Poems That Dance Celebration Album!

Hi Everyone!

As a thank you for following and supporting my work, I’ve started a FREE BOOK GIVE AWAY CONTEST! It’s surprising when I look back on the number of books I’ve published in just four years. If I could, I would publish more. I have many story ideas in my head. But of course it’s not physically possible to put them all to ‘paper’ and publish straight away. I love taking my time and enjoying the moments writing brings.

A few days ago I received my latest poetry book, ‘Unpredictable Spaces’ and it’s gorgeous. I love holding it in my hands and just looking at it. The cover is stunning and the words flow so beautifully with the order of the poems .. simply perfect.

To celebrate, I’m giving away a signed copy of my book, ‘Unpredictable Spaces’!

Unpredictable Spaces Hardcover

My latest publication published by Fastpencil!

How to enter?

#1 share any photo (s) on this album on your FB page, blog, twitter or any other media site, or reblog this post.

#2 post in the comments section of this post and include the link. That way I, and others can find you too!

All my books are published with Fastpencil and some are found on AMAZON and other Internet outlets! Do a search and you will find my books.

PS Pssssst! Do you have a favourite?


signature Maria Grujicic Poems That Dance

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

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!

NEW! Poems That Dance At Mindil Beach Markets!

My second stall video at Mindil Beach Markets! Click here.

Click on the link above to take you to the video of my stall at Darwin Mindil Beach. It will give you a glimpse of what it was like. I apologise for the quality of the photos below but it was quite dark…not bad though for a video camera pic.

The girl in the picture is my niece. I am very proud of how devoted she was and stuck by me the whole time. She helped set up at 2pm and pack up at the end of the night at 10 pm!

She is the star of my next picture book, the princess. I will let you know more about it soon. We are looking for a prince if anyone knows of someone who might be interested. 

Themelis was also there to help set up and left early, so he isn’t in the photo. He will play the wizard in the new story!

I had a significant visitor at my stall, the best teacher in the world Mr Pownall. He was my teacher in grade 6 and 7. He took this photo of me earlier in the day. 

See you next week at the markets!

Thank you to everyone with their amazing comments and it was great meeting so many people who are into the same things as myself. It added a human interactive dimension to this blogging excercise and it was a pleasant night.

The poetry tags were particularly popular and I now have an idea of what people like. I’ll be making some more poetry tags for next week. I’ll also be changing some things with some new things to sell.

What kind of poems do you enjoy?

Keep On Dancing!

FREE Poems That Dance Sample CD!

I was inspired today to create a sample piece of music with excerpts of the poems, chants and songs on my very first CD Poems That Dance for kids. Any impression are most welcome!

Thanks for listening!



       Poems That Dance For Kids! SONG LIST

  1. Yellow Shadow Shining Through The Window Mix
  2. Mala The Cat
  3. Everything Has A Beginning Middle And End
  4. One Little Caterpillar
  5. Abundant Posters Abundant Dreams
  6. Blowing Kisses
  7. The Number Of Children In The World
  8. The Yo Yo Song
  9. The Secret To Sleeping Early
  10. I See Spring
  11. Blowing Kisses Special Mix
  12. A Hello And A Goodbye
  13. Me And You You And Me
  14. A Smile On My Face Special Excerpt

© June 2012 Written and produces By Maria Grujicic

Free Audio Of The Book Poems That Dance

My Highest Colorful Star  Play

Caterpillar, Caterpillar     Play

Make Some Honey   Play

Mala The Cat    Play

Mischievous, Adoring Cat    Play

Magic E            Play

About the poem Magic E   Play

I Went To Buy Some Fish       Play

I Love You Close           Play

About Love You Close  Play

Percussion Spanish Dance Ole!  Play

Spanish Dancing Ole!   Play

Shining Through The Window Play

I See Spring      Play

Angus       Play

Little Mirror      Play

Little Mirror Game  Play

I See Me Game  Play


Buy the book and get more free downloads of the poems, songs and game ideas! Click here to take you to the page. The password is the title of the last poem in the book without the spaces between words and all lower case letters.


© Maria Grujicic and poemsthadance.com, from February 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Maria Grujicic and poemsthadance.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.