READERS FORUM, – Martin Killips..

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Not so much a question today, an (appropriate and appreciated) correction from Martin Killips; …


(Giant Anteater).

“Your photo of an Aardvark is actually a photo of a Giant Anteater, from South America. The Aardvark is from South Africa, and the word Aardvark is Dutch for Earth Pig – and indeed, its snout looks much like a pig’s.”

Thank you Martin.

Martin Killips 1a

 (Martin Killips).

Martin Killips…

Author and originator of The Big Bamboo himself – a rotund panda bear who reputedly writes and illustrates rhymes for children aged 5 to 500…or older!

The Big Bamboo himself was born after Killips visited the Royal Natural History Museum in London in 1994 and saw the stuffed remains of Chi Chi, a once famous panda bear kept by London Zoo. The Big Bamboo, the first picture storybook featuring the panda, was published in 1997. Five further poetry books have since been published:

Once Upon An Amusing Rhyme 2. Flower Power 3. How Many Have You Got? 4. Dances With Hippos 5. The Big Back-Stalking Tiger.

Martin Killips can be heard most weeks on Gold FM 92.5 as well as the Macquarie Radio network.


Examples of The Big Bamboo poetry and illustrations can be found at 

Martin - Nudies Truck 1

(Nudies delivery truck).

Martin is a children’s poet, He also works at nudie (fruit juice company)! He now lives in NSW Australia with his wife, Michaela, and they are about to have their first baby.

Martin grew up with a huge variety of pets – ranging from snakes and alligators to even a Lar Gibbon – a type of tailless ape like a monkey.

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(Martin’s puppy “Jesus.”)

These days he just has two dogs, a Labrador called Jesus and a German Shepherd dog called Mary and two Nubian goats often referred to as the Holy Goats.

Australian kookaburra 1

 (Not Lazarus), possibly a cousin?

He also has daily visits from a wild Kookaburra called Lazarus. Lazarus was originally found as a four day old blind chick. She had been pushed out of her nest and was fortunately found by Jesus (the Labrador!) and rescued. She was then hand reared and survived and then released back into the wild after two months. Lazarus now visits almost every day along with her adopted wild family.

Martin started writing poetry almost by accident. He didn’t even know he could write humorous rhyme until he was 36 yrs old.

He now visits schools and teaches children the secrets to being able to write amusing poems and has recently had five best selling poetry books released. He writes using an alter ego – a tubby panda bear called…

panda - big bamboo 1a

(The Big Bamboo).

Martin says he chose a panda bear as they are black and white, and can therefore, represent every one in the world no matter which colour or creed they are from.

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Interview with Martin Killips…

Question: Martin was your childhood hard?

“I had a very harsh childhood. My father was extremely strict and controlling and physically oppressive and violent. I was beaten almost every day and hated my life as a kid for many years. However, these terrible years have proven to be useful nowadays as I have such a clear memory of my childhood I can ‘tap’ into the psyche I had as a kid and write my children’s poetry from a child’s point of view. There is an important lesson here for all: just because your childhood is harsh and full of trauma, does not mean it has to destroy the rest of your adult life. We simply have to approach negative memories with a positive attitude!”

Question: What is your favourite colour?
“My favourite colour has changed over the years. When I was very young I loved all things blue – especially a sky blue because I spent hours staring up into the wide blue yonder looking at airplanes and wishing I was in one of them. But I grew out of my love of blue and moved onto reds then shades of green and now of course, as I love panda bears, I love black and white – although I am told they are not colours, although I am not sure why they are not classified as colours!


In the world of art (black and white) are not colors, they are considered (tones), because when you mix black and white together, you get tones of gray, (darker or lighter) depending on your proportions.

Colors, (all colors) are derived from primary colors, (red), (blue), and (yellow), ..including (secondary colors), ..and (Tertiary colors).

If you turn all the colors on the color wheel at a high enough rpm inappropriate elimination, all the colors disappear, and/or, run to white.

If you turn the colors on the color wheel at the same rpm in the absence of light, all the colors will disappear, and/or, run to black.


Man lives in an integrated world, so to colors.


Which one of your pets do you like the most?
“Well, if we are talking about which one of my current pets I love the most, I’d have to say my Labrador, Jesus. It’s an odd name for a dog I have to admit, but I have always liked the name Jesus, and so I thought what better name to call my much loved puppy. I love him because he has a great sense of humour and has such a passion for life. I can forgive many things in my life, but I can never forgive a lack of passion. Whatever we decide to do in our life, we should always do it with vigour and passion. People (and dogs!) without passion are sooooo dull!

Question: Do you have any children of your own?
“It is very odd that you have asked me that question because my wife and I are about to have our first baby. We don’t know whether it will be a boy or girl, and to be frank, I don’t have a preference either way. I just want them to be born healthy. I just hope that I will not be as poor a father as my own was!”

Question: As you a children’s poet which one of your poems is your favourite?
“Favourite poems are like favourite colours – they change periodically. When I first started writing, Name Calling was my favourite. But then I wrote Catch, Catching, Caught! and THAT was my favourite. Then I wrote How Many have You Got? and decided I liked that one the most, and when I wrote Dances With Hippos (about a male hippo that wouldn’t dance in public because he thought his bottom was too big!) that poem became my personal favourite. I think what I enjoy about any of my poems isn’t so much the poem itself, but the idea behind the poem – the concept or base upon which the poem is written. So Name Calling is really about ridiculing the rules of English Language; Catch, Catching Caught! is about one word (catch) and recycling it in a variety of ways; How Many Have You Got? is about the numbers of legs different animals possess and Dances With Hippos is about a male hippo that was ashamed of the size of his bottom and eventually would dance under water and this explains why we usually see hippos with just their heads above the water – because underneath the surface they are dancing!

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I don’t know about anyone else, for myself, I choose to like Martin Killips.

Accordingly, if you’re a decent individual with children, look Martin up on the Internet and buy a couple of his books.

Why should Australia’s economy suffer just because “our” economy is in the toilet…

Truth forges understanding, I’ll be back tomorrow


Crusader Rabbit…

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