GROW – Under the Southern Cross

Reviewed by Dale Harcombe

This collection of poems and stories for 8-14 year olds should be a must for every library or school. They’re the kind of poems and stories children will enjoy. Parents too will find plenty to read to or with their children.

GROW – Under the Southern Cross contains a number of poems and stories by award winning authors and well known names in the children’s writing scene, among them Elizabeth Fensham, Roseanne Hawke and Andrew Lansdown, as well as a number of other authors we’re sure to hear more of.

Yes, I have a poem, Hideaway and a story, Lions Don’t Dance, included in the anthology. Even if I did not, I would be still recommending this anthology. Variety is the key. There are stories that send a shiver up the spine like Shadows of the Night. Others are based on a true story or show relationships between family, like Desert Mermaid, Spoken Word or Curing Cousin George. Some have a historical slant. I particularly liked A Pair of Worn Sandals and Changing the Shadow. Others had a fantasy element like Song-Moon’s Dragon. And then there’s the laconic Aussie humour of Where the Wild Bush Horses are.

Some of the poems like Insight and Seasons Greetings rhyme. Others are free verse. And I loved Andrew Lansdown’s Waterlily Haiku, and Mosquito Haiku, John Malone’s Banana Moon and Ashley Clarkson’s view of a blowfly in Lucilia Cuprina, proves poems can be written about anything. The riddles will encourage children to put on their thinking caps as will the snippet from the great non fiction book The Singing Silence which is reviewed on this site and also at Write and Read with Dale blog.


Teachers will this anthology useful for lessons about different text types and helping children write their own stories and poetry.

The coloured illustrations combined with black and white drawings add to the appeal of what is a beautifully presented book that will provide hours of delight. The CD of poems and several stories professionally performed by members of Harvest Rain Theatre is an added bonus. Highly Recommended.

GROW – Under the Southern Cross:
Stories and activities for children and young teens

Edited by Lyn Hurry and Anne Hamilton
ISBN 9780980332124 paperback and CD
Published by Writerlynks Grow Magazine