener and observer, and picked up on the connection of the storyline and my personal life. When I saw Lena’s drawings I thought she was the right person to do them because she saw the world in a different way. I wanted Lena to take ownership of the drawings and create them in her own unique style.

Lena played with my first sketches that I showed her and developed the ideas. She connected the pages by an animal that changed. She picked up on details such as the socks. Children can do their own illustrations on the blank pages!

Our friendship grew as we continued to inspire each other and it is why this book has personal value to me.

I created this video to show some aspects of how the book was created. Feel free to post comments and ask any questions. The challenge working with other people is that the ideas may not come across in the exact way you would like, but you tend to accept them because it’s the best it can be at the time.

My next goal is to illustrate my own book and get my ideas across more accurately. I have many other picture book ideas and have been working with video, creating music and dialogue, and photography. I love mixing mediums together and would like to look more into multimodal texts.

ENJOY AND Happy Holidays to Everyone!

I See Spring! A Poem For Children

As another year goes by, and with Spring coming to sprout, I recall the period when I started to write my poems. It was a time when I found my career at a stop and I did a lot of walking and exploring around the neighborhood where I lived, in Frankfurt, Germany.

To my readers who have followed me- you will know it was the suburb of Bornheim, the most inspirational place of residence I have ever lived.

It was an atmosphere of people combined with unusual activity of animal life. It was Spring. I see Spring as a wake up call after the time of hibernation that Winter provides. I feel free in Spring, and this particular Spring was different. I saw things differently, and it was when I wrote my first poem. And unbeknown to me, it was the first poem of many more to come! It is a poem that belongs to my first poetry book, Spring And Sing.

I See Spring

I see droplets of dew
I reach them with my hand
I find them in my eyes
I touch the sun
I hold the rays in my heart

I smell smiles everywhere
I taste them in the cool air
I keep them in my lungs

I eat refreshing ice
I hear the crunch in my mouth
I meet my friends
I smell their laughter in their words
I spring for joy
I see spring

By Maria Grujicic

Do you have a place of inspiration to share? How did inspire you, and what did it inspire you to do?

Thank you for reading.

Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.Marsha Norman

Hi There With News!

Hi Everyone!

As you know, I’ve published some poetry books lately, and of which I’ve started a competition. I like to think of fun ways to give my books away, and it gives me pleasure when people enjoy my poems. Of course I can’t give everyone a copy, and so what better way than to share the fun!

So far we have 6 entries and you can take a look on Poems That Dance Facebook page:
The idea is that you post a photo on Poems That Dance page of you or of someone you know (yes, pets are OK too:) doing a ‘dance’. This can be hopping, jumping, skipping, flying, anything you can imagine. Be as ‘simple’ or creative as you would like. The first 100 entries go into a draw, and then I pick out the winner, by physically drawing out one name.

It’s too hard to judge the ‘best’ because I feel all photos are special and unique.

Poems That Dance is a book of poems illustrated by photos of dance choreography for children. If you are into dance, drama, and song, you will love this book. There’s a free audio that goes with the book too. There are endless benefits for movement, and these are also outlined on my webpage, along with samples of the poems as well as audios!
To preview the book look here.
And on AMAZON here.
For more information about the competition look at the page about ‘competitions’ right here on the website or email me at mariagrujicic@yahoo.com with any questions!Thanks!
And see you on Poems That DanceMaria Grujicic  (Malena)

MALENA IMAGE by Sonja Sofia Yakovleva