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.

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!

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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!

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