Neats beware! There’s a Grot on the loose!

July 30, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Posted in Asia Society Hong Kong, Hong Kong events, Kids4Kids, Story Readings, Young Adventurers Book Club, Zoom visits | Leave a comment
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Dirty Story Session - A Grotty Author!

Yes, I admit it – I’m a GROT!!! And here am I all dressed up and ready to go for my fun reading session for the Young Adventurers Book Club yesterday, hosted by the lovely Fontaine Gibbs, Student Ambassador (who is definitely a Neat!), and co-sponsored by fabulous Hong Kong charity Kids4Kids and my old friends at Asia Society Hong Kong! Over 50 young participants logged in to hear the adventures of the nifty Neats and the dastardly Grots on the Twinkle Downs in the first kids’ book I ever had published, A Dirty Story, illustrated by the fabulous Harry Harrison! If you haven’t read it yet, here’s a little preview of the Neats below – enjoy! Video link coming soon!

Dirty Story Session - the Neats!

Say hello to Therese, a worthy prize winner in my Clever Competition!

June 19, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Posted in Arden Anglican School, Beecroft, Chinese Calendar Tales, Clever Competitions | Leave a comment
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I’ve just received these lovely photos of the talented Therese Li of Arden Anglican School in New South Wales, Australia, who at just 7 years old was the winner of the Years 1 to 3 Category in my last Clever Competition! Here she is presenting the Boxed Set of Chinese Calendar Tales which she won for her school to the junior school librarian, Mrs Maren de Rijk! You can read Therese’s brilliant story here!

Watch our fab session at the HK Young Readers Festival today!

June 10, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Posted in Bookazine Princes Building, Chinese Calendar Tales, Events, Harry Harrison, Hong Kong events, Hong Kong Young Readers Festival 2020, Shatin Junior School, Video, Virtual visits, Zoom visits | Leave a comment
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If you just missed Harry Harrison and my fabulous video and Q and A session with the kids of Shatin Junior School Grade 3 today, you can listen here! It was so much fun! You can find out all about why and how we created the Chinese Calendar Tales, from first idea to final Boxed Set! You can even watch Harry as he draws from preliminary sketch to final painting! Thanks to Catherine Platt, director of the Hong Kong International Literary Festival, for this fantastic event! And to lovely moderator Julia Kuehn; James Ryan, cub reporter, for his fabulous questions on our video; Annabel Cohen (my daughter!) for the fantastic filming and editing; Bookazine for their brilliant offer of 15% off all the Chinese Calendar Tales this June; Hugh Beames and Karen Middleton of Shatin Junior School; and Joseph, our tech advisor and supporter!!

Hello to the Sisterhood of Readers at Salwan Public School, Delhi!

June 9, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Posted in benefits of reading books, children's literacy, girls' education, Indian schools, Salwan Public School, Delhi, Sisterhood of Readers, workshops, Zoom visits | Leave a comment
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Thank you to principal Rasshmi Malik of Salwan Public School, Delhi, for inviting me to visit her wonderful school this morning, in association with the Sisterhood of Readers, the brainchild of Ahaana Subberwal of Hong Kong International School here in Hong Kong! After telling the students all about how I became an author and the vital importance of reading lots and lots of books to a happy, healthy and wealthy life, I read my story The Tale of Run Run Rat. And then we had a terrific Q and A session, with some really interesting questions from the kids! I look forward to many future visits to this inspiring school!

Below see Ahaana Subberwal and some members of the Sisterhood of Readers with my book The Tale of Sybil Snake – a tale of female empowerment if ever there was one!

Sisterhood of Readers, Salwan Public School, Delhi

And here are some of the younger members, with The Tale of Temujin!

Sisterhood of Readers #3

Lastly, some well-earned signatures from me!

A fun interview on RTHK3 Radio about my session at the Young Readers’ Festival 2020 tomorrow!

June 9, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Posted in Events, Hong Kong events, Hong Kong Young Readers Festival 2020, interviews, Radio interviews, RTHK3 | Leave a comment
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Yesterday I had a fun interview with the fabulous Noreen Mir at RTHK Radio 3 on the 123 Show! We talked all about my upcoming session with the HK Virtual Young Readers Festival, including a very funny and frank video of me and Harry Harrison explaining How We Created the Chinese Calendar Tales, and a Q and A session to follow!  You can listen to it here!

Follow this link to learn more about the Festival, and to access the live event tomorrow: https://www.festival.org.hk/2020-hong-kong-young-readers-festival-virtual-event/

Isn’t it great that we’re all different?

June 7, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Posted in social issues for kids, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Screen Shot 2020-06-07 at 11.42.14 AMhttps://uk.news.yahoo.com/teacher-helps-students-make-skin-color-paints-beyond-brown-tan-

Wow! Don’t you just love this photo! And don’t you just love how everybody looks different? Some  kids are girls and some are boys. Some have dark coloured skin, and some have really pale coloured skin, and some have skin tones in between! And that means that all of them have different stories to tell about where their families come from, the things that they celebrate, the things they believe in and the things that they love to eat and do! Isn’t that special and isn’t that fun!

But you know, there are actually people out there that think that the colour of your skin, or your religion, or where you come from, makes you better than people with a different coloured skin or religion or country of origin!  Isn’t that just crazy? We’re all just as fabulous as each other! What makes a person better – or worse – than someone else is how they treat other people – that’s all. So if you are good and kind to everybody, no matter where they come from, or what religion they believe in, or what the colour of their skin is, you are the top of my Favourite People List! But anyone who believes that it’s okay to treat other people badly because they have a different country of origin, or a different religion, or different skin colour is right down the bottom and I really don’t like them. And how silly would it be to think that way, anyway?

Don’t miss a fun session with Harry Harrison and me at the Hong Kong Young Readers’ Festival next week!

June 5, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Posted in Being a publisher, Hong Kong Young Readers Festival 2020, Literary Festivals, Shatin Junior School, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’m so excited to be a part of the Hong Kong Virtual Young Readers Festival 2020! I’m appearing alongside British author and performer Mark Llewelyn Evans, who uses music and storytelling to engage kids with the story of opera, Australian writer and bush worker Matt Zurbo, who inspires kids to create their own stories by finding humour and inspiration in every day events, and fellow Hong Kong writer Anna Tso! The Festival is accessible to all children in Hong Kong, live this and next week, and after that you can view the sessions on the HKYRF website at any time!

My live session with Harry Harrison takes place next Wednesday, and today we had a fun rehearsal with the kids of Shatin Junior School for an audience! They watched our very funny, informative video session, made by my daughter Annabel Cohen, in which we tell how The Chinese Calendar Tales came about, and how to publish a picture book, with some fantastic footage of Harry drawing one of our characters from The Tale of Chester Choi, from initial sketch to final painting! Make sure you visit the HKYRF site next week to see the video and Q and A session yourself!

Zoom visit to Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong this morning!

June 1, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Posted in Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong, Virtual visits, Writing competitions for kids, writing workshops for children, Zoom visits | 2 Comments
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This morning I spent a fun hour with the kids of Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong who learned all about How to Write a Riveting Story! Clever competition winner James Bruser Zarin starred as the main character in an adventure story I told the kids to demonstrate all the vital steps to make a story a reader won’t want to put down! I can’t wait to see more Shrewsbury entries in my next Clever Competition! Thanks to Beth McNeilly, librarian and my lovely host for the session!

Watch Harry Harrison drawing Jimmy Lee on video!

May 25, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Posted in Harry Harrison, Hong Kong Young Readers Festival 2020, Literary Festivals, Live drawing, Video | Leave a comment
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I’ve just spent the morning with Harry Harrison and my daughter Annabel Brennan Cohen who was videoing Harry’s and my segment in the upcoming Hong Kong Young Reader’s Festival!

Here is Harry drawing Jimmy Lee from The Tale of Chester Choi, where he surfs on the tsunami! Harry is using pen and ink to copy his preliminary pencil sketch onto watercolour paper, using a light box to illuminate the pencil sketch beneath:

And here he is beginning the colouring-in with watercolour paint!

If you want to see much more, including Harry and I talking all about the Chinese Calendar Tales series (with a lot of fun thrown in!), and a Q and A session where you can ask us your own questions, you’ll have to log in to the live session! l’ll let you know exactly when that will be very soon!

And just so you don’t miss any of the fun coming up, make sure you subscribe to this blog by entering your email address in the box at the bottom of the menu to the right – OR you can subscribe to my Funny and Fabulous Newsletter Mailing List by following the instructions here!

Say hello to some happy winners!

May 16, 2020 at 10:29 am | Posted in Asia Society Hong Kong, Challenges and activities | Leave a comment
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A big thank you to the lovely mums and dads who sent in these lovely pictures of some of our Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 winners! From top left, clockwise, we have Yvonne Yang, winner of the Year 1 to 3 Category,  and Dhairya Haria, winner of the Year 4 to 6 Category, holding their Boxed Sets of the Chinese Calendar Tales. Then some lucky Prize Draw winners, Charis Chan with her dad Andrew, Maisy and Mavis Leung, with their signed copies of The Tale of Run Run Rat and beautiful Asia Society Hong Kong publication Once in A Life: Encounters with Nara.  I hope you enjoy them!

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