Storm Whale’s Wonderful Melbourne Launch!

June 4, 2017 at 6:05 am | Posted in Being an Author, Book launches, Melbourne events, Storm Whale | Leave a comment
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Our beautiful Storm Whale splashed off to a wonderful start at the launch party at the famous Readings Kids bookshop in Lygon Street in Melbourne on Thursday night 1st June! Here are just some of the photos! Top – an original illustration from the book, by award-winning artist Jane Tanner. Isn’t it just gorgeous?

Readings Kids beautiful store front in Lygon Street.

Before the launch with my dear friend Judy Mackerras who flew in all the way from London via Sydney!

Three very important women – to me, and to Storm Whale! Top left, my wonderful agent and friend Julie Watts, top right, Jane Tanner, the renowned artist who brought Storm Whale to life in her exquisite pictures, and top centre, the lovely Erica Wagner, head of children’s books at Allen & Unwin, our fantastic publisher.

With two dear old friends, Jill (top left) with whom I went to school in Hobart many, many years ago and Stacey who lives in Melbourne; and my new friend Jane Tanner!

With Jane, Julie and my friend Tom Danby of INT Books (left), and the three gorgeous girls who were Jane’s models for the drawings of me and my sisters in the book!

Book signing after the speeches…

The shop window before and after the launch! We sold out completely!!

A big warm thank you to Readings Kids for hosting this wonderful event, and to my friends at Allen & Unwin for putting on such a fabulous party!

My Marvellous Day at MLC, Melbourne!

June 1, 2017 at 10:36 am | Posted in Australian schools, Being an Author, children's literacy, Melbourne schools, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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It was wonderful to visit my old friends at Methodist Ladies College Junior School yesterday, and to catch up with my dear friend, librarian Tracey Ricchini (below)! I had SUCH a great day introducing my latest Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster, to the girls from Grades 3 to 6 in three wonderful sessions chockful of history and fun, and then meeting up with my very favourite Book Bugs (above) at lunchtime for a lovely long chat about being an author, as well as a sneak preview of Storm Whale. Tracey is one of the most dedicated librarians I know, and we spent every spare moment talking about our most passionate shared interest – children’s literacy. The girls of MLC love their books, and below you can see a photo of Tilda Clohesy, a young author who has written and illustrated her own excellent children’s book! Thanks Tracey for a brilliant day and I look forward to seeing you all again next year!

 

Thanks Fullers for a funny and fabulous event!

May 27, 2017 at 4:01 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Books about Chinese Zodiac, Bookshop event, Chinese festivals, Hobart | Leave a comment
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A big thank you to all the friendly efficient staff at Fullers Bookshop in Hobart for hosting a wonderful event this afternoon for me and Rickshaw Rooster! We had a lovely crowd of babies, kids, pre-teens, mums, dads and grandparents, who cockadoodle-dooed beautifully during my story reading, learned lots of Chinese history, and did brilliantly in the post-reading Quiz (for which they won some tasty fortune cookies!) Special thanks to my host for the day, Anne – photographed with me above; to Cat, the fabulous shop manager, and to Peter Igram-Jones who so patiently and efficiently handled all the lovely book sales in the three schools I visited this week (even though we sold out of four of my titles!). I’ll see you again soon!

An evening with ASLA Tasmania at Bridgewater!

May 24, 2017 at 8:09 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Hobart, Talks to teachers | Leave a comment
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Huge thanks to my lovely host Gail King (far right), Ailsa Hill (centre) and Jo-Ann Wolf (left) for inviting me to Jordan River Learning Federation Senior School at Bridgewater, to give a talk about How to Create Bookworms in the Digital Age. We talked all about the fundamental importance of constant book reading to create an imaginative, creative, knowledgable and empathetic thinker, and the dangers of children being exposed at young ages to digital screens, as well as the problems with digital screens being used in schools as a substitute for a well-funded library with expert librarians in charge. A lovely big crowd of primary and high school teachers attended, and afterwards we had a book-signing and some delicious drinks and nibbles! It was a great evening; thanks so much to all the ASLA teachers who came along, and I hope to meet you all again one day!

A fun day with the boys of Hutchins School in Sandy Bay!

May 24, 2017 at 8:00 pm | Posted in Australian schools, Being an Author, School visits | Leave a comment
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My Tassie tour kicked off with a fabulous morning at The Hutchins School in Sandy Bay, Hobart, today, where I caught up with my old friend Kate Reid, Head of Libraries at Hutchins, who used to be the primary librarian at AISHK in Hong Kong! Kate invited me in for two fab sessions, first with the Years 3 and 4 plus some intrepid Year 6 boys, who found out all about Chinese history from the mid-1700s right up to the founding of the People’s Rebublic of China in 1949, when I read them The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster!  Then the Year 1s and 2s met my hungry child-eating dragon in The Tale of Chester Choi and learned some very useful facts about the dragon in Chinese mythology! Thanks Kate, teachers and boys for a memorable morning! And here is one of my new fans, George, who buried himself into my Tale of a Dark Horse! It was great to meet you George!

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Hello Tasmania!!

May 24, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Posted in Being an Author, School visits | Leave a comment
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I’m back in my beautiful birth state of Tasmania, that  lovely island beneath Victoria, Australia, for a fabulous week of school visits, lectures and one fantastic event for The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster this Saturday at Hobart’s fabulous Fullers Bookshop! Then next week it’s off to Melbourne to visit my old friends at MLC before the VERY exciting launch of my new book with Allen & Unwin, Storm Whale; then finally a visit up to Brisbane to visit Churchie boys school and catch up with my family before flying back to Hong Kong! Phew! It’s a full schedule, but it’s going to be great fun!

A funny and fabulous day at Kingston International School!

May 22, 2017 at 6:09 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Books about Chinese Zodiac, Hong Kong Schools, Kingston International School Hong Kong, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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IMG_3746I’ve just had the BEST day at one of my favourite Hong Kong schools, Kingston International School, today! I met ALL the kids in primary school, as well as their lovely teachers, in some fun, very educational story readings from my Chinese Calendar Tales! The littlest kids in P1 met my hungry dragon with a lonely heart, Chester Choi, and learned all about dragons in Chinese mythology. The P2s met my vain but loveable panda, Pin Yin Panda, and found out how all the animals got into the Chinese Zodiac. And the P3s, P4s, P5s and P6s met my proud, cocky but promise-keeping rooster in this years Tale of Rickshaw Rooster, and learned some fascinating facts about the end of the Chinese Empire and the rise of the ordinary man in China! Huge thanks to my lovely hosts, Jennifer Shaw from Upper Primary above left, and Melissa Preisig from Lower Primary, above right! More fabulous photos to come!

A fabulous photo shoot!

April 15, 2017 at 6:17 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Photoshoots, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Huge thanks to Hong Kong photographer Ellen Claire Taylor for a fun photoshoot on Wednesday this week at my home in Tai Po, in beautiful Tai Po Kau Park, and at the Pok Fu Lam Gardens terminus of Green Minibus 22 on Hong Kong Island! Here I am above left at home with my beautiful new book Storm Whale, launching in Melbourne on 1st June; at my favourite local park in Tai Po Kau (above right) and catching up with the Chinese Calendar Tales characters on Green Minibus 22 at the Pok Fu Lam Gardens terminus in the rain! Pandora, my toy panda, loved it!

A magical Saturday with Leigh Hobbs!

March 28, 2017 at 9:59 am | Posted in Being an Author, children's literacy | Leave a comment
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What a wonderful day I had on Saturday, with the altogether fabulous Leigh Hobbs, who just happens to be Australia’s Children’s Laureate (which means super-special Aussie children’s author and illustrator to you and me!). My lovely husband and I kidnapped Leigh from his hotel, where Leigh was staying whilst visiting some lucky primary schools in Hong Kong, and took him to Stanley for lunch and a drive around the island! Leigh is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and we became firm friends! And if you haven’t read any of Leigh’s books yet, you’re in for a treat! Here are just some of the wacky characters, and best-selling books, Leigh has created, which have been published by my favourite Aussie publishers, Allen and Unwin! Borrow them from your library, or even better yet, buy them for your own library of books at home!

 

A Cockadoodle Event at the SILF!

March 21, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Book launches, Literary Festivals, Shanghai International Literary Festival, Story Readings, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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On Sunday, I entertained a big roomful of fabulous Shanghai children and their mums and dads when I introduced them to my new Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster! It was so wonderful to be talking all about Shanghai’s extraordinary history, the international Concessions, Shanghai’s most famous road The Bund, and the Roaring 1920s, when my story was set, in a building that was there in the 1920s, just beside The Bund! I could just feel Rickshaw Rooster fluffing his tail feathers, puffing his chest, and getting ready to do an enormous Cockadoodle-Doo!!! Here I am, above, with a fabulous bookstand made by my terrific distributors at Obido, in M’s famous Glamour Bar. Life as an author doesn’t get more glamorous than that! More photos to come!

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