Hip Hip Hooray! THAT’S FANTASTIC!’ the third children’s story in the ‘Be Brave’ series by Andrew Pender-Smith has just been released. I encourage you to take a  look by clicking on the link

The others in the series are ‘Floating into Happiness’ and ‘Singing and Clapping’. 

The photo at the top of the page was used to create the cover.











A Gift for Life

reading-77167 (3)
A Gift For Life

To every mother and father,

and gran and grandpa, too.

Here’s an important message

that’s meant just for you.

If you want the child in

your life to get ahead.

You need to expand his mind.

You need to feed what’s in his head.

Read aloud to your child

every day of your life.

Read stories about anything,

even those that are fantastic and wild.

You’ll build his vocabulary.

Help him to think.

He’ll be able to visualise

and become very wise.

As readers are leaders,

help him become one, too.

Let him learn of this.

Let him learn of that.

Start reading him a story.

Begin right now.

Go adventuring.

Go exploring.

One word at a time.

Whether it’s prose,

or whether it’s rhyme,

you’ll give him a gift for a lifetime.

PS. I didn’t mean to offend.
I truly did not.

Don’t think of me as a beast

as this doesn’t come least:

If your child is a girl,

of course you’ll read just

as much to her, too.

 ©  Andrew Pender-Smith



Rhyming Answers Game


Rhyming Answers Game

A little lateral thinking can go a long way to encourage the mind to come up with new ideas. The ‘Rhyming Answers Game’ is a fun way to keep thinking fresh. I have used this with students of dramatic arts and English. The game always proves lively and entertaining, and it definitely enhances their abilities as thinkers and communicators.

In essence, they are asked to answer a question in rhyme. It may be one they come up with themselves or one that is given to them. Here are two examples:

Q. Do you like insects?


No, not really.

They have too many

Spindly legs and when

They move, I think they look

Mad and scary.

Q. Would you love to go to outer space?


 I think it would be amazing.

I would fly through the Milky Way

And do close-up star gazing.

I’d do flick-flacks all along

Jupiter’s glowing ring

And sing a rock song

I’d float way above every moon

And shout down to Earth ‘’I love

It up here so I won’t be coming back

Any time soon.


That’s it for now. Thank you for reading.       

As per usual, ‘’Happy Creating’’.

Andrew Pender-Smith

Please note: I first came across this game in a book called Party Games for Children by Mary Vivian.



Creating New Idioms



Colouring Your Communication – Creating Original Idioms

Say ‘Goodbye’ to cliché. Writers and speakers are often a big switch-off if they use idioms that have been overused. If you take time to create some of your own it will help enliven your communication, and help you be a more original voice. I have come up with three to illustrate:

He was as happy as a hungry dolphin in a sardine shoal.’ One of the most commonly used idioms for expressing great happiness is: ‘He was as happy as a lark’.

Instead of saying that someone is ‘as old as the hills’ I came up with: ‘She was as old as the first dinosaur’s mother’.

How many of you know the idiom ‘He was totally legless’? It means the man had far too much alcohol to drink and, as a result, couldn’t stand. To put it more prosaically, he was drunk. After a bit of thought, I typed out: ‘He was like a sad old goat trying to walk on ice’.

Now try creating your own idioms in different contexts. All the ones in common usage were once new. One created by you might be used by others and gain you some recognition in the process. Have a good time trying.

Andrew Pender-Smith





Underwater Poems Done as Acrostics Continued …




ocean lovers




in near-blue sea

spinning, racing, diving



Cold and clear



never-ending vistas of mesmerising,

softly undulating underwater scenes









Sea Storm

Savage fury


across miles of ocean


Sending fish scattering

travelling in mad panic

outwitting oscillating currents

rampaging winds whip waves into

mighty jumps and crashes, flaying thousands

                                                     Andrew Pender-Smith                                 









Underwater Poems Done as Acrostics

ocean-life-215133__480Here are eight acrostic poems dealing with the sea and some of the creatures that live within briny depths. Four are offered today and four tomorrow. In time they will form part of a poetry book dealing with nature and animals. If any of you have read earlier postings, you will have learnt that I use, and encourage others to use, poems as educational tools in a variety of ways. Here goes with the first four underwater poems.



under the sea




endlessly streaming







wonderfully blooming

entire flowery gardens

exotic and silently




Occupied, waiting


tangled tentacles


pondering the next catch of

unsuspecting fish

swimming too, too close …



Fabulous flaming jewels

intimate with light and shadow

silently swimming

hanging orbs in cold, clear waters.


The next four poems follow tomorrow. 

A Matter of Perception – Play Time! (Part Three)


A Jungle Storm

The brightest butterfly in the world

lands flicking, fluttering on

a beautiful jungle flower.

A buck comes to sip from

a silent jungle pool.

Then a jungle storm comes,

loud and strong,

tossing jungle trees,

and the brightest butterfly in the world

waits quietly

beneath soft jungle leaves.

                               Andrew Pender-Smith

The above poem is a short lyric. The poem below also looks at a butterfly in a peaceful jungle setting until a storm arrives. This poem consists of five haiku that have been linked together to create a lyric.

A Jungle Storm

A butterfly on

a forest flower

beautifully there.

A buck comes

to sip from a silent pool

dainty and watching.

Then, a jungle storm

tossing, bashing jungle trees.

Where is the butterfly?

The radiant beauty

is beneath jungle petals

just waiting, quietly.

                                         Andrew Pender-Smith

Which of the poems works better? You decide. Now, how about trying an exercise like this yourself. Perhaps turn a lyric into a narrative or, as I have done, take the thoughts and feelings explored in a lyric and see if you are able to express them just as well, or even better, in a series of haiku. A newspaper report as a ballad or epic? Enjoy experimenting. 

With good luck from me.

Andrew Pender-Smith

Parts one and two were published on the 6th and 7th of July. 





A Matter of Perception – Play Time! (Part Two)


In this second experiment in which prose is turned to poetry, I have used a headline and the first few sentences of a newspaper article.

Brazen Armed Robbery

 Just before closing yesterday, a group of armed men stormed a grocery store and held up the manager and staff at gunpoint. A few terrified shoppers managed to run for cover as shots volleyed through the store.

 Just before closing yesterday, a group of armed men stormed a grocery store and held up the manager and staff at gunpoint. A few terrified shoppers managed to run for cover as shots volleyed through the store.

Brazen Armed Robbery

Just before closing yesterday,

a group of armed men

stormed a grocery store

and held up the manager

and staff at gunpoint.

A few terrified shoppers

managed to

run for cover

as shots


through the store.

Which one is more likely to impact on a reader? The two poems that resulted from the prose passages ( See ‘Part One’ for the first.) are not great works of poetry, but hopefully help to illustrate the idea that writers need to be playful explorers if they wish to sharpen the skills required to become a successful communicator.

Happy writing.

Andrew Pender-Smith


Building Readership Starts Here (Part Two)

boy with big glasses

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Joseph Addison

The first part of this discussion was published on the 26th of June 2017.

How you can help: Donate books to schools, libraries, families and individuals. CD’s, DVD’S and even computers, laptops and iPads are also welcome donations when institutions cannot afford them.  I know of individuals and service clubs who pay for internet connection in instances when schools and children’s homes cannot afford it.

Read and tell stories to young children with whom you are in contact. Sing to them and teach them songs. Include actions when possible. Volunteers at children’s homes, hospitals and under-privileged schools are most often greatly welcomed. Readership, which mean a love of stories and learning through them, starts from the youngest of ages and it includes YOU.

When doing all of these, make sure the material is appropriate to age and ability.

As this is a blog posting and full discussion is limited by constraints of space, only an outline of benefits and how to help have been included. There is a great deal available online or through discussion with teachers (especially teachers of Speech and Drama and those involved in early learning phase education), with whom you can discuss further. Hopefully you can all come up with ideas on how to develop literacy in your community or one which desperately needs it. Some of your future readers might come from the very children you have helped. You might even be tempted to write stories for these young audiences and, in so doing, find a whole new market for your writing. Older children can be encouraged to write and illustrate stories and poems of their own. You might even make copies and place them in other classrooms and school libraries. Children often love reading stories and poems written by other children. 

Have fun inculcating and building a culture of reading and writing in the young. It will benefit others, and you.

 Andrew Pender-Smith

Never Too Old