Storm Whale visits the Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2017!

April 8, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Posted in Book Fairs, Book launches, Storm Whale | 2 Comments
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I’m SO excited to introduce you to my beautiful new book Storm Whale, published by Allen and Unwin in Melbourne, and gloriously illustrated by the remarkable, wonderful, prize-winning Australian artist Jane Tanner! It’s very different to my beloved Chinese Calendar Tales, but I think you’re going to love it too! It’s the story of 3 little girls who find a whale stranded on a beach, and try to save it, and what happens afterwards. I was inspired to write it by memories of my childhood holidays at the beach in Tasmania, where the summers were often wet and windy, and sometimes we be heartbroken to  find beached whales on the shore.

Here is a picture of our new book, held by Australia’s Children’s Laureate, Leigh Hobbs, my lovely new friend http://www.leighhobbs.com/. He tracked it down to a special exhibit of Australian books at the famous annual Bologna Children’s Book Fair, which took place this week, and very kindly sent me this photo!

Storm Whale is officially being launched at Readings Bookshop, in Lygon Street, Melbourne on the 1st June! I’ll be there, and Jane Tanner, and my lovely agent Julie Watts, and of course Erica Wagner, Head of Children’s Books at Allen & Unwin and her wonderful team. So if you are going to be in Melbourne too, it would be fantastic to see you there! I’ll be posting the official invitation soon with all the details!

Come and see us at the Conrad Christmas Fair today!

November 29, 2016 at 7:45 am | Posted in Being an Author, Book Fairs, Books about Chinese Zodiac, Children's Chinese Zodiac Books, Chinese Calendar Tales, Chinese Zodiac | Leave a comment
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Christmas is coming!! If you want to stock up on the Chinese Calendar Tales you can come and buy them today from 10am to 8pm at the Conrad Christmas Fair in Pacific Place! We’ve even got the new title for next Year of the Rooster! We’ll tell you what Zodiac year applies to your lucky intended recipient – making our books a perfect gift (and a fun taste of China) for all those kiddies, nieces, nephews, husbands, wives, grandpas and grandmas overseas! And I’ll be here all day to say hello and to sign your purchases for you! See you soon!

Two fabulous ladies at the AFCC 2016 in Singapore!

May 28, 2016 at 10:56 am | Posted in Being an Author, Book Fairs, Children's Chinese Zodiac Books, children's literacy, Singapore, workshops | Leave a comment
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Say hello to two lovely friends – one old and one new – I met at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content 2016 in Singapore’s magnificent National Library this week! To the right is Denise Tan, owner of Closetful of Books which distributes my Chinese Calendar Tales and Dirty Stories to schools in Singapore and which was official bookseller at the Festival for the second year; to the left is the famous Cynthia Leitich Smith, New York Times best-selling author of over a dozen books for kids and young adults! It was a great privilege to hear her speak about writing for young adults; she’s a very funny lady! I had a fantastic time at the Festival hearing remarkable speakers and meeting writers and illustrators from all around the world – especially Asia! Best of all was that every single person I met loves BOOKS!

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
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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 the  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.

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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!

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