Desmond and I take part in the Bookworm Literary Festival this week!

March 12, 2018 at 8:29 pm | Posted in Beijing Schools, Bookworm Cafe Beijing, Changzhou schools, Literary Festivals, Suzhou schools, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Desmond holding child

Desmond Dog and I are visiting 3 different cities in mainland China for 5 fun days this week as part of the Bookworm Literary Festival! Today we’ve been in Changzhou, tonight and tomorrow we’re in Suzhou, then from Wednesday to Friday we’ll be in Beijing! Keep following this blog to see all the photos and fun!



Temujin the Tiger visits Book Week in Panama!

March 10, 2018 at 10:03 am | Posted in Book Week, Fabulous fans!, Panama schools, The International School of Panama | Leave a comment
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Wow! Just look at the photo I just received all the way from Panama! Here is a fabulously fierce young tiger, a.k.a. Renzo Gomez Schumacher, who went to Book Week at the International School of Panama dressed up as Temujin, the terrifying tiger who marauds through Mongolia and China eating human beings left, right and centre before meeting the equally terrifying Princess Precious in the Imperial Palace in The Tale of Temujin! I bet the kids at school kept a very respectful distance! A big thank you to Renzo and his Dad Luis for sending it in!

Wow! Storm Whale short-listed for the 2018 Teach Primary Book Awards UK!

March 7, 2018 at 9:32 am | Posted in Awards, Best sellers, Shortlist Book Awards, UK publications | Leave a comment
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I’m so excited!  The UK’s Teach Primary Book Awards UK has just published its shortlist and Storm Whale (published in the UK by Old Barn Books) is one of just 6 titles on the Key Stage One Shortlist! Here’s an extract from their newsletter:

The Teach Primary Book Awards are unique in recognising and rewarding books that children genuinely love to read, but that also support learning – for example, by opening up topics for discussion; encouraging language play; and making innovative use of illustration. All 21 shortlisted titles can be confidently recommended to pupils by teachers, and lend themselves brilliantly to classroom activities, too.

 The next stage of the competition involves a panel of judges assessing the selected books according to a set of criteria that includes ‘breadth of appeal’ and ‘learning opportunities’; the final results will be announced in Teach Reading & Writing magazine, Teach Primary magazine, and First News, in May.  Find out more at


Museum Mystery Squad and the Case of the Hidden Hieroglyphics (Mike Nicholson, Young Kelpies)

Pigsticks and Harold in the Incredible Journey to… the Ends of the Earth! (Alex Milway, Walker)

The Incredible Dadventure (Dave Lowe, Piccadilly Press)

After the Fall (Dan Santat, Andersen Press)

The Big Red Rock (Jess Stockham, Child’s Play)

Storm Whale (Sarah Brennan/Jane Tanner, Old Barn Books)

A day to remember at Renaissance College HK!

March 7, 2018 at 9:04 am | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, RCHK, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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What a fun day I had yesterday with my old friends at RCHK in Ma On Shan! I was hosted by the lovely Shirley Chan (above) in 3 fun venues to visit the students of Years 4 to 6 – including the breezy rooftop! The kids learned the fabulous true history of notorious (and rather magnificent!) pirate queen Ching Shih, the Tanka people of Hong Kong and how Hong Kong actually got it’s name, whilst hearing my Tale of Desmond Dog and pretending to be pirates with great expertise! Thanks Shirley for your expert hosting and company yesterday, and thanks to all the students and teachers for their warm welcome! I look forward to many entries from you all in my Dashing Dog Story Writing Competition!

The Hong Kong Young Reader’s Festival 2018 has begun – and it’s fantastic!

March 5, 2018 at 9:00 pm | Posted in Favourite kids' books, Hong Kong events, Literary Festivals | Leave a comment
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Hello again! I’m SOOOO excited! The Hong Kong Young Reader’s Festival 2018 has just begun and there’s so much for kids from 4 to 104 to do and see! There’s a fantastic schools program of course and also some great FREE events! (Not to mention a fabulous official poster by Harry Harrison, above!)

THIS WEEKEND there will be an amazing line-up of famous children’s authors, illustrators and performers appearing at eight FREE public events – you can read about them all at the HKYRF website! The events take place at Lee Gardens Two, outside 217-218, 28 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay from 1.45pm to 6pm!

And if you want to meet my dashing Desmond Dog, come along and hear me read his story in my session from 1.45 – 2.45pm! Here are the details! I look forward to seeing you all there!

HK grown ups! Join famous illustrator Gus Gordon for a fabulous workshop on Thursday evening!

March 5, 2018 at 8:01 pm | Posted in Favourite kids' books, illustrators, Literary Festivals | Leave a comment
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Gus Gordon event, 8th March 2018Are you interested in illustrating picture books? Are you a picture book fan? Join the extraordinary Gus Gordon on Thursday night this week at 7pm at the Naked Hub, 5 – 13 New Street in Sai Ying Pun, to hear him speak about his creative process and the relationship between words and illustrations. There will also be a short workshop component so you can try out your own skills!

Students above 18 interested in picture books are also very welcome! This fantastic event is FREE but if you are interested you should register at

In addition, Gus will be appearing at a FREE public event for kids with an illustration workshop on Saturday from 15.45 – 16.45, on 2nd Floor at Lee Garden 2, Causeway Bay. To find out more, click here.

And if you want to read more about Gus, take a look at this wonderful article on the sublime Brain Pickings.

Deadline for Dashing Dog Story competition extended to 31 March!

March 4, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Posted in Clever Competitions, writing competitions | Leave a comment
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Desmond holding child

WOOF! You now have an extra WEEK to get your Dashing Dog Story Competition entries in! So if you’re keen on being a published writer on my blog – which will make you a WORLD FAMOUS WRITER right away – you’ve now got an extra week up your sleeve to submit your entry and try for the first 6 places! The new deadline is SATURDAY 31 MARCH 2018 – you can find all the details and information about what and how to submit by clicking this link! I can’t wait to read your entry!

Harry and I feature in a great article – and video – in the South China Morning Post Online!

March 2, 2018 at 11:30 am | Posted in media articles, On-line sales, books about Chinese Zodiac, Press, Video | Leave a comment
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Many thanks to Jarrod Watt for this fantastic article AND video in the South China Morning Post Online, published on 28 February! You can watch Harry and I talking all about our new story The Tale of Desmond Dog and how we work together on our Chinese Calendar Tales series! You can even see Harry drawing! Please share it with your family and friends! And if you want to buy our exciting new tale about Hong Kong, some wicked pirates and a very brave dog, just click on this link!

Two fun-filled days at Shatin Junior School!

March 2, 2018 at 11:03 am | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Shatin Junior School, workshops | Leave a comment
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Thank you to my dear friends at Shatin Junior School for two fabulous days on Wednesday and Thursday as part of their Book Week celebrations! You can see three fab teachers above, getting into bossy, huggy trouble!! Desmond Dog and I met the whole of primary school in two BIG story reading sessions, then I worked with all the Grade 4s in 5 fab How to Write a Riveting Story sessions! I hope to see LOTS of great entries in my Dashing Dog Story Competition – details here! And an extra big thank you to my wonderful host, and friend, Karen Hubbard! More photos to come!

Hooray! Storm Whale is a CBCA Notable!

February 28, 2018 at 10:00 pm | Posted in Book Awards, Buying my books | Leave a comment
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Illustrator Jane Tanner and I were so excited yesterday to find out that Storm Whale has been listed on the Children’s Book Council of Australia Notables List for Best Picture Book 2018! We’ll find out in March if our beautiful book makes the Short List of the CBCA Awards, as well as the Short List of the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal in the UK!

If you haven’t bought your copy yet, you can purchase it here !

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