Meet Harry, a HUGE book reader!

June 3, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Posted in Australian schools, children's literacy, Hobart, The Hutchins School | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , ,

Harry and I at Hutchins

Meet Harry from The Hutchins School, who I met in the Junior Library during my Tassie visit a fortnight ago! Harry has such a huge smile on his face because he LOVES READING BOOKS! And he told me that his bedroom at home is so full of books, there’s hardly any room for his bed! Now THAT’S what I call a great reader! I bet Harry is a fantastic writer and thinker too, because that’s what you become when you read lots of books for leisure and fun! Well done Harry!

ps Harry was born in the Year of the Tiger and I was born in the Year of the Rat – hence the books we are holding!

Saturday: Keynote Speech at the ASLA Mini-Conference, Hobart 2018

May 30, 2018 at 10:31 am | Posted in ASLA, Australian schools, children's literacy, Conferences, Hobart | Leave a comment
Tags: , , ,

Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 12.37.04 PM

On Saturday I was very honoured to give the Keynote Speech at the ASLA Mini-Conference in Hobart. The theme for the day was School Libraries – Be Passionate! Now anyone who knows me knows that the thing I’m most passionate about in my LIFE (after my family of course!) is CHILDREN’S LITERACY. So this was a theme right after my own heart, and I addressed over 60 Tasmanian librarians with a Powerpoint presentation that gave them the latest science on the importance of reading books for the brain – and for the world! And I proved using scientific studies that book-reading – and I mean reading LOTS AND LOTS OF BOOKS – for leisure and for pleasure – can quite literally save this troubled world! And the only way to ensure this – as well as high academic performance in schools – is to have a well-funded library full of real books, run by a teacher librarian with support staff, in every single school! I’ll be writing more about this on my other blog soon, so I’ll keep you posted!

I was also delighted to meet wonderful Tassie author Christina Booth, author and illustrator of many beautiful Australian children’s books, who treated us all to a fantastic talk about her method in creating picture books! It was fascinating to get insight into such an amazing creative mind!

Huge thanks to the lovely Ailsa Hill and Kate Reid for inviting me, and to the ASLA Committee who hosted the day! More photos to come!

The results are out in my Dashing Dog Story Competition!

May 2, 2018 at 3:40 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Clever Competitions, writing competitions | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

Desmond holding child

At long last I’ve finished the judging of my Dashing Dog Story Competition! I had some important family matters to attend to over the last month, and as we all know, family comes first – even when there’s an exciting competition to be judged! So thank you all so much for your patience! There were a very impressive 66 entries in all, from students in 17 different schools in 7 cities around the world: Beijing, Changzhou, Chicago, Doha, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Shanghai. The overall standard of the stories was very high, making it extremely difficult to pick the order of the winners!

Special congratulations to the first place winners in each category:

FIRST PLACE in GRADE ONE TO THREE CATEGORY: Hannah Thompson, Grade 3 Methodist Ladies College, Kew, Melbourne, 8 years old

FIRST PLACE in GRADE FOUR TO SIX CATEGORY: Aoife Mary Walshe, 4th grade, SUIS HongQiao Campus, Shanghai, 9 years old

And to the ten other place-winners! If you’d like to read their fabulous stories, click here right away!

Enjoy!

A fabulous family of fans send this photo!

February 14, 2018 at 8:13 am | Posted in children's literacy, Fantastic fans! | 2 Comments
Tags: , , ,

Unknown

I was very honoured today to receive this lovely photo of one of my young fans, Osman Pasha, with last year’s book The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster! Osman’s mum Janana tells me that Pasha and his older brothers have grown up reading my Chinese Calendar Tales and they love them! She tells me that, being of Russian speaking background educated on Pushkin and Lermintov, she really appreciates the rhythm and rhyme in my poetry – thank you so much Janana for your lovely message and for allowing me to post this photo! I’m delighted to meet you and Pasha and please do send my warmest wishes to your boys!

It’s time for a Dashing Dog Story Writing Competition!

January 14, 2018 at 5:17 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Chinese Calendar Tales, Writing competitions for kids | 4 Comments
Tags: , , ,

Desmond holding child

Are you a primary school student anywhere in the world? Do you love DOGS? Do you love writing stories? Then it’s time to enter my latest international Clever Competition, The Dashing Dog Story Competition!

Introducing Desmond Dog, the latest loveable character in the Chinese Calendar Tales series! Like all Chinese Zodiac dogs, he’s brave, noble and kind, and he LOVES protecting his little village, keeping everybody safe from harm! And of course, his Year of the Chinese Zodiac is just around the corner!

So it’s about time that we had a story writing competition all about DOGS! This time I want you to write me a story about a typical Chinese Zodiac Dog, like Desmond. I want him to be brave, kind, honourable and above all, DASHING!! You also must have

  • a title for your story, the more interesting the better!
  • a Chinese setting – be that a village, a city, a river, a lake, a mountain or even a Chinese planet in the future! So you’ll have to do a bit of research, and make sure to include lots of details which make the setting typically Chinese!
  • a scary typhoon!
  • a flying fish with golden scales
  • a wise philosopher
  • an evil cat
  • the colour mikado – and if you don’t know what colour that is, you’ll have to look it up!

Go to my Clever Competitions page here for all the details, rules and information.

The deadline date is Friday 23rd March, so pick up that paper and pen and get ready…get set…WOOF!

Meeting the wonderful Jung Chang

November 10, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Posted in Being an Author, children's literacy, Literary Festivals, Room to Read | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

With Jung Chang 7 November 2017

On Wednesday I was lucky enough to meet the wonderful Jung Chang, author of Wild Swans and other extraordinary books about China, at the luncheon in her honour (and in honour of Erin Ganju of Room To Read) hosted jointly by the Hong Kong Literary Festival and Room to Read at the China Club in Hong Kong. Jung spoke with passion about her experiences as a child growing up in China, then later as a best-selling author in London, and the large crowd was simply mesmerised by her eloquence and dignity. And before Jung’s talk, Erin Ganju spoke of the essential work of Room to Read in developing countries in bringing literacy to literally millions of children, especially girls. Read more about their tireless work here. A big thank you to my friend Jennie Orchard of Room To Read for inviting me!

It’s World Literacy Day!!

September 8, 2017 at 6:30 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Room to Read | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

International-Literacy-Day-640x428Hooray for Room To Read on World Literacy Day 2017! I’m so honoured to be a Writer Ambassador for an organisation which has been responsible for giving millions of children (especially girls) the gift of literacy! Take a look here here to see just some of the extraordinary Room to Read projects currently underway around the world! And if you want to support their wonderful work, you can donate or sign up here. here!

logo-rtr-global

Thank you Shatin Junior School mums and dads!

September 8, 2017 at 6:15 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Hong Kong Schools, School visits | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

Last night I had the great honour of speaking to over 150 parents of Shatin Junior School students about How to Create Writers in the Digital Age. I talked about the growing body of science showing the benefits of reading print books for the brain…as well as the problems of digital addiction amongst children, from infants to teenagers, and the shortcomings of screens for developing brains. I talked about the importance of imaginative play, and limiting time spent on extra-curricular activities so that children have plenty of free time. I also talked about redesigning the home with bookshelves, reading lamps and books galore, and regular outings to bookshops and libraries to browse the shelves. And a lot more! It was great to be amongst such motivated mums and dads! Many thanks to my wonderful host Karen Middleton!

The Wonderful Whale Haiku Competition is hotting up!

August 21, 2017 at 10:45 am | Posted in children's literacy, Clever Competitions, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

humpback-whale-1945416__340

A big hello to the Grade 4 boys at Churchie in Brisbane for their fabulous Whale Haikus which I’ve just received today! I’ve loved reading them and all of you are now entered in my Wonderful Whale Haiku Competition –  well done!

And for all of you who haven’t entered yet, remember you have 40 days left to get your entries in. That might seem like a long way away but remember that time flies, and it’s often the early birds who catch the worms, to mix a few metaphors just for fun! I hope to read your entry soon!

Bring Me a Book thanks Ema Popovska, joint winner of our March Madness Minibus Photo Competition!

July 17, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Chinese Calendar Tales, Hong Kong Minibus | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

Thanks Ema Poposka.jpg

Readers will remember Ema Popovska’s fabulous winning photo (below) in our March Madness Minibus Photo Competition back in May! Well Ema decided to donate her school set of Chinese Calendar Tales to wonderful Hong Kong charity Bring Me A Book, and they were very happy to receive them! Here’s a photo of Angela Leung, one of their dedicated officers, with our books! We hope that all your community partners enjoy them!

And if you want to know more about Bring Me a Book, whose vision is to create a Hong Kong in which “every child is read to, strengthening family and community bonds, and creating a love of learning”, just click on the link here.

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.