Hellooo Glenealy School!

March 31, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Hello all you fabulous kids from Glenealy School! I had such fun visiting today! It was great to introduce the big kids to my new Dark Horse and the little kids to my very vain Pin Yin Panda! Big thanks to the lovely Trish Oliver and her wonderful assistant Hardeep for such a warm welcome! I even had the pleasure of meeting three of the contestants in my latest Clever Competition – Giselle Choi (in blue), Joaquin Aquino (in Red) , and talented Madhura Tilve (in yellow) who placed Second in the Grade 4 to 6 Section of my competition!

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March 30, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Posted in Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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It’s time to celebrate! The results of my Handsome Horse Poem Competition have just been posted! A warm thanks to each and every one of the 105 students from 17 schools in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore, Australia and the United Kingdom who entered the competition – your poems were terrific! And congratulations to the ten finalists in each section whose wonderful poems have now been published on my Clever Competitions page above! Extra-special congratulations to the first place winners: Sophia Yim of Quarry Bay School, Hong Kong  in the Kindergarten to Grade 1 Section; Ryan Liu of Shen Wai International School, Shenzhen in the Grade 2 to Grade 3 Section; and  Hillary Lo of  Sha Tin Junior School, Hong Kong in the Grade 4 to Grade 6 Section. So click on the Clever Competitions tab above right away to enjoy some very Handsome Horse Poems!

Just 3 days left in my Handsome Horse Poem Competition!

March 25, 2014 at 9:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments



HARUMPH! There are just 3 days left to get your poems into my Handsome Horse Poem Competition! And the competition is shaping up to be the best ever! We’ve had entries from the UK, Australia, Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong! So find all the information you need on the Clever Competitions tab above, and make sure you send your entry to me at enquiries@auspicioustimes.com before 12 midnight GST on the 28th March – you’ve got to be in it to win it!!

Goodbye Shanghai!

March 25, 2014 at 9:32 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Well I’m back home in Hong Kong again – and what a fabulous fortnight I had in Shanghai! I visited 8 fantastic schools, as well as my morning session at the Shanghai International Literary Festival – and it was all just wonderful!  Thanks to all the kids, teachers, mums, dads and writers I met – it was magic!

Shanghai International Literary Festival:

Here are some photos of my session on Saturday 15th March at the Shanghai International Literary Festival – it was fantastic fun!

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Starbugs Academy, Shanghai:

Then on Sunday afternoon I spent a wonderful hour with the kids, mums and dads at Starbugs Academy, a fantastic after-school club for local Shanghai children who are learning English by – you guessed it – reading lots and lots and lots of English language children’s books! It’s such a great idea, and the kids speak fabulous English! Here I am with my friend Qing Yang, founder of the Academy, during a session and with one of my fans afterwards!

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British International School, Pudong Campus:

Here is the lovely Sally Scrymgeour, Head of Literacy Year 3 teacher at British International School Shanghai, Pudong campus, who was my host when I visited on Monday 17th March! And also pictured, some gorgeous BISS kids, as well as one of our reading sessions.

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Britannica International School:

On Tuesday I visited the beautiful new, ultra-modern Britannica International School, where KS3 English teacher Helen Mun, hosted me to a lovely morning of story readings with the kids. Here is a wonderfully Horsey Door to a classroom; then introducing the little kids to Pin Yin Panda and a Chinese New Year’s Feast; and some of my lovely fans!

Britannica #1 Horse DoorBritannica #5 New Year's Feast

Britannica #7 lots of answers!Britannica #2 fans

Shanghai American School, Pudong Campus:

And here I am with the fabulous Kimbra Power, a fellow Tasmanian, and primary librarian at Shanghai American School Pudong which I visited on Wednesday 19th March, and her team, Joji and Stella! Take a look at the wild and wacky Dr Seuss paintings on the sofa, drawn by the upper school artists! Below is Kimbra’s lovely daughter Hannah, and the book display table!

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SAS March 2014 SAS #2

YK Pao School, Shanghai:

YK Pao #2

And last but not least, I spent a fabulous final two days with the inspiring teachers and kids of  YK Pao School in Shanghai! On our first day together, we had a lot of fun with story readings. And on our second day, I met the kids personally with a fabulous, huge book signing! Here I am with some lovely fans, and Jon Banks, my charming host, standing behind!

YK Pao #4 YK Pao #3  YK Pao #1

Halloooo Shanghai!

March 14, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hello to all my friends, old and new, in the fabulous city of Shanghai! I’ve been here since Monday, visiting some fantastic schools!

Shanghai Singapore International School:

On Tuesday, my Dark Horse and I visited the kids and teachers of SSIS! Huge thanks to the lovely Kateryna Khozakova for inviting me! Here are some photos! IMG_6959 IMG_6931IMG_6938 copy  IMG_6841

Yew Chung International School, Puxi campus:

Then on Thursday, we galloped in to YCIS Puxi, with two fun story readings and two Writing a Riveting Story workshops! Warm thanks to my dear friend Heather Lockett and her fantastic team for a great welcome! Here I am with Heather (in black and white); with Ms Paula Chen, YCIS librarian, who is also a wonderful artist who reproduced my Rhonda Rabbit on the door of the library for Book Week; with the fabulous kids of Grade 6 in my Writing a Riveting Story Workshop; with my stuffed toys, especially Horace the Horse; with some lovely fans, and last but not least, my friend and fellow author Jan Latta who was also visiting the school that day!



Shanghai Community International School, Hongqiao campus:

Today we spent a happy Friday with the kids of SCIS Hongqiao and their terrific primary librarian Carole Mondin, with four funny story readings featuring Pin Yin Panda and my handsome Dark Horse! Here are some photos:

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Then tomorrow I’ll be appearing at the Shanghai International Literary Festival at 10am at M on the Bund – I can’t wait! I’ll see you all there!

Four funny and fabulous sessions at The Peak School!

March 7, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Pin Yin Panda from the misty Wolong Valley felt quite at home on the misty Peak today when I visited The Peak School with my Chinese Calendar Tales! The gorgeous Grade 1s and 2s met my vain but loveable Panda and heard all about how the animals raced to Lord Buddha’s Party and into the Chinese Zodiac when I read them my Tale of Pin Yin Panda. Then the clever kids of Grades 3 to 6 had a fascinating history lesson learning how the Silk Road started as I read them my new Tale of a Dark Horse! We had a lot of fun whinnying, neighing and HARUMPH-ing too! Warm thanks to wonderful librarian Liz Mills-Campbell for hosting me today, and to all the staff and students who made me feel so welcome! I hope to see lots of entries from you all in my Clever Competition!

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Thank you Quarry Bay School!

March 6, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Great Race


It was all hands on deck as the Grade 2s at Quarry Bay School met the Chinese Calendar Tales characters today in their very beautiful upgraded Learning Centre! We learnt all about Lord Buddha’s Race, the order of the Chinese Zodiac beasties, and why Pandas AREN’T in the Chinese Zodiac! We had a lot of fun!


A Galloping Good Day at DBIS!

March 4, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Warm thanks to the lovely Naomi Gist (left), teacher Kate Basford (centre) and new library assistant Mary (right) for hosting me at Discovery Bay International School today! It was wonderful to see all you fabulous kids again and to introduce my lovely Dark Horse to you! I hope you all are telling your mums and dads tonight about how the Silk Road started! Make sure you take a look at my Clever Competitions page above – and I hope to see some DBIS entries soon!


The Dark Horse gallops into Kellett School, Kowloon Bay!

March 3, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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There were some fabulous whinnies, snorts and HARUMPHs from the fabulous kids of Grades 2, 3 and 4 at Kellett School today when I visited them at their beautiful HUGE new campus at Kowloon Bay today with my Dark Horse! Thank you so much to librarians Lisa Share (right) and Beth McNeilly (left) for being such wonderful hosts!

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