“Shoebox World” by Mary Serenc

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Shoebox World

You need a shoebox nothing more,

Then cut out a little door.

Inside the box is just the space,

For you to make a special place.

Is it a tiny teddy’s home?

Or a world where dinosaurs like to roam?

Does it hide treasure or a golden key?

A pirate’s world for all to see?

Is it a space adventure with moon and stars?

With rockets racing off to Mars?

Or you could make it a minature zoo,

With monkeys, lions and tigers too.

Put the lid on and open the door

Let’s see the world that you adore.

“Forty Days in Italian”  by Celia Berrell



Venice, in the Middle Ages

feared infection from the boats

that visited its harboured stages,

ordering sailors to “stay afloat!”

For forty days they had to anchor.

NOT set foot on Venice land,

to make sure none were sick and rank

or had bubonic plague at hand.

Quaranta giorni (Kwa-rant-a jee-or-nee)

Quaranta giorni (Kwa-rant-a jee-or-nee)

is “Forty Days” in Italian.

That’s where the word for isolation

known as QUARANTINE began.



What does quarantine mean?

In general, quarantine is “a strict isolation imposed to prevent the spread of disease.” We know what you might be thinking: so, quarantine is … just an isolation? Not exactly.

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains, the practice of a quarantine specifically involves:

the separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but not yet symptomatic, from others who have not been so exposed, to prevent the possible spread of the communicable disease.

The takeaway: People are put in quarantine when they are not currently sick, but have been or may have been exposed to a communicable disease. This can help stop the spread of the disease.

Voluntary quarantine (when someone isn’t ordered to go into quarantine but chooses to do so just out of caution) is often called self-quarantine.

Entering English in the early 1600s, this “isolation” sense of quarantine comes from the Italian quarantina, a period of forty days, derived from quaranta, the Italian for “forty.” (The Italian quaranta, if you’re curious, comes from the Latin quadrāgintā, also meaning “forty.”)

What’s so special about 40? Historically, quarantine referred to a period—originally of 40 days—imposed upon ships when suspected of carrying an infectious or contagious disease. This practice was done in Venice in the 1300s in an effort to stave off the plague.


“A world of teddies” by James Aitchison

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I spy as I pass by

A teddy in a window

Watching me!

Oh what fun, oh such glee,

A teddy in a window

Watching me!


Wherever I wander,

More teddies I see

Sitting in windows,

Watching me.

Who put them there

Two by two?

I’d like to thank you

And you and YOU!

“Closed doors” by Julie Cahill

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Mum, she slammed the door, she did.
‘No one’s going out!’
I scratched my head and wondered what the fuss was all about.
My mother often sent us out
so she could clean our mess.
Now our home is inside out with plonked in tardiness.
We play games we have never played
Lose pieces that are loose.
The jigsaw puzzle is in MORE bits
Soggy, with my juice.
The tv stations repeat repeats.
I turn myself away.
Good gracious, it’s as though it is
a winters’ rainy day.
But that’s okay, the storm will pass.
My mum screamed
‘really soon!’
She still believes in nonsence
like ‘the man upon the moon.’
I give that sly and sideways look
The one which she deserves.
But Mum’s a treat
When she hands out sweet
And cuddles with elbows curved.

“Anzac Day” by Toni Newell

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Anzac Day

In two thousand and twenty,

We will celebrate,

Anzac Day a different way,

And we can all participate.

We won’t be going to the shrineBut, in the morning at 5.55,

We’ll observe a minute’s silence,

At the very end of our drive.

We can all stand as a nation,

Honour those who fought the war,

Whilst fighting our own battle,

Against this virus so obscure.

“Wheels Song” by Katherine Gallagher

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Wheels Song


I don’t know why I’ve got feet

when I could have had wheels,

for wheels go so much faster.


Imagine me flying down our street

not in my trainers or boots

but on wheels, with my ghetto-blaster.


Imagine people turning to stare

and all telling me to slow down

before I caused a disaster.


Imagine me gliding off into space

with a quick little nod to the Moon,

then simply going straight past her. . .


©Katherine Gallagher