Methuselah, Charly and me zoom in to Discovery Bay International School last Thursday!

November 22, 2022 at 5:38 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Huge thanks to librarian Melanie Foti and Year 4 Co-ordinator Richard Tinning for inviting me and artist Charly Cheung to Discovery Bay International School for a joint Zoom session about our book The Marvellous Adventures of Maggie and Methuselah last Thursday with the fabulous Year 4s! We had SO much fun!

The Year 4s have been studying our book in depth for the last few weeks, reading a new chapter every day, which is such a thrill for us both! Authors and artists LOVE having their books studied :)! We were then invited in to talk to the kids about the book, and I think that Charly and I enjoyed our session just as much as the students!

First I told them all about the fascinating history behind the book, including Hong Kong’s early years when Sir Catchick Paul Chater arrived in the then British Colony, and proceeded to transform the city with his huge building projects, including the very first reclamation of land from the harbour which gave us Statue Square, and all the land under Princes Building, the old Star Ferry terminal and Chater Road! Then we talked about Sir Chater’s rare and valuable art collection of over 430 pieces which was hidden when the Japanese invaded Hong Kong, of which only 90 pieces have been found since, and whether they might be hidden in the many WW2 tunnels still existing under Hong Kong today! And we finished with me reading Chapter 6 – you can see me reading below:

After a 10 minute break, it was Charly’s turn – and what a fantastic learning session that was! First Charly showed everyone pictures of the main characters in the book, and how they developed during the drafting process. They were fascinated to learn that Maggie’s dad Trevor was based on a rather eccentric relative of mine and that Ursula, Maggie’s mum, owes a great deal to actress and comedienne Bette Midler! Then the really fun part began, when Charly taught everyone how to draw their very own African Grey parrot (a.k.a. Methuselah!).

First they learned to draw the basic features of a parrot, by observing each of its body parts…

Then Charly taught us how to use the model we’d just drawn as the basis for a fun character drawing of our parrot, at a Christmas party!

And here are some fabulous results…

And then there was mine….oh dear! As Methuselah would say:

“Hold your crayon! Keep your pen!

Try, try and try again!”

A big THANK YOU to everyone who took part in our fun workshop, and especially to the teachers of Year 4, Mr Tinning and Ms Foti! We hope you enjoy finishing our story!

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