Happy International Literacy Day!!

September 8, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Posted in children's education, children's literacy, Room to Read | Leave a comment
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Hello my friends, today is International Literacy Day! Here’s what my wonderful friends at Room to Read have to say:

Books are the gifts that never stop giving: to our minds, our hearts and our souls. They make us informed, wise, creative and above all, happy! They are the keys to a wonderful future. But some children – especially girls – never learn to read, and this can only lead to a tragic outcome. Not just for the children themselves (and for them, being unable to read means that they will never be able to lead a happy or successful life), but also for all of us. For we can only have a peaceful, stable, healthy world when everyone holds the keys to happiness and success.

So how to achieve this? It’s easy! Just click here with Mum or Dad to read more about the hugely important work of RoomtoRead, for which I am very honoured to be a Writer Ambassador. And please give as much as you can afford on this wonderful International Literacy Day.

Hello to the Sisterhood of Readers at Salwan Public School, Delhi!

June 9, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Posted in benefits of reading books, children's literacy, girls' education, Indian schools, Salwan Public School, Delhi, Sisterhood of Readers, workshops, Zoom visits | Leave a comment
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Thank you to principal Rasshmi Malik of Salwan Public School, Delhi, for inviting me to visit her wonderful school this morning, in association with the Sisterhood of Readers, the brainchild of Ahaana Subberwal of Hong Kong International School here in Hong Kong! After telling the students all about how I became an author and the vital importance of reading lots and lots of books to a happy, healthy and wealthy life, I read my story The Tale of Run Run Rat. And then we had a terrific Q and A session, with some really interesting questions from the kids! I look forward to many future visits to this inspiring school!

Below see Ahaana Subberwal and some members of the Sisterhood of Readers with my book The Tale of Sybil Snake – a tale of female empowerment if ever there was one!

Sisterhood of Readers, Salwan Public School, Delhi

And here are some of the younger members, with The Tale of Temujin!

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Fabulous news for 60 girls for 2019!

December 19, 2019 at 7:38 am | Posted in Australian schools, children's literacy, girls' education, Room to Read | Leave a comment
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Photos courtesy of https://www.roomtoread.org/literacy-girls-education/

Wow! The Australian Writer-Ambassador team (of which I’m a very proud member) for Room to Read has had another successful year and thanks to the support of Aussie students, teachers and parents, it has EXCEEDED its goal once again! This year it has raised AUD$22,066 which is enough to educate 60 girls for a year and support them on their way to a brighter future!

Next year, 2020, is the very special 20th Anniversary year for Room to Read. If you want to help make it the year that changed everything for girls – and boys – around the world who desperately need an education, just click on the link here and see what you can do to contribute!

Well done Shiv!

December 14, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Clever Competitions, Glenealy School, Hong Kong Schools, Poetry competitions for children | Leave a comment
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Say hello to Shiv Mohan, who regularly enters my Clever Competitions, and won Third Place in the Grade 4 to 6 section of the My Favourite Season Haiku Competition (He also came third in his section in the Clever Competition before that!). Here he is accepting his prize from the Principal, Mr Briggs, at Glenealy School. Well done Shiv!

I’ll be posting details of the next Clever Competition early in the New Year – so make sure you enter! You’ve got to be in it to win it!

The international Kids’ Lit Quiz rules!!

December 11, 2019 at 7:50 am | Posted in children's literacy, Hong Kong events, Hong Kong Schools, International literacy competitions | Leave a comment
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Yesterday I had the huge pleasure of co-judging the Hong Kong Kids’ Lit Quiz 2019-2020! Twenty teams from around Hong Kong battled it out at Harrow International School HK in the exciting heats in the morning, and in the afternoon the five top scoring teams took part in the Finals! The questions were really tricky and I was so impressed by the extensive knowledge of the teams! Congratulations to the five finalist teams from German Swiss International School, King George V School, HK Homeschools (two teams) and Harrow International School Hong Kong!

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And huge congratulations to King George V School Team #1 which won the Hong Kong title with a stunning performance! Here they are above, from left to right: Ruo Zhao, Rosie Sun, Thomas Chan and Audrey Lee. They will be representing Hong Kong in the 2020 World Finals in New Zealand on 13th July 2020 against teams from Australia, Canada, Indonesia, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, the UK and USA!

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And here is the HK Kids Lit Team, flanked by Wayne Mills (the fabulous Creator and Quiz Master of Kids Lit Quiz) to the right and Yupa Mills, business manager of KLQ to the left. From second left to second right: Mary Jones (Head of Library at Harrow International School HK), Sabine Simpson (former world finalist and HK Team runner); Anne Simpson (National Co-ordinator Hong Kong), Liz Mills-Campbell (from Scholastic) and Kelsey Chau (Assistant Librarian, Harrow International School HK).

Memo to teachers and librarians: The KLQ is a great way of encouraging kids to read as widely and well as possible! And unlike other school literacy quizzes, there’s no book list to read!

Memo to kids: The KLQ is SUCH FUN!! And if you love reading, a fabulous way of testing your knowledge of all your favourite authors, books and characters!

If you want to get your school involved next year, just ask your librarian or Head of English to take a look here!

Well done Jemma Julian!

August 19, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Posted in Book Week, children's literacy, Fabulous fans! | Leave a comment
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Followers of my Clever Competitions over the years may remember Jemma Julian, a fantastic writer who regularly won places in my Clever Competitions! Jemma is now 14 years old, and I caught up with her and her lovely mum Diana Reynolds at Beecroft for lunch today! Gemma not only still writes stories, but also she is now the  published author of a beautiful book about Australian wildlife called Fiona for Fauna. Isn’t that amazing? Here she is above with her book, with Diana who drew the wonderful illustrations. Click on this link if you want to find out more!

Not only is Gemma a published writer, but also she has her own Youtube channel where you can see her singing songs she has written herself! She is such a talented person! And guess what? Gemma has always read lots and lots and lots of books! That’s how you become a highly creative and imaginative human being!

Maybe if you also keep reading lots and lots of books, and entering writing competitions like Gemma, you can become a published author and song-writer too!

A quick visit to Excelsior Public School!

August 19, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Posted in Australian schools, Awards, children's literacy, Clever Competitions, Excelsior Public School, Sydney, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Excelsior Public School prize presentation

This morning I had the huge pleasure of presenting books to some talented writers at Excelsior Public School in Sydney! You can see me above with Caitlyn, who placed Second in the Grade 4 to 6 section of The Practically Perfect Pig Tale Story Competition, as well as Gary and Isabel who also entered the competition! You can read Caitlyn’s wonderful story if you scroll down the page here!

So what are you up to these holidays?

July 11, 2019 at 1:00 pm | Posted in children's education, children's literacy, Favourite kids' books | Leave a comment
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It’s the summer holidays at last! YAY!!!! (Or the winter break if you’re down south of the Equator of course :)). School’s out, you’ve got time on your hands…so what are you up to?

Personally, I’m reading lots and lots of BOOKS! And not just because it’s my favourite way of passing the time! But also because BOOKS ARE BRILLIANT FOR YOUR BRAIN!

The latest scientific research shows that reading lots of books gives you:

  • a HUGE VOCABULARY
  • HUGE GENERAL KNOWLEDGE
  • GREAT WRITING STYLE
  • FANTASTIC FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION
  • BRILLIANT STRESS RELIEF
  • a SUPERB IMAGINATION
  • EXCEPTIONAL ORIGINALITY, CREATIVITY and IDEAS (so you can save the world!)
  • GREAT COMPASSION FOR OTHERS
  • not to mention THE BEST SCHOOL RESULTS (when you get back to school!)

If you don’t believe me, get Mum and Dad to take a look here at my talk to some Australian librarians last year – which sets out all the science they need to read!

So what are you waiting for! Put down that electronic tablet/gaming device/lap top (which only makes you good at playing games and manipulating a mouse) and pick up a fabulous BOOK!

And if you’ve read all your books, it’s time to go to your favourite library or bookshop to get some more! You can tell your Mum and Dad from me that it’s the best investment they’ll ever make for you!

HOORAY FOR BOOKS!

Not long to go now…

June 5, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Monkey story, writing competitions | Leave a comment
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Ming Kee Monkey being SUPER patient in The Tale of Ming Kee Monkey. Illustration by Harry Harrison

Thank you for your patience, all you fabulous contestants in my Practically Perfect Pig Tale Competition! My lovely helper is home from hospital and resting up, and I’m back to judging of your fantastic stories! I’m having so much fun reading them – you’ve all done a wonderful job! So it won’t be long to go now before I announce the finalists! Keep visiting my site, and I’ll be making the big announcement soon!

Just 24 days left to enter my Practically Perfect Pig Tale story competition!

April 17, 2019 at 8:55 am | Posted in children's literacy, Clever Competitions, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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the pig dancing but not including the stage_lo res

Ping Pong Pig and I would like to remind you all that there are just 24 days left to enter your story in my Practically Perfect Pig Tale Competition! Now Easter’s coming this weekend, which gives you loads of lovely time to sit down and write your story! It’s got some fabulously fun ingredients this time – so grab that pen and get writing! All the rules and how to submit are here!

And if you still haven’t bought your copy of The Tale of Ping Pong Pig, just click on this link!

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