A Fabulous Finale at The Children’s Bookshop in Beecroft!

February 28, 2015 at 7:20 pm | Posted in Bookshop event, Sydney schools | 2 Comments
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Today was the final day of my Aussie Chinese New Year tour, and what a fun day it was, with a fabulous event at the famous Children’s Bookshop in Beecroft, north of Sydney. Many thanks to owner Paul MacDonald (above) and his partner Beth and fantastic team for hosting me!  Proceeds from the event went to Room to Read.


Jennie Orchard (in black), Mihira and young Justine – all proud to represent Room to Read. Justine’s ambition is to be an author, and she’s already keeping a writer’s notebook.


Some of the fabulous audience.


Talented writer and artist Jemma Julian (first place winner in the Gr 4 to 6 Section of my Ode to My Favourite Tree competition) with her mum, artist Diana Reynolds. Jemma’s grandmother was a famous author in Tasmania, and her great uncle was the great historian of Australian indigenous people, Henry Reynolds! So creative talent runs in the family!

A Fabulous Frolic at Kambala!

February 27, 2015 at 7:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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I had a terrific time today at one of my favourite Sydney schools Kambala! My darling mum went to Kambala way back in the 1930s, so visiting takes on a very special meaning for me. I spent a fabulous hour with the Grade 2 to Grade 5 girls, and we had a lot of fun learning all about how rice came to China, as well as my shy but artistic Rodney Ram. The girls were gorgeous as ever, and it was great to see the staff again too. Warm thanks to lovely teacher librarian Sally-Anne Tilley for hosting me this afternoon – it was memorable! Here are some photos of me with Sally-Anne, her madcap daughter and friend, and a stunning Chinese umbrella in the foyer made from – you guessed it – Chinese cocktail umbrellas! I look forward to all your entries in my Clever Competition!


My wonderful afternoon with Susanne Gervay!

February 26, 2015 at 2:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Today I met one of my personal writer heroes, the great Susanne Gervay, at her beautiful boutique hotel, The Hughenden Hotel, in Woollahra. Susanne is author of the famous I Am Jack series of children’s books as well as many award-winning books for teenagers, such as Butterflies. It was such an honour to spend time with her; her kindness, warmth and enthusiasm for other writers makes her one of the most generous and remarkable authors I’ve ever met. I owe a huge thank you to the fabulous Jennie Orchard of Room to Read for introducing me to Susanne, who, like me, is a Writer Ambassador for this wonderful children’s charity. Please do take the time to visit their website (http://www.roomtoread.org) as well as Susanne’s fantastic website at http://sgervay.com

A Ram-bunctious Morning at Cranbrook Junior School!

February 26, 2015 at 2:44 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Chinese New Year, School visits, Sydney schools | 2 Comments
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A huge thank you to teacher librarian Megan Light and library technician Liz de Wit for hosting me at Cranbrook Junior today. The boys from Grade 3 to 6 met my shy but artistic Rodney Ram in two fun story-telling sessions jam-packed with Chinese history and folklore, and even explored their romantic sides! It was so much fun, and I had a ball! Thank you all for your lovely warm welcome, and make sure you enter my Clever Competition right away! Also, do remember to take a look at http://www.roomtoread.org for more information about this very important children’s charity. Here I am with the boys, working out their signs of the zodiac, and pretending to be the farmer in Rodney Ram’s story!

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Rodney Ram meets Robert Townson Public School!

February 26, 2015 at 4:51 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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On Wednesday, Rodney Ram and I and all the Chinese Calendar Tales characters met the wonderful kids and staff of Robert Townson Public School at Raby! It was a very special day for me, as my host was my dear friend Michelle Sarjana, deputy principal, who used to be deputy principal at Kennedy School in Hong Kong, and was one of the first teachers ever to invite me to visit her school with my first book, A Dirty Story! It was a BIG day! The Kindies met my hungry dragon Chester Choi, the Grade 1s and 2s learned all about the Chinese Zodiac animals in The Tale of Pin Yin Panda, then the Grade 3s and 4s met my VERY romantic Rodney Ram and the Grade 5s and 6s were hypnotized by Sybil Snake! Lastly, my toy tiger Tarini met the Townson Tiger who told her to Aim High! It was great to meet you all, and I really enjoyed my chats with the dedicated staff at the school – especially gifted potter and artist Lyn Thirwell who is currently looking after the library! It was a treat! I look forward to seeing lots of entries in my Clever Competition!

Fabulous Fun at Lindfield East Public School!

February 23, 2015 at 7:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Hellooooo Sydney!


Today I met over 400 fabulous kids at the exceptional Lindfield East Public School in North Sydney! Years 3 to 6 all heard my shaggy tale about Rodney Ram and how rice came to China, as well as lots of useful titbits about Chinese New Year, the Chinese Zodiac animals, and how I write and publish my books! Many thanks to the wonderful Rachel Watkins, deputy principal, who hosted me today, as well as inspirational principal Andrew Stevenson and all the dedicated staff. It was a huge pleasure to meet you all and to find out more about your fantastic cross-cultural curriculum and activities. Below you can see just a sample of the Chinese New Year decorations at the school – some bleached apples showing Chinese characters, and a fabulous Chinese Emperor a.k.a. principal Andrew Stevenson with the kids!

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Rodney Ram frolics into Tim’s Bookshop, Maling Road!

February 21, 2015 at 1:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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A big thank you to the fabulous team at Tim’s Bookshop, Maling Rd, Canterbury, who hosted a fun Chinese New Year Event this morning! Rodney Ram and I met some wonderful Canterbury kids, mums and dads, who listened to me reading Rodney’s Tale, answered questions brilliantly in my quiz, and enjoyed some lucky laissee packets filled with golden coins (well, the chocolate kind :)…) Gong Xi Fa Cai to everyone who came, and may you have a Rambunctious Year of the Ram!

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A Marvellous Morning at Buckley House!

February 19, 2015 at 3:06 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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Today I spent a fabulous morning celebrating the first day of Chinese New Year with the kids and staff of Buckley House at Ivanhoe Grammar’s Junior School! The Grade 3s and 4s met my redoubtable Rodney Ram, and learned 3 very different theories about how rice came to China! The Grade 6s learned How to Write a Riveting Story, while also hearing an exquisite love story about handsome sportsman Luke and the love of his life, the stunning and clever Alice (thank you Luke and Alice for being such good sports…:)). And finally the Grade 5s learned about why Books are a Brain’s Best Friend. I was really impressed by their comments – it’s clear that there are a lot of kids at Ivanhoe who really do understand how important reading books remains in this digital age. Thanks to the fabulous Grace Molinaro (L) and library technician Anna Consiglio (R) for being such wonderful hosts, and such fun too! Remember all you clever kids to enter my Clever Competition!

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Kung Hei Fat Choy for the Year of the Sheep/Ram/Goat!

February 19, 2015 at 2:44 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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bleatingsloA very Happy New Year of the Sheep – or the Ram – or the Goat – to you all from me and from Harry Harrison! Here is Harry’s wonderful cartoon – isn’t it fun?!  We hope this year is woolly, woolly wonderful for you and the people you love! Have fun and remember to keep reading lots, and lots, and lots of BOOKS!

Fabulous Chinese New Year News from Room to Read!

February 18, 2015 at 3:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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As you all know, I’m a very proud Writer Ambassador for Room To Read. Here is a special message from them this Chinese New Year! Please make sure to show Mum and Dad. We ALL want children all over the world to be able to read, just like us!

Room to Read is on track to reach 10 million children by 2015, and we need your help to get there! Learn more and get involved at http://www.roomtoread.org. One great way you can support Room to Read is by following our work and sharing with others. Join us @ Blog | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

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