It’s the International Day of the Girl!

October 20, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Bookazine Princes Building, Bookshop event, girls' education | Leave a comment
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Today is such a special day, because we celebrate all the girls in the world!  Especially the girls who dream about doing something great with their lives!

And today I took part in a truly wonderful event at Bookazine Princes Building, organised by sisters Arti and Shonee Mirchandani, owners and directors of Bookazine and Far East Media Limited, and their lovely events organiser Clemence Robine, who are themselves great women who have done great things for booklovers in Hong Kong! Not to mention for local authors such as myself!

Three inspiring Hong Kong ladies and I spoke to a lovely crowd of girls (and their brothers, mums and dads!) all about some great women of the past! You can see me above, dressed up as Agatha Christie, the most successful crime writer in the world! Did you know that her books are the best selling books in history, except for the Bible and the works of William Shakespeare? I was very proud to tell the audience a bit about her life and how she became a writer.

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The lady above is Janice Lao, an environmental scientist and economist who is working to save our beautiful planet by making sure that bad chemicals are kept out of our water and our air. She talked all about the great scientist and Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie, who discovered radium which led to the creation of X-ray machines and other life-saving medical devices, amongst many other useful modern day tools.

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And we also heard wonderful Hong Kong artist and author of a very special new children’s book called Koki’s Voice, Riya Chandiramani, talking about life and works of the extraordinary Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, and airline pilot Ruth Murrell who flew in specially to talk about Amelia Earhart, the first woman aviator to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a plane!

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We all learned so much, and we all had such fun! Thanks to Bookazine for a brilliant event, and for sharing these photos with me!

Storm Whale keeps sailing high!

October 17, 2019 at 10:40 am | Posted in Awards, Best sellers, Hampshire Illustrated Book Award 2019, Storm Whale, UK awards, UK publications | Leave a comment
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My lovely UK publisher Old Barn Books has just sent me this wonderful news! Another exciting short-listing for Storm Whale in the UK! I’ll keep you all posted!

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Meet some me and some Famous Big Girls this Sunday at Bookazine Princes Building!

October 16, 2019 at 6:48 am | Posted in Bookshop event, girls' education, Hong Kong events, Room to Read | Leave a comment
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International Day of the Girl at Bookazine

For everyone who loves GIRLS WHO MAKE A DIFFERENCE – and that means all of us, everywhere, young and old, girl or boy, mum or dad, family or friend – this Sunday is a very special day!

Yes, it’s the International Day of the Girl and fabulous Hong Kong bookstore Bookazine is celebrating with a fantastic FREE event from 10am to 12noon at their Princes Building Store!

And there will be some very famous ladies represented there! No less than Amelia Earhart, Agatha Christie, Marie Curie and Frida Kahlo, each of whom have made huge contributions to the worlds of aviation, writing, science and the arts respectively!

And yes, you’ll see me all dressed up as Agatha Christie, one of my favourite mystery authors of all time, as I tell you a little about her life and work! (You’ll also see three other real life inspirational Hong Kong women colleagues, all leaders in their fields!)

I can’t wait to see you there! But remember to email the link here to RSVP to reserve your place!

Logo, Room to Read

 

And if you want to support girls’ education and literacy to give them the very best start in life, just click on this link to find out more about international charity Room to Read, for whom I am a very proud Writer Ambassador!

And last but not least…two famous New York libraries!

October 16, 2019 at 2:59 am | Posted in New York | Leave a comment
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Finally, here are two of the most extraordinary libraries you could ever hope to visit!

A very expensive private library: The Pierpont Morgan Library

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I spent a whole Saturday afternoon in New York exploring this wonderful library and museum, created by one of the richest men in New York, financier J Pierpont Morgan, about one hundred years ago!

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He travelled the world collecting the rarest and most beautiful books he could find. Just imagine – I saw an original Gutenberg Bible (the earliest printed bible), one of the earliest maps of the world and one of the most beautiful bible covers in the world!

There was also a special exhibition of Maurice Sendak’s stage sets! You’ll know Maurice Sendak’s name from his great children’s classic, Where the Wild Things Are. And of course I had to buy myself another Maurice Sendak book, Swine Lake. It’s the hilarious story of a wolf who decides to eat the ballerinas in a piggy production of the ballet Swan Lake! I laughed out loud when I read it!

 

A very beautiful, large and famous public library: The New York Public Library

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The New York Public Library is the third largest public library in the world! It holds nearly 53 million items and has 92 branches throughout the city. Phew! And just look at the famous Rose Reading Room and its even more famous ceiling:

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The great astronomer and philosopher Carl Sagan once said:

” I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture, and our concern for the future, can all be tested by how well we support our libraries”

Thank you, New York, for supporting public libraries.

And on that note, I’ll end my “New York Report”! I think you’ll agree with me that it is one of the greatest cities of the world, where books, libraries, poets, writers, art and culture are celebrated and thriving.

As the T-shirts say, I LOVE NEW YORK!

My favourite bookshops in New York!

October 15, 2019 at 8:24 am | Posted in New York | Leave a comment
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New York is FULL of readers who love books! So of course, there are some fantastic bookshops, and some day soon I hope to see my books there! Here are just three of my favourites.

Books of Wonder

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I loved this beautiful bookshop for children. Everywhere I looked, there were my favourite story characters on the walls, the shelves, even the revolving doors! Here you can see just a small sample, with one of the wonderful members of staff!

 

The Strand Bookstore

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This is one of the most famous bookshops in New York, and as the banner says, it has 18 miles of books for sale inside! You can even buy books by the foot!

 

Albertine

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Last but not least is this exquisite French bookshop in fashionable 5th Avenue! I bought my lovely French husband some books here, which has made him very happy! Just look at the ceiling! Isn’t it beautiful?

 

Just say it after me: WE LOVE BOOKSHOPS!!!

Hans Christian Andersen, Alice in Wonderland…and me!

October 15, 2019 at 7:57 am | Posted in New York | Leave a comment
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Here I am in Central Park, New York, with one of my favourite children’s authors – the great Hans Christian Andersen, author of some of the most famous children’s stories of all time, like The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes, Thumbelina and The Little Mermaid. I thought I’d read aloud The Tale of Ping Pong Pig, but I think the duck preferred Hans Christian Andersen’s story!

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And here is the wonderful statue of Alice in Wonderland with her friends the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit, just nearby – isn’t it wonderful?

Poets of New York!

October 15, 2019 at 7:38 am | Posted in New York | Leave a comment
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I love poetry, don’t you? And New York is FULL of poetry and poets! Here is a wonderful poet I met outside the New York Central Library, Garrett Buhl Robinson, who read me one of his beautiful poems. You can hear it too if you click on the link! And you can find out more about him here!

Garrett was so much fun, and he wanted to hear all about my poems too! He very kindly invited me to a poetry reading that evening, where I met some other famous New York poets, including the fabulous Chocolate Waters and James B. Nicola! They invited me to an Open Mic, where people can perform their own poems, the very next day!

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And I did! Here I am outside the venue, with the fabulous name of Otto’s Shrunken Head!

A famous Hippo…and a Rat in New York!

October 15, 2019 at 4:38 am | Posted in New York | Leave a comment
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Meet the most beautiful Hippo in New York, on the Flatiron South Plaza in Downtown New York! Isn’t she simply gorgeous!

But as they say, no matter where you are in any big city, there’s a Rat nearby! Here’s a giant Rat I saw when I was sitting in a taxi. Whoaar!!

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Now Run Run Rat would like to point out that he might not be quite as big, but he’s much faster!

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Illustration by Harry Harrison

Squirrels of New York (and some sparrows…)

October 15, 2019 at 4:17 am | Posted in New York | Leave a comment
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I don’t know about you, but to me, there’s something very special about squirrels! And in Central Park there are hundreds of them (probably thousands), going about their business with great industry, just like any good New Yorker, with no regard for the noise we humans make! Here is a video I took, just for fun!

And just so they don’t feel left out, some rather cute little sparrows having a bird bath!

 

Dogs of New York!

October 15, 2019 at 3:56 am | Posted in New York | Leave a comment
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Now my visit to New York was very busy, but I couldn’t resist taking photographs and recording videos as I went to and from my meetings! So in my next few posts I’m going to show you some of the fantastic things I saw and heard on my trip, which will inspire you to visit The Big Apple just as soon as you can!

Dogs of New York

IMG_0150A gorgeous mosaic of a very dapper dog in the New York subway!

IMG_9749Have you ever seen so many dogs being walked in one go? Professional dog walkers walking dogs to Central Park!

IMG_0042Dogs in a shop window!

IMG_0358The ultimate in Dog Fashion!

IMG_0117Dog Ambulance!

Dog Day Care, grooming, walking, whatever you want when money is no object! Near Wall Street of course!

If I ever come back as a dog, I think I’d like to be a Dog in New York! And Desmond Dog does too! Woof!Front cover image without text

Illustration by Harry Harrison
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