The Judging Begins!

April 12, 2016 at 9:41 am | Posted in children's literacy, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

MK_16(low res)

Well done to all those clever writers who got their entries in to my Mischievous Monkey Story Writing Competition by the extended deadline date on Sunday! I’m starting the judging right now, and will post the results as soon as I can! Hang in there!

Little Star Magazine’s writing competition awards in Shanghai!

April 12, 2016 at 9:35 am | Posted in Being an Author, children's literacy, workshops, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

No sooner that I was back from Bologna, than I was on a plane to Shanghai, to attend the Awards Ceremony on Saturday in the Little Star Writing Competition for over 500 kids in Beijing and Shanghai schools! As the final judge, I was there to officiate at the Awards Ceremony hosted by Yew Chung International School’s Gubei campus, and to talk to the exceptional writers who won First Place in each of the four age categories. We even fitted in time for a story reading of my latest Chinese Calendar Tale for the kids, mums and dads, and a Writing Workshop for everybody at the end! Many thanks to Little Star Magazine, YCIS and the fabulous kids and parents who gave me such a warm welcome. And huge congratulations to all the talented finalists!

Monkey Mayhem in Bologna!

April 12, 2016 at 9:15 am | Posted in Being an Author, Book Fairs, Children's Chinese Zodiac Books | Leave a comment
Tags: ,


Hellooo again everybody! If you’re wondering why I’ve been a bit silent the last week, it’s because I’ve been very, very busy! And that Ming Kee Monkey of mine has been even busier! Here I am, above, at the famous Bologna Children’s Book Fair, 2016 in beautiful Bologna in Italy! Now I was there to work and to introduce my books about the Chinese Zodiac to a lot of lovely publishers…but Ming Kee Monkey decided that it was time to play! You can see what she got up to below!

Bologna is bustling with street music, performance and art! Ming Kee loved meeting theĀ  buskers in the Old Town – here she is with a human statue, a musician playing a very modern DidgeriNew and a street artist, with his brilliant creation, Charlie Chaplin on rollerskates!

Here we are in the stunning medieval town square, called the Piazza Maggiore! Ming Kee just had to pose with the famous statue of Neptune, and tried very hard to steal the city keys! You can also see the photographs of the citizens of Bologna who joined the Resistance during the Second World War.


There was a fun competition going on in the main square for a local charity! Groups of entrants were all given identical cardboard boxes, which they had to cut up and make into towers! Above, you can see the beginning of the competition…and below, some of the results! Aren’t they clever? Needless to say, I had to hold on tight to my Monkey, who was very keen to topple those towers!

Now the main church in the square is the famous Basilica di San Petronio. I tucked Ming Kee Monkey into my bag when I visited…I couldn’t risk my Monkey causing havoc in a church! Isn’t it beautiful?

Now after all that peace and contemplation, it was time for a little exercise! Ming Kee Monkey and I climbed all 498 steps up the leaning Asinelli Tower, for a commanding view of the city and surrounding countryside! We even met an adorable little Bolognese girl, who gave my mischievous Monkey a good cuddle!

Needless to say, our climb built up a bit of an appetite! And where better to eat delicious pasta and desserts than in Bologna!

Farewell, beautiful Bologna, city of culture, history and delight. Ming Kee and I hope to visit you again soon!

Blog at
Entries and comments feeds.