Happy New Year 2020 – and a fabulous event next Saturday to celebrate Chinese New Year!

January 12, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Posted in Book signings, Bookshop event, Chinese New Year, Chinese Zodiac, Hong Kong events | Leave a comment
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A very Happy New Year to you all for 2020! I hope that it’s filled with fun and laughter and wonderful events for all my lovely fans…including this very special Year of the Rat event by my favourite Hong Kong bookshop Bookazine on Saturday 18th January from 2-5pm at a very special venue at Centricity, 2nd Floor, Landmark Chater, Central!

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We’ll be celebrating my feisty and ambitious Run Run Rat of course :), with a fun story reading followed by a chance to make your own Rat Mask! Then we’ll be celebrating our beautiful city of Hong Kong with story readings by my fabulous fellow Hong Kong authors Jane Karen Ho and Jessamy Woolley, who will respectively host a CNY decoration-making session and a fun game of Hong Kong Wildlife Bingo!

Not to mention special appearances by the most famous rat in the world, Geronimo Stilton! Wow!

So make sure you book your ticket NOW at this link so you don’t miss out! I can’t wait to see you there!

Fabulous news for 60 girls for 2019!

December 19, 2019 at 7:38 am | Posted in Australian schools, children's literacy, girls' education, Room to Read | Leave a comment
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Photos courtesy of https://www.roomtoread.org/literacy-girls-education/

Wow! The Australian Writer-Ambassador team (of which I’m a very proud member) for Room to Read has had another successful year and thanks to the support of Aussie students, teachers and parents, it has EXCEEDED its goal once again! This year it has raised AUD$22,066 which is enough to educate 60 girls for a year and support them on their way to a brighter future!

Next year, 2020, is the very special 20th Anniversary year for Room to Read. If you want to help make it the year that changed everything for girls – and boys – around the world who desperately need an education, just click on the link here and see what you can do to contribute!

Well done Shiv!

December 14, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Clever Competitions, Glenealy School, Hong Kong Schools, Poetry competitions for children | Leave a comment
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Say hello to Shiv Mohan, who regularly enters my Clever Competitions, and won Third Place in the Grade 4 to 6 section of the My Favourite Season Haiku Competition (He also came third in his section in the Clever Competition before that!). Here he is accepting his prize from the Principal, Mr Briggs, at Glenealy School. Well done Shiv!

I’ll be posting details of the next Clever Competition early in the New Year – so make sure you enter! You’ve got to be in it to win it!

The international Kids’ Lit Quiz rules!!

December 11, 2019 at 7:50 am | Posted in children's literacy, Hong Kong events, Hong Kong Schools, International literacy competitions | Leave a comment
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Yesterday I had the huge pleasure of co-judging the Hong Kong Kids’ Lit Quiz 2019-2020! Twenty teams from around Hong Kong battled it out at Harrow International School HK in the exciting heats in the morning, and in the afternoon the five top scoring teams took part in the Finals! The questions were really tricky and I was so impressed by the extensive knowledge of the teams! Congratulations to the five finalist teams from German Swiss International School, King George V School, HK Homeschools (two teams) and Harrow International School Hong Kong!

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And huge congratulations to King George V School Team #1 which won the Hong Kong title with a stunning performance! Here they are above, from left to right: Ruo Zhao, Rosie Sun, Thomas Chan and Audrey Lee. They will be representing Hong Kong in the 2020 World Finals in New Zealand on 13th July 2020 against teams from Australia, Canada, Indonesia, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, the UK and USA!

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And here is the HK Kids Lit Team, flanked by Wayne Mills (the fabulous Creator and Quiz Master of Kids Lit Quiz) to the right and Yupa Mills, business manager of KLQ to the left. From second left to second right: Mary Jones (Head of Library at Harrow International School HK), Sabine Simpson (former world finalist and HK Team runner); Anne Simpson (National Co-ordinator Hong Kong), Liz Mills-Campbell (from Scholastic) and Kelsey Chau (Assistant Librarian, Harrow International School HK).

Memo to teachers and librarians: The KLQ is a great way of encouraging kids to read as widely and well as possible! And unlike other school literacy quizzes, there’s no book list to read!

Memo to kids: The KLQ is SUCH FUN!! And if you love reading, a fabulous way of testing your knowledge of all your favourite authors, books and characters!

If you want to get your school involved next year, just ask your librarian or Head of English to take a look here!

2 Clever Competition finalists from Taiwan!

December 2, 2019 at 12:18 pm | Posted in Hsinchu International School, Taiwan Schools | Leave a comment
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Say hello to two clever young writers from Grade 2M of Hsinchu International School in Taiwan! Isabel Huang (holding her prize, a signed copy of The Tale of Sybil Snake) won 2nd Place in the Grade 1 to 3 Category of my latest competition, the My Favourite Season Haiku Competition, and Alyssa Lin (holding a signed copy of The Tale of Chester Choi), won 3rd place! Standing with them is their lovely teacher, Cairan Meister, Congratulations girls! You can see their winning entries on my Clever Competitions page here!

12 great reasons to come to the Conrad Xmas Fair tomorrow!

November 25, 2019 at 11:14 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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Came along to the Prestige Xmas Fair at the Conrad Hotel Ballroom in Admiralty and I’ll see you at the Chinese Calendar Tales table just inside the entrance door! We’ve got every single Chinese Zodiac sign covered now, with funny illustrated books chock full of brilliant illustrations by Harry Harrison (of South China Morning Post fame) and fascinating Chinese history! They make fabulous gifts as:

  • Birth books for newborn babies (yes, I know they can’t read them yet, but Mum and Dad can (and have a whole lot of fun doing so!) and baby can keep the book forever!
  • Fun gifts for nieces, nephews, god-children, kids of friends…any kid who loves reading books!
  • Perfect, fun stocking fillers or “just a thought”s for husbands, wives, grown-up siblings and friends who are hard to think of presents for! Who doesn’t want to remind their brother that he’s a ravishing Rabbit, or their Mum that she’s a terrific Tiger? Not to mention your darling Mum-in-Law, who may just be a delightful Dragon? (If you’re not sure what sign of the Zodiac they belong to, see my handy guide here, including a link to those tricky birth months January and February!)
  • Not to mention that little Christmas gift for you, as a reward for shopping for everybody else!

Other good reasons to buy them tomorrow for Christmas:

  • They send easily in a medium size padded post bag (that’s what they were designed for)
  • They’re a great little taste of Hong Kong and China for the rellies overseas
  • They’re selling at a 10% discount from the RRP for the Conrad Fair only!
  • And I’ll sign every single one you purchase, with a fun comment for the recipient!

We even have, for whole families and for Chinese Calendar Tales addicts our gorgeous:

And finally, if you’ve got all your Chinese Calendar Tales already, we also will be selling (at between 10 and 33% off the RRP):

  • Our Dark Horse Activity Book full of puzzles, colouring-in pages and stickers for kids
  • A Dirty Story, An Even Dirtier Story and even A Dirty Map for bedroom walls, full of dire warnings about NOT BEING NEAT for any little Grots you know – not to mention a vital environmental message for us all!
  • Storm Whale, my lyrical story in rhyme about 3 little girls who try to save a beached whale, illustrated by Australia’s famous artist Jane Tanner. It was inspired by my childhood holidays in Tasmania, and has been listed for many prestigious awards both in the UK and Australia.

So there you are – 12 good reasons to come along tomorrow, say hello and buy my books! And if you can’t make it tomorrow, I’ll also be there on 16th December! And if all else fails, simply click on this link and purchase on-line right away!

Results for the My Favourite Season Haiku Competition!

November 18, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Photo credits: Summer – https://all-free-download.com/free-photos/download/sunflower-image-06-hd-pictures_167025.html; Winter – https://www.123rf.com/photo_11049126_beautiful-nature-winter-scenery-frosty-trees-in-forest.html; Spring – https://www.pexels.com/photo/selective-focus-photography-of-pink-flowers-1045615/; Autumn – https://wallpapercave.com/w/8r8chAr

Hello my friends! I’ve just had a lovely time judging your My Favourite Season Haikus! This time there were entries from Taiwan, Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong, and even an entry from California! I was very surprised to find out that the favourite season of most competition entrants was winter! And after that came autumn (or Fall), then spring, then last of all summer! I wonder why? Maybe the extremes of winter weather lend themselves to descriptive poems more than gentler seasons – or maybe we just love snow!

Suffice to say that I’ve had a lovely time judging all your entries, and I’ve just published the top ten in each age category! Special congratulations to Alisha Stokes, Year 2, Arden Anglican Junior School, Sydney,  who won the Grade 1 to 3 Category, and Eleanor Meyer, Grade 6, San Diego French American School, California, who won the Grade 4 to 6 Category! They each receive a signed hard cover copy of my multi-award-listed lyrical story Storm Whale, while Second and Third place-getters in each Category win a free signed copy of a Chinese Calendar Tale of their choice!

You can read all the winning entries on my Clever Competitions page here!

Huge congratulations to everyone who entered, and I look forward to receiving entries from you all in my further Clever Competitions! Make sure that you click on the Subscribe Button on this page if you want to be sure to find out all about my upcoming competitions!

See you at these Christmas Fairs this week!

November 5, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’m going to be at two fabulous Christmas Fairs in Central this week! Come up and say hello, browse my books, buy your own signed copies and even take a selfie with me on your mobile phone! Here are all the details!

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I can’t wait to see you there!

Just 11 days left to enter the Favourite Season Haiku Competition!

November 4, 2019 at 8:14 am | Posted in Clever Competitions, Poetry competitions for children, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Good morning everyone! I hope that you’re enjoying the new buds and shoots of Spring (if you live in the Southern Hemisphere!) and the sight of autumnal leaves changing colour (if you live in the Northern Hemisphere!).

Yes, the weather is changing and the days are ticking down in the My Favourite Season Haiku Competition! So if you don’t have your entry in yet, click here right away for all the rules and conditions – and get your entry in SOON!

Remember, the deadline is Midnight EST Friday 15th November!

I can’t wait to read your entry!

A unique new book about Hong Kong!

November 1, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Posted in Book reviews, China photos, Hong Kong | Leave a comment
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Say hello to my friend Lindsay Varty, author of the most beautiful, unique new book about Hong Kong! It’s called Sunset Survivors, and it’s all about the traditional tradesmen and women of Hong Kong who are disappearing fast, from fortune telling to face threading and letter writing to bird cage making! It’s a book that everybody who loves Hong Kong should definitely have on their bookshelves, so make sure to tell Mum and Dad all about it! You can hear Lindsay talking all about her new book here.

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