Two Funny and Fabulous Days at American International School Guangzhou!

September 24, 2015 at 8:20 am | Posted in AISGZ, Guangzhou schools | 3 Comments
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Well, it had to happen! Rodney Ram finally visited AISGZ, famously known as the School of the Ram, in Guangzhou, The City of Rams!! I had two great days there this week, packed with so much fun! It all started with the welcome assembly, when Elementary School Principal Gary MacPhie made a surprise visit playing The Skye Boat Song on his bagpipes – in reference to the years I spent playing the bagpipes when I was young! The whole school then heard my Tale of Rodney Ram, and we talked all about the famous Legend of the Five Rams of Guangzhou, and how rice came to China. Then we had story readings for the younger kids on the Tuesday, and How to Write a Riveting Story Workshops for the older kids on the Wednesday, with lots of fun book-signing and even a lunch with the gorgeous Grade 5 Library Monitors on Wednesday! Phew! It was busy, and I wouldn’t have missed a minute! Special thanks to my host the lovely Julie Dotterer, ES Librarian, and her lovely staff who looked after me so well!


Thank you ISA Guangzhou!

September 24, 2015 at 8:05 am | Posted in Guangzhou schools, School visits | Leave a comment
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A big THANK YOU to the staff and students of ISA Guangzhou, a fabulous new international school in Guangzhou, who hosted me on Monday! We had a fabulous day of story readings, with the younger kids meeting Chester Choi, Pin Yin Panda and Rodney Ram, then the older kids took part in my Introduction to Poetry Workshop! Special thanks to principal Elaine Wheeler (in green), teacher Gaby (in black) and admin assistant Linda who helped make my visit so memorable!


Rodney Ram meets the Five Rams of Guangzhou!

September 20, 2015 at 6:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Rodney Ram and I arrived in Guangzhou this afternoon and immediately went to beautiful Yuexiu Park to search for Rodney’s famous cousins, The Five Rams of Guangzhou!

Rodney and the pedal boats, Yuexiu Park

First we looked near the pedal boats…but they weren’t there…

Rodney and the opera singer, Yuexiu ParkRodney and the folkdancer, Yuexiu Park

Then we listened to some wonderful Chinese opera singers…and met a lovely dancer…but the Five Rams weren’t there either…

What a BOLD ram with rice in his mouth!

Then, suddenly, at the top of a l-o-n-g  hill, we saw a fierce looking face with rice in its mouth!

The Magnificent Five Rams of Guangzhou!

And then a ram with some adoring sheep around him!

Rodney and I meet the Five Rams of Guangzhou!

TA DA!!! We made it! Many thanks to the very kind man who helped me take these photos – I hope you liked your Rodney Ram Bookmark!

Rodney Ram Heads for Guangdong Province!!

September 20, 2015 at 9:41 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Rodney Ram is SO EXCITED! And so am I! Today we head up to Guangdong Province, where as you all know, Rodney Ram lived with his flock of pretty sheep!  We’ll be visiting two fabulous schools – ISA Guangzhou on Monday, the the American International School of Guangzhou on Tuesday and Wednesday! We can hardly wait! Keep visiting this blog for all the photos and fun!

The results of my latest Clever Competition for Primary School Kids are out!

September 14, 2015 at 12:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


cover image without textPrecious and Bright IdeaFrog

And what a TERRIBLE time I had judging this competition –because your stories were all so good!

Your stories took me on the most exciting journeys through China, from the Forbidden City in Beijing to the Great Wall of China to the Silk Road to Dunhuang – and beyond to Mongolia, India and even Australia! I met famous historical characters such as the mighty Emperor Qin Shi Huang and the great maritime explorer Zheng He, as well as magical beings like witches, pirates, dragons, fairies and ghosts. There were princesses of every description, from kind and clever to greedy and cruel; from cheeky to moody to ugly to beautiful. Some were artists, others were scientists; there was even a princess rabbit! Your talking frogs were all wonderful characters: some wise and kind, others greedy and ambitious; some royal, some cursed, and all of them quite magical. Then there were the rams, which were usually clever and sensible and very wise, but on occasion very silly and sometimes even evil! As you can imagine, I had a lot of fun reading about them all!

This time, there were 36 entries from 16 different schools in Hong Kong, Melbourne, Seattle, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney! The standard was very high, so it was very difficult indeed to choose the six finalists in each age category. Special congratulations to outstanding writers Emily Davis, of Grade 2, Arden Anglican School in Beecroft, Sydney, overall winner of the Grades 1 to 3 Category, and Warren Cheong of Year 5, German Swiss International School Hong Kong, who was overall winner of the Grades 4 to 6 Category.

Go to my Clever Competitions page above right away to read all the winning entries – you’re in for a treat!

Just one more day!

September 13, 2015 at 6:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Phew – I’m almost finished the judging! Just one more day to go, and you can see all the results tomorrow! Hang in there!

Please be patient my friends!

September 12, 2015 at 9:30 am | Posted in Writing competitions for kids | 3 Comments
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It’s been a funny old week this week, with a sick daughter and a sick dog, and lots of visits to doctors and vets (don’t worry, it’s nothing too serious)! So I’ve got a little bit delayed in getting the judging done for the Three Chinese Characters Story Competition! I’m sailing full steam ahead now, and hope to publish the results this weekend. So please bear with me – it won’t be long now!

A Fabulous Week for Celebrating Heroes and Book Reading!

September 10, 2015 at 10:10 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This week I had the great pleasure of returning to Discovery Bay International School as part of Grade 7s Unit of study about Heroes in My Eyes! This year, my hero just has to be John Wood, above, the man who famously left a high-powered, high paid job with Microsoft in 1999 to set up Room to Read, a brilliant charity devoted to bringing literacy and education to children around the world.

Do you know that since his very first trip to Nepal delivering books (on the back of a yak and five donkeys) to a small school high in the mountains back in 1998, he – through the charity he established – has managed to set up over 17,000 libraries, build almost 2,000 schools and help over 9.7 million children? Now that’s what I call a hero! And that’s also why I’m so proud to be a Room to Read Writer Ambassador! Read more about their fantastic work at And if you and your class want to get involved in your own fund-raising effort to help kids less lucky than you to learn to read, get involved in the Room to Read World Change Challenge, which you can find here:

Where to send your Clever Competition entry!

September 5, 2015 at 4:06 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’ve been having a few emails from kids today who aren’t sure where to send their entry. Please send them to me directly at and I’ll be sure to receive them! You can send your entry typed on a Word document and attached to your email, or you can just type out your story into the body of your email and send it straight to me. Best of luck and I’ll let you know the results as soon as possible after the deadline tomorrow!

Reminder! Just two days to go in my Tale of Three Chinese Characters Competition!

September 4, 2015 at 2:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Hello again from Hong Kong! It’s sooooo good to be home with my family, and of course my funny, madcap cocker spaniel Bobby after 3 weeks away in Australia and Singapore! But hasn’t time flown! And do you know what? There’s now only TWO days to go to get your entry into my writing competition for primary school kids! But there’s still the weekend ahead – and who knows what fabulous story you can write in 2 days when you put your mind to it?! So you’d better get hopping! If you want to be a winner, just take a look at the information on my Clever Competitions page above, and send in your entry by midnight on 6th September! I can’t wait to read your stories!

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