It’s not too late to join the Great Rat Challenge!

March 23, 2020 at 11:59 am | Posted in Asia Society Hong Kong, Challenges and activities | Leave a comment
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Screen Shot 2020-03-23 at 12.20.49 PM

Here’s little Yvonne again, making a marvellous Rat face in her rather exceptional Rat Mask! If you haven’t entered our Great Rat Challenge 2020 yet, there’s till lots more time, as we have EXTENDED THE DEADLINE in line with the further delay in returns to school! Here is more information about the challenge, open to children from Year 1 to Year 6!

Here are the new dates:

Deadline for sending in your completed Challenge Checklist: April 14th (Tuesday)
Prize Drawing : April 17th(Friday) Chinese: 4月17日(星期五)
Prize-winners’ announcement : April 20th (Monday) Chinese: 4月20日(星期一)

So now you all have something fun to do over Easter!! Squeak Squeak!

Our first Rat Challenge Entry is in!

March 23, 2020 at 11:15 am | Posted in Asia Society Hong Kong, Beijing Schools, Challenges and activities, Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 | Leave a comment
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This will make your heart glad! Take a look at Yvonne’s fabulous Dress Up costume and amazing SING! entry, sent from Beijing by her mum! Isn’t it lovely! Thanks so much Amanda and Yvonne for giving us permission to share!

I hope that all your entries are coming along nicely! We’re extending the deadline date now – see my next post!

Ode to a single sock…

March 21, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Here, just for a bit of fun, is a poem I’ve just written about a sad single sock I have at home, which has lost its pair!  I challenge you to write a poem about something funny, like a shoe, or a coat hanger, or maybe even a toothbrush! Enjoy!

Ode to a Single Sock

 

 

 

 

If a dog can make a Rat Mask…

March 4, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Posted in Asia Society Hong Kong, Challenges and activities, Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020, Year of the Rat | Leave a comment
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Mickey Mo

Here is my very old dog, Mo, transformed into Mickey Mo! Now Mo is here to tell you that it really isn’t that difficult to make a Rat Mask! It just takes a bit of care, and maybe some help from a grown-up. And if you can make this mask, you can EASILY complete your challenges in The Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020!

And be eligible to win some fantastic prizes!!

So if you haven’t registered yet, ask Mum or Dad to click this link right away! We can’t wait to see YOUR mask!

Visit to Shatin Junior by Zoom!

March 2, 2020 at 11:06 am | Posted in Chinese New Year, Hong Kong Schools, School visits, Shatin Junior School, Video, Year of the Rat, Zoom visits | Leave a comment
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I just visited the kids and teachers Shatin Junior School by Zoom, to do a fun live story reading of The Tale of Run Run Rat! We had over 120 kids logging in! Thanks so much to teachers Trudy McMillin and James Haworth for organising and hosting this fun online event! Below you can see a couple of fun video clips, and above, some photos. You can even see my little dog Mozart in one of them, enjoying the story!

It’s Leap Day!

February 29, 2020 at 10:29 am | Posted in Chinese Calendar Tales, Chinese customs, Chinese Zodiac, Leap Year | Leave a comment
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Screen Shot 2020-02-29 at 10.33.42 AM

Illustration credit: Harry Harrison, The Tale of Run Run Rat

And how fitting that Leap Year 2020 is the Year of the Rat! Or that’s what Run Run Rat thinks, anyway! Because that’s how Run Run won the Olympics Marathon in The Tale of Run Run Rat, by leaping over the shoulder of the lead runner, who was built like a buffalo! (And of course quite coincidentally 🙂, the Rat won Lord Buddha’s Race, to place first in the Chinese Zodiac…by leaping over the Ox’s shoulder!).

So to celebrate this special day, 29th February, I thought it would be fun to find out some fascinating Leap Year facts! Here we go:

  • Leap Years contain one extra day, of 24 hours, because the Earth takes 365 days PLUS 6 hours to orbit the Sun! (This is known as a Tropical Year). So by adding (4 x 6) hours to the calendar every four years, our Gregorian calendar keeps pace with astronomy!
  • So they occur every 4 years – or, to put it another way, every year that is an integer (ie can be divided by to leave a whole number) of 4. Thus this year, 2020, can be divided by 4 to equal the whole number 505!
  • BUT you have to leave out the “century” years eg 1800, 1900, 2100, EXCEPT those that can be divided exactly by 400 (eg 1600, 2000) because a Tropical Year is just slightly shorter than 365.25 days (365.242190 days long, to be exact)! Phew that’s tricky!
  • If you are born on a Leap Day, you are called a leaper or a leapling! Technically, this means you can only have a true birthday every 4 years, which is rather sad when you’re young, but on the other hand, when you are 84 years in physical age, you can justly claim to be just 21 years old! Now I can think of a few adults who would be happy with that!
  • But never fear, the law says that if you are a leapling, your annual birthday is deemed to be either February 28 or March 1, depending on where you live. So you can still get birthday presents and a cake each year!
  • The comic super-hero Superman is a leapling! DC Comics, publishers of the Superman series, thought of this clever device to explain why Superman apparently never ages!
  • On Leap Day in Ireland, called Bachelor’s Day, women have traditionally proposed marriage to men, rather than the other way round. And if the man refused, he had to give the woman a new silk dress (or, by the middle of last century) a fur coat! Now that’s a handy way to get a new wardrobe!
  • In the Chinese and Jewish Calendar, which are lunar calendars, Leap Year adds on an extra month to the calendar! In the Chinese version, the extra month has the same name as the previous lunar month. In the Jewish version, it’s called Adar, and is extra-lucky!

So if you are a leapling, I wish you an incredibly happy Birthday, worth four times as much as a normal birthday!

But remember, always look before you leap!

Ram pagespread #2

Illustration credit: Harry Harrison, The Tale of Rodney Ram

Yes, you can register for our Challenge in mainland China!

February 26, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Posted in Challenges and activities, Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020, mainland China schools | Leave a comment
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Desmond saving cat

Picture Credit: Harry Harrison, from The Tale of Desmond Dog

Hello everyone! The first registrations are coming in, and I’ve just sent out our Challenge Information Pack and Challenge Checklist to 15 fabulous parents and kids in Hong Kong! But a librarian in Mainland China has just written to advise that her students cannot access Google Docs to register.

Problem solved: Rat Challenge 2020 – Parental Permission Form_2020年鼠年大挑戰 – 家長同意表格

If you or your student/child cannot access Google Docs, please print off the above form and scan to me and we’ll get them sorted!

Deadline extension: The Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020!

February 25, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Posted in Asia Society Hong Kong, Challenges and activities, Hong Kong Schools, The Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 | Leave a comment
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Farmer

Picture credit: Harry Harrison from The Tale of Rodney Ram

Now I know that there are teachers, kids and parents in Hong Kong who are pulling their hair out right now with today’s announcement from the Government that the school closures have been extended to the 20th April…but there are always silver linings to every cloud.

And one BIG silver lining is that we’re extending the deadline date for the Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 till midnight on Saturday 28 March!

That gives you 3 more weeks to finish your challenges! You might even have time to do them ALL now, so you are eligible for the MYSTERY SUPER PRIZE!

So if you haven’t yet registered YOUR name in the Challenge, you’ve got even more reason to do so! Just click on the link HERE and get cracking!

Ready, steady, GO! The Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 starts NOW!

February 24, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Posted in Asia Society Hong Kong, Challenges and activities, Chinese New Year, The Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 | Leave a comment
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Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 cover illo

Asia Society and I are hugely excited to announce the beginning of our Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020, with fabulous prizes to be won! It’s open to all students of primary school age, especially those who are stuck at home at present! You can register right away, and you’ll have our Information Sheets and Challenge Checklist within 48 hours. You have until midnight, Sunday 15th March to get your completed entries in! Click on the form below to find out more and to register!

And good luck!

0224 The Year of the Rat Challenge (with List of Challenges)

My RTHK3 interview about The Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020!

February 22, 2020 at 11:24 am | Posted in Challenges and activities, Press interviews, Radio interviews, RTHK3 | Leave a comment
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If you want to hear lots more about The Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 you can listen here to my interview yesterday on RTHK3 with the fabulous Noreen Mir on her 123 Show! The interview starts at 13:17:54 and ends at 13:37:07.

Thanks Noreen for a fun interview, as ever!

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