Meet Harry, a HUGE book reader!

June 3, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Posted in Australian schools, children's literacy, Hobart, The Hutchins School | Leave a comment
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Harry and I at Hutchins

Meet Harry from The Hutchins School, who I met in the Junior Library during my Tassie visit a fortnight ago! Harry has such a huge smile on his face because he LOVES READING BOOKS! And he told me that his bedroom at home is so full of books, there’s hardly any room for his bed! Now THAT’S what I call a great reader! I bet Harry is a fantastic writer and thinker too, because that’s what you become when you read lots of books for leisure and fun! Well done Harry!

ps Harry was born in the Year of the Tiger and I was born in the Year of the Rat – hence the books we are holding!

Monday: A fabulous morning at Fahan School!

May 30, 2018 at 11:01 am | Posted in Australian schools, Fahan School, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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And finally, on Monday, I spent the morning with my friends at Fahan School! We had two story readings of Storm Whale for Upper Primary, and some great time for Q and A about whales, how I write, and why reading books is so important to a successful future! Here I am above right with my wonderful host, Junior School Teacher Librarian Megan Denman, and at right with some of the gorgeous Grade 5 to 6 girls! Thank you so much for having me again!

Sunday: Event at Petrarch’s Bookshop, Launceston!

May 30, 2018 at 10:49 am | Posted in Being an Author, Bookshop event, Launceston | Leave a comment
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On Sunday I jumped in my car and drove for two and half hours up to Launceston, Tasmania’s northern “capital”. It was the most glorious drive, and brought back so many memories of childhood drives with my parents and siblings so many years ago! In Launceston, I spent a wonderful afternoon at the famous Petrarch’s Bookshop, doing readings of Storm Whale and signing books! Above is the lovely Murphy family, who bought a whole stack of my Chinese Calendar Tales and who fell in love with Storm Whale! Below you can see me (top left) with friendly and helpful staff Kristine Hudson and Holly Cooper to my right and left, and me with Ros Sydes, a Launceston writer to the right! Thank you Marcus and Karen, owners of Petrarch’s, for inviting me!

 

Saturday: Keynote Speech at the ASLA Mini-Conference, Hobart 2018

May 30, 2018 at 10:31 am | Posted in ASLA, Australian schools, children's literacy, Conferences, Hobart | Leave a comment
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On Saturday I was very honoured to give the Keynote Speech at the ASLA Mini-Conference in Hobart. The theme for the day was School Libraries – Be Passionate! Now anyone who knows me knows that the thing I’m most passionate about in my LIFE (after my family of course!) is CHILDREN’S LITERACY. So this was a theme right after my own heart, and I addressed over 60 Tasmanian librarians with a Powerpoint presentation that gave them the latest science on the importance of reading books for the brain – and for the world! And I proved using scientific studies that book-reading – and I mean reading LOTS AND LOTS OF BOOKS – for leisure and for pleasure – can quite literally save this troubled world! And the only way to ensure this – as well as high academic performance in schools – is to have a well-funded library full of real books, run by a teacher librarian with support staff, in every single school! I’ll be writing more about this on my other blog soon, so I’ll keep you posted!

I was also delighted to meet wonderful Tassie author Christina Booth, author and illustrator of many beautiful Australian children’s books, who treated us all to a fantastic talk about her method in creating picture books! It was fascinating to get insight into such an amazing creative mind!

Huge thanks to the lovely Ailsa Hill and Kate Reid for inviting me, and to the ASLA Committee who hosted the day! More photos to come!

Friday: Hutchins School Visit!

May 30, 2018 at 9:33 am | Posted in Australian schools, Hobart, The Hutchins School, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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My Hobart visit kicked off with a fabulous morning with the boys at The Hutchins Junior School! It just happened to be National Simultaneous Story Time that very morning, so we started off with a fabulous story from the Headmaster, Dr Rob McEwen! He was a spectacular story-reader! Then the Grade 1 to 3 boys listened to me reading Storm Whale¬†and simply didn’t stop asking questions and making some great observations about whales afterwards! Before my second session, the Grade 4 to 6 boys and I listened to the Deputy Principal Alan Jones (wearing a very interesting hat!) reading yet another story to the kids, after which I introduced them to the evil pirate queen Ching Shih and some fabulous Chinese history with¬†The Tale of Desmond Dog! Many thanks to my dear friend, and head librarian, Kate Read, for inviting me again! More photos to come!

Another wonderful Tassie trip!

May 30, 2018 at 8:29 am | Posted in Australian schools, Bookshop event, Radio interviews, Talks to teachers | Leave a comment
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Hello everyone! I was back in my beautiful childhood home Tasmania last week, to give the keynote speech for the ASLA (Australian School Librarians Association) Mini-Conference 2018, two wonderful school visits, a radio interview and a fabulous bookshop event! See my next posts for all the news and fun!

A fun day at Green Oasis School in Shenzhen!

May 21, 2018 at 8:32 am | Posted in Green Oasis School, School visits, Shenzhen Schools, Story Readings, workshops | Leave a comment
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On Wednesday last week I took a train ride across the Chinese border to Shenzhen, where the lovely Rachael Taylor (photo above left) hosted me for a fabulous day at Green Oasis School! The Year 1s and 2s met my dashing Desmond Dog in a fun story reading with some fantastic pirate faces and growls from the kids and teachers too! Years 3 and 4 heard all about The Making of a Story Book as I took them on a step by step journey through the writing and publishing of The Tale of Desmond Dog. Then Years 5 and 7 learned all about How to Become a Great Writer – with a bit of a challenge to the Grade 7s to get OFF their digital screens and INTO reading lots and lots of books in their leisure time! And lastly the Year 6s learned all the tricks and tools in my popular workshop How to Write a Riveting Story. And after that I met some gorgeous fans when I signed books for a whole lot of kids, mums and dads! Thanks Rachael – and all the students and staff – for another busy and memorable day at Green Oasis!

Grots Rule at the Bookazine Bookfest last Saturday!

May 14, 2018 at 11:52 am | Posted in Bookshop event, Buying my books, Hong Kong events, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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Yes, it’s me, channelling my inner Grot at Bookazine’s Mothers’ Day Bookfest at The Repulse Bay on Hong Kong’s Southside on Saturday! My 17 and 20 year old daughters absolutely banned me from appearing in this costume – what more incentive does a mother want? So my Dirty Dog Desmond and I attended in full regalia for a fun story reading to a huge bunch of little Grots and their long-suffering parents! After the reading we had a quiz with very noisy whistles for prizes (the mums and dads LOVED that!) , then a Most Disgusting Face Competition, and then the kids went outside to try to find the magic ball in a bucket of slime – eerugh!! A big THANK YOU to Arti and Shonee Mirchandani for inviting me, and to their fabulous events organiser Manon for creating such a fabulous event! More photos below! And if you don’t have your copy of A Dirty Story or An Even Dirtier Story yet, you can purchase it here!

 

Yay…eurgh!!! A Grotty Saturday at the Repulse Bay Children’s Bookfest this weekend!

May 10, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Posted in Bookazine Princes Building, Bookshop event, Hong Kong events, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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Copy of Grot boyAre you a kid who just LOVES getting dirty? Are you the parent of a kid who just can’t help being a GROT? Are you a MUM whose idea of a great Mothers’ Day weekend is to send Dad out of the house with the kids for the afternoon?

This Saturday join me and the fabulous team at Bookazine at the Children’s Bookfest at The Repulse Bay for a celebration of everything from Mud to Mozzies and a whole lot of Muck in between, as I give a fun story reading of a fabulous Hong Kong favourite, A Dirty Story!

Then join us for some hilarious fun in some VERY GROTTY GAMES!

I can’t wait to see you there!

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Hooray! Storm Whale is Runner Up in the UK’s Teach Primary Awards 2018!

May 9, 2018 at 8:20 am | Posted in Book Awards, Teach Primary Book Awards | Leave a comment
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HOORAY! Storm Whale is Runner Up in the KS1 Category of the UK’s prestigious Teach Primary Book Awards 2018! Jane Tanner and I are SO thrilled!
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This is such a huge honour and we’re very grateful to the judges for choosing our beautiful book! Find out more about the 2018 awards HERE!

And if you want to purchase your own copy, contact your favourite bookshop or online supplier, or click here.

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