Thank you Stamford American School of Hong Kong!

January 18, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Stamford American School Hong Kong, workshops | Leave a comment
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Today I spent a fantastic day at the brand new Stamford American School of Hong Kong in Ho Man Tin! It’s a wonderful place and I really enjoyed meeting all the terrific kids and teachers! The Kindies and Grade 1s learned some fun environmental lessons with a story reading of A Dirty Story, and at the end of the session promised me hand on heart NOT to become Grots! The Grade 2s met my latest Chinese Calendar Tales character in The Tale of Desmond Dog and the Grade 3s enthusastically answered all my questions in my How to Write A Riveting Story workshop! Many thanks to the lovely Lisa Olinski (wth me abovfe) who was the perfect host! I look forward to seeing you all again tomorrow!

Desmond Dog the Hero visits Kennedy School!

January 18, 2018 at 5:37 am | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Kennedy School, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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Desmond saving catDesmond Dog, the hero of Hong Kong, is so noble he even saves drowning cats! But yesterday there was not a cat in sight when he visited the 900 kids of Kennedy School in Pok Fu Lam! We had 3 fabulous reading sessions and the kids made expert pirates and dogs with their “ah-ha-me-hearties” , “woof“s and “ROAR”s! Everybody LOVED Harry Harrison’s funny and fabulous illustrations, and was fascinated to hear the history of that notorious pirate queen Ching Shih! Many thanks to all the lovely staff and especially Jeff Moore, Head of English, who was my wonderful host! Photos to come!

Meet Burger and Long Long!

January 16, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Posted in Children's Chinese Zodiac Books, Kingston International School Hong Kong | Leave a comment
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Whenever I visit a school to give the VERY FIRST reading of my new Chinese Calendar Tale, I give the kids in the very first session what I call “naming rights” for the two little extra creatures that our fabulous illustrator, Harry Harrison, adds to all the pictures in the book!

Yesterday, at the very first ever reading of The Tale of Desmond Dog, that session happened to be for the kids of Grade One at Kingston International School in Kowloon Tong!

After hotly contested debate, they came up with the following:

Burger the Hermit Crab:               Long Long the Sea Louse:

The crab

The woodlouse thingie

 

I think those names are great!

So when you get your copy of the book here, make sure you check every page and see if you can find Burger and Long Long!

 

 

Desmond starts his Hong Kong tour early!

January 16, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Story Readings, workshops, Writing competitions for kids, writing workshops for children | Leave a comment
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Front cover image without textDesmond Dog got off to an early start (a month before his official year begins!) yesterday when I visited one of my favourite Hong Kong schools, Kingston International School in Kowloon Tong! The Grade Ones met Desmond first, and as such, had naming rights for the two little creatures that Harry Harrison always adds in to his wonderful illustrations! See my next post to find out what they called them! The Lower Primary school all had fun pretending they were pirates, like the infamous baddie in the story, Ching Shih, with many a ferocious “Aha, me hearties!” but were reminded at the end of the story that Crime Doesn’t Pay! They also learned about Hong Kong’s early history! Then the Grade 4s to 6s all took part in my How to Write A Riveting Story workshop! I can’t wait to see their entries in my new Dashing Dog Story Competition! Warm thanks to Jade Englebracht who hosted me – I had a ball! More photos to come!

It’s time for a Dashing Dog Story Writing Competition!

January 14, 2018 at 5:17 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Chinese Calendar Tales, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Desmond holding child

Are you a primary school student anywhere in the world? Do you love DOGS? Do you love writing stories? Then it’s time to enter my latest international Clever Competition, The Dashing Dog Story Competition!

Introducing Desmond Dog, the latest loveable character in the Chinese Calendar Tales series! Like all Chinese Zodiac dogs, he’s brave, noble and kind, and he LOVES protecting his little village, keeping everybody safe from harm! And of course, his Year of the Chinese Zodiac is just around the corner!

So it’s about time that we had a story writing competition all about DOGS! This time I want you to write me a story about a typical Chinese Zodiac Dog, like Desmond. I want him to be brave, kind, honourable and above all, DASHING!! You also must have

  • a title for your story, the more interesting the better!
  • a Chinese setting – be that a village, a city, a river, a lake, a mountain or even a Chinese planet in the future! So you’ll have to do a bit of research, and make sure to include lots of details which make the setting typically Chinese!
  • a scary typhoon!
  • a flying fish with golden scales
  • a wise philosopher
  • an evil cat
  • the colour mikado – and if you don’t know what colour that is, you’ll have to look it up!

Go to my Clever Competitions page here for all the details, rules and information.

The deadline date is Friday 23rd March, so pick up that paper and pen and get ready…get set…WOOF!

WOOF! Introducing The Tale of Desmond Dog!

January 14, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Posted in Book launches, Books about Chinese Zodiac, Buying my books, Children's Chinese Zodiac Books, Chinese New Year, Online Sales | Leave a comment
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desmond hi res cover.jpg

Helloooo everybody and a very Happy New Year to you all! I hope that you had a wonderful festive season full of good fun with your families, and, of course, that you read a whole lot of fabulous books!

Speaking of which…here is the newest member of The Chinese Calendar Tales family, out just in time for the Year of the Dog! It’s full of fun verse, a terrifically exciting plot and Harry Harrison’s wonderful illustrations, as wacky and witty as ever!

It’s 1810, and infamous pirate queen Ching Shih and her Red Flags are terrorizing the South China Sea. Enter Desmond Dog, hero of the fishing village of Hong Kong! He’s noble, honest and kind, and loves to help others. But he’s also strong, daring and brave, with an excellent nose… in fact, he has the makings of an excellent pirate! Will Desmond be lured into a life of crime? And what will become of Ching Shih and her crew? Find out in this exciting tale of trickery, temptation…and treasure!

Don’t forget to buy your copy in your local bookshop OR you can order it online here right away!

And if you’d like to come along to the funny and fabulous Hong Kong launch of The Tale of Desmond Dog, make a note in your diary for Saturday 10th February at 2pm at Bookazine in Princes Building, Central. I’ll be posting your official invitation on this blog soon!

Yay! My blog has been awarded as one of the Top 100 Blogs in Hong Kong!!

January 10, 2018 at 9:08 am | Posted in Awards, media articles | Leave a comment
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Wow! I’ve just heard from Feedspot who selected this blog as one of the Top 100 Hong Kong Blogs on the web! Click here to see the other Top Blogs and add them to your favourite blogs!

A wonderful morning at Diocesan Girls Junior School

December 14, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Story Readings, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Many thanks to my hosts, teacher Rachel Yu (above) and PTA parent Hynn Ming Lau, for inviting me to talk to the lovely young ladies of Grade One to Three at Diocesan Girls Junior School in Hong Kong yesterday. First I read the girls my beautiful new story Storm Whale, which was followed by dozens of eager questions about whales, some of which I had to admit were so tricky that I could not answer them! Then I gave the girls my Top 12 Tips to Become Great Writers in the Digital Age – and I was so impressed by their focus and understanding of this very topical and important subject! I’m quite sure that they will be strictly limiting their time on digital screens and greatly increasing their time spent reading books from now on! I look forward to receiving lots of DGJS story entries in my next Clever Competition! Thank you to my old friend Matt Steele of Growhouse for organising the event and co-ordinating the fabulous book sales!

3 Fabulous Christmas Fairs in 3 Fun-filled days!

December 14, 2017 at 6:31 pm | Posted in AISHK, Being an Author, Books about Chinese Zodiac, Christmas Fairs | Leave a comment
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Priscilla Ko and son Ian Chow

Phew! From last Saturday to this Monday, I had a ball meeting my fans and their mums and dads at a trio of fantastic Christmas Fairs! And I  hope they’re having a ball reading their latest Chinese Calendar Tales, Dirty Stories, and my beautiful new Storm Whale!

We were even able to sell my fabulous new book for 2018, The Tale of Desmond Dog!

  • On Saturday, my oldest daughter Bea and my lovely husband Philippe helped me to sell my books at the always-busy Singapore International School fair – we had enormous fun meeting all the SIS parents and kids, and rubbed shoulders with other friendly stall-holders we met there last year! Here I am above with one of my Summer Writing Course 2016 students Ian Chow and his lovely mum Priscilla Ko.
  • On Sunday, I had another busy table at Prestige Fairs at the Conrad Hotel in Admiralty, Hong Kong – I was signing books all day and it was great to meet so many fans from so many different places! My books will now be winging their way to nieces, nephews, godchildren, family friends and even a few grandparents and in-laws in countries right around the world! Huge thanks to my lovely daughter Annabel for all her help!
  • And finally, on Monday evening, I had one last table at the Australian International School Jingle and Mingle Fair where I caught up with fellow AISHK mums and dads while signing my books!

And that’s the end of my Christmas Fairs for 2017!!

Judging at the KidsLitQuiz Hong Kong!

December 14, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Hong Kong Schools | Leave a comment
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Last Friday, I had the great honour of being one of a panel of four judges at the Kids Lit Quiz Hong Kong competition held at German Swiss International School! It was great to judge alongside my friend and fellow Hong Kong author, Mio Debnam, and to catch up with my old friend GSIS Librarian Jun Niu, who is National Co-ordinator for Hong Kong.

The Kids’ Lit Quiz is an annual literature quiz for students aged 10 – 13 years. Quizzes are held in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom and USA. The winning team from each heat competes in a National Final, then the National champions compete in the World Final. The quiz was founded by New Zealand quizmaster Wayne Mills, who reads enough books to write several thousand questions each year! For more information, click here.

On Friday, over 20 teams from Hong Kong schools competed, answering questions from books as diverse as Humpty Dumpty and I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith! The winning team was Hong Kong Home School Team 1 (pictured with me above), with Harrow International School Team 1 placing second and Creative Secondary School placing third. The winning team will be representing Hong Kong in the World Finals in Auckland, New Zealand in July 2018! I wish them all the luck in the world!

Many thanks to Anne Simpson for the wonderful photos!

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