Methuselah, Charly and me zoom in to Discovery Bay International School last Thursday!

November 22, 2022 at 5:38 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Huge thanks to librarian Melanie Foti and Year 4 Co-ordinator Richard Tinning for inviting me and artist Charly Cheung to Discovery Bay International School for a joint Zoom session about our book The Marvellous Adventures of Maggie and Methuselah last Thursday with the fabulous Year 4s! We had SO much fun!

The Year 4s have been studying our book in depth for the last few weeks, reading a new chapter every day, which is such a thrill for us both! Authors and artists LOVE having their books studied :)! We were then invited in to talk to the kids about the book, and I think that Charly and I enjoyed our session just as much as the students!

First I told them all about the fascinating history behind the book, including Hong Kong’s early years when Sir Catchick Paul Chater arrived in the then British Colony, and proceeded to transform the city with his huge building projects, including the very first reclamation of land from the harbour which gave us Statue Square, and all the land under Princes Building, the old Star Ferry terminal and Chater Road! Then we talked about Sir Chater’s rare and valuable art collection of over 430 pieces which was hidden when the Japanese invaded Hong Kong, of which only 90 pieces have been found since, and whether they might be hidden in the many WW2 tunnels still existing under Hong Kong today! And we finished with me reading Chapter 6 – you can see me reading below:

After a 10 minute break, it was Charly’s turn – and what a fantastic learning session that was! First Charly showed everyone pictures of the main characters in the book, and how they developed during the drafting process. They were fascinated to learn that Maggie’s dad Trevor was based on a rather eccentric relative of mine and that Ursula, Maggie’s mum, owes a great deal to actress and comedienne Bette Midler! Then the really fun part began, when Charly taught everyone how to draw their very own African Grey parrot (a.k.a. Methuselah!).

First they learned to draw the basic features of a parrot, by observing each of its body parts…

Then Charly taught us how to use the model we’d just drawn as the basis for a fun character drawing of our parrot, at a Christmas party!

And here are some fabulous results…

And then there was mine….oh dear! As Methuselah would say:

“Hold your crayon! Keep your pen!

Try, try and try again!”

A big THANK YOU to everyone who took part in our fun workshop, and especially to the teachers of Year 4, Mr Tinning and Ms Foti! We hope you enjoy finishing our story!

The results are out in my Terrific Tiger Tale Competition!

May 6, 2022 at 4:57 pm | Posted in Clever Competitions | Leave a comment
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From The Tale of Temujin, illustrated by Harry Harrison

Hooray! The results are out in my Terrific Tiger Tale writing competition for primary school students! A big THANK YOU to all the students who sent in their stories; I had so much fun judging them! And special congratulations to the writers of the top ten stories, plus two Honourable Mentions, in the two age categories! Just click HERE to find out who the winners were, and to read their Terrific Tiger Tales!

A fun visit to Carmel Leung Sing Tak School with StoryTellAR!

May 5, 2022 at 4:54 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Yesterday I visited the fabulous Carmel Leung Sing Tak School in Hong Kong with StoryTellAR to read the kids my Tale of Temujin and tell them some of the juicy history and other details they can find if they download the StoryTellAR app! The students were so engaged, answering lots of my questions and asking some of their own! It was a lot of fun!

A Terrific Visit to Glenealy School!

May 2, 2022 at 9:38 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools | Leave a comment
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Hello Glenealy School!

My second Zoom visit last Friday was to my old friends at Glenealy School! World Book Day was in full swing, with everybody dressed up as their favourite book characters! It was great to see so many fantastic costumes, not least from the staff! After a great assembly presentation of WBD activities and challenge results, Temujin the Tiger came to visit in a fun story reading, with lots of roaring and screaming to rock the school! Take a look at the fun slideshow below! Huge thanks to lovely librarian Gisele Stones for inviting me, and thanks to the school for the lovely photos!

Two fabulous World Book Day visits last Friday!

May 2, 2022 at 9:24 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools | Leave a comment
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Lovely primary librarian Sarah Cha and me!

Last Friday I celebrated World Book Day with two fun school visits in Hong Kong by Zoom!

My first visit was to San Wui Commercial Society YMCA of Hong Kong Christian School in Cheung Sha Wan. I introduced my Chinese Calendar Tale for the Year of the Tiger, The Tale of Temujin, to the students and told them the extraordinary real life history of Genghis Khan, who was the inspiration for my tiger! The kids had a terrific time roaring like tigers and screaming like spoiled princesses and the teachers had an equally fun time blocking and unblocking their ears :)! We had a lot of fun!

Many thanks to Sarah Cha, primary librarian, for inviting me! Sarah wrote me a beautiful testimonial for the visit which you can find on my Teacher Testimonial page!

Here are some more fun pics! Thank you Sarah for sending them!

Patience, my writer friends…

April 27, 2022 at 10:01 pm | Posted in Clever Competitions | Leave a comment
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From The Tale of Temujin, illustrated by Harry Harrison

If you’re one of the dedicated writers who entered my Terrific Tiger Tale writing competition, you’ll be wanting to know who won places! But I’m still reading and hugely enjoying your stories, so you’ll have to bear with me a little while longer! Hang in there, and if you get frustrated, just let out a little ROAR – it always helps :)!

Three fabulous Camp Asia stories!

April 27, 2022 at 9:04 pm | Posted in Camp | Leave a comment
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My blog followers will know that I recently spent 2 fabulous weeks giving Story Planning Workshops for Camp Asia in Hong Kong by Zoom. The optional final challenge was for the participants to complete writing up their stories from their Story Plans! I was delighted to see that three talented and hard-working participants took up the challenge – well done Yate Chee, Riya and Christy! Their stories were fantastic: click on the Camp Asia link here to read them! Before you do, just a heads-up…you might find some of the characters in these stories rather unusual! That’s because I picked them out of a hat for our courageous story-planners, who then HAD to use them in planning their stories! I thought this would add to the fun – read the stories and YOU be the judge :)!

Just 4 days left to the Clever Competition deadline!

April 20, 2022 at 4:01 pm | Posted in Clever Competitions | Leave a comment
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There are just 4 days left till the deadline for my Terrific Tiger Tale writing competition! So if you haven’t sent your entry in yet, you need to get rampaging, like my Temujin! You can find all the details on my Clever Competition page here! I can’t wait to read your story!

Two fabulous Story Planning weeks!

March 29, 2022 at 4:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Me and Miss Sam from Camp Asia Story Planning Week 1 on Friday, our Costume Day!

I’ve been having a blast this week and last, working with the fabulous kids enrolled in my Story Planning Sessions with Camp Asia! We’ve been working on all the essential ingredients for a fantastic story, including Story Idea, Characters, Settings, Plot, and of course brilliant beginnings and memorable endings!

To the kids in Week One, aged 8 to 10 – you were fantastic! You worked so hard to produce some great Story Plans, and I can’t wait to see the stories you write based on your plans!

To the students in Week Two, aged 11 to 12 – I’m having such fun working with you! Keep up the good work so far!

You can see more fabulous photos from Week One on Camp Asia’s Facebook page at this link!

Just one month to go to get your stories in!

March 23, 2022 at 8:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Princess Precious from The Tale of Temujin is thinking up a great idea for her story!

If you love writing stories, and you’re in Primary School anywhere in the world, you still have ONE MONTH to get your entries into my latest Clever Competition! Just go to the link here for all the details! I can’t wait to get your entry!

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