Visit to Shatin Junior by Zoom!

March 2, 2020 at 11:06 am | Posted in Chinese New Year, Hong Kong Schools, School visits, Shatin Junior School, Video, Year of the Rat, Zoom visits | Leave a comment
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I just visited the kids and teachers Shatin Junior School by Zoom, to do a fun live story reading of The Tale of Run Run Rat! We had over 120 kids logging in! Thanks so much to teachers Trudy McMillin and James Haworth for organising and hosting this fun online event! Below you can see a couple of fun video clips, and above, some photos. You can even see my little dog Mozart in one of them, enjoying the story!

Ready, steady, GO! The Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 starts NOW!

February 24, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Posted in Asia Society Hong Kong, Challenges and activities, Chinese New Year, The Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 | Leave a comment
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Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 cover illo

Asia Society and I are hugely excited to announce the beginning of our Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020, with fabulous prizes to be won! It’s open to all students of primary school age, especially those who are stuck at home at present! You can register right away, and you’ll have our Information Sheets and Challenge Checklist within 48 hours. You have until midnight, Sunday 15th March to get your completed entries in! Click on the form below to find out more and to register!

And good luck!

0224 The Year of the Rat Challenge (with List of Challenges)

Run Run Rat at the China Institute in New York!

February 8, 2020 at 11:32 am | Posted in China Institute New York, Chinese New Year, Events, New York | Leave a comment
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Run Run Rat scampered into the China Institute Chinese New Year Family Celebration last Sunday, and here he is having his story read by a lovely China Institute story-teller! I am assured that the room was chockful of kiddies and their parents! I can’t wait to meet some of them in person when I fly out to New York later in the year!

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Thank you so much Michael Buening, Operations Director at the China Institute in New York, for inviting me, being so flexible when I had to cancel, and sending me these lovely photos! I’ll see you all soon!

Seven big reasons why I love Hong Kong!

February 5, 2020 at 11:21 am | Posted in Chinese New Year, Dragon dance, Hong Kong, Hong Kong events | Leave a comment
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For all the recent doom and gloom about viruses and protests, Hong Kong, my home for the last 21 years, is still one of my favourite places in the world! And here are just a few reasons why I ESPECIALLY love Hong Kong at Chinese New Year!

Blue, blue skies above spectacular architecture!

Chinese New Year really is the best time of year in Hong Kong weather-wise, with low humidity and lovely bright days with cool nights – yum! And its buildings are fantastic! Above are just a few that I snapped on a brisk walk from Wanchai into Central the other day!

Flowers, flowers everywhere!

Chinese New Year is the time for spectacular fruit and flower displays at home, in the office, and on every street corner! Above are just a few I spotted on my walk through the city centre!

Extraordinary trees, some literally hanging off the walls!

The city is home to some of the most glorious banyan trees, with their aerial roots and extraordinary root systems making them a unique part of this unique city!

Fabulous decorations in shopping malls!

And in shops…

 

And in the streets…

 

And all the excitement of Dragon Dances!

Here’s a short video I took in Saikung village, in the New Territories, where four different teams of dancers, drummers and their followers circulated around the village, spreading good fortune for the New Year! Here you can see a Black Lion entering a small shop, to receive the gift of a lettuce, which it “eats” to ensure the prosperity of the shop for the coming year!

Run Run Rat goes to New York…and hits the New York Times!

February 1, 2020 at 10:33 am | Posted in China Institute New York, Chinese New Year, Events, New York, New York Times, Year of the Rat | Leave a comment
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Hooray! Run Run Rat has run all the way to New York, where he’ll meet hundreds of kids, mums and dads at the China Institute during their special Chinese New Year Family Festival this Sunday! Take a look at this link in the famous New York Times: Seven Things to Do with your Kids in NYC this Weekend! I’m so sad that I can no longer be there to read out loud the funny and fabulous story of his adventures travelling around China, where he ends up running in a rather famous race during the Beijing Olympics! But a lovely story teller from China Institute will be telling his story in my place, and showing Harry Harrison’s fabulous pictures up on a screen to the audience during the afternoon, and for an ambitious little Rat, that’s very exciting! Especially in the Year of the Rat!

I’ll be posting lots of photos after the event. Huge thanks to Michael Buening, Director of Operations at the Institute, for inviting me and Run Run to take part in this fantastic event, and for his generosity and understanding over the last few days. I know the event is going to be just fantastic!

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Kung Hei Fat Choi! It’s time for a Rascally Rat Tale writing competition!

January 24, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Posted in Chinese Calendar Tales, Chinese New Year, Clever Competitions | Leave a comment
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Picture credit: Harry Harrison, The Tale of Run Run Rat

Kung Hei Fat Choi! It’s Chinese New Year! My feisty Run Run Rat is telling his family all about his adventurous plans for his trip around China. His mum is busy baking some delicious steam buns for a Chinese New Year feast! His dad is taking a break from his hard work as a miner, and his big sister is STILL filing her claws!! As for Run Run’s little brother – he’s wondering how many egg tarts he can gobble up before his mum notices!

So it’s high time we had another writing competition!

It’s open to anyone, anywhere in the world who is:

  • a primary or elementary school student from Grade 1 to Grade 6
  • or home-educated students of equivalent stage

This time I want you to write me a story about a rascally Rat, set in China, with the following further ingredients:

  • a Chinese emperor
  • a brainy princess
  • three magic tangerines
  • an evil talking dumpling
  • the colour malachite (if you don’t know what that is, then look it up!)
  • a long drought

Click on my Clever Competitions page right away to find out what I’ll be looking for, and all the competition rules!

The deadline date is Friday 17th April, so you have 3 months to write your story! And with a fabulous Chinese New Year holiday just starting, you could begin your story plan right away!

What a fabulous way to start your celebrations for the Year of the Rat! Run Run Rat would surely approve!

And if you don’t have your copy of The Tale of Run Run Rat yet, click here to purchase right away!

A fabulous visit to the Grade 3s at Canadian International School!

January 22, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Posted in Canadian International School Hong Kong, Chinese festivals, Chinese New Year, Hong Kong Schools | Leave a comment
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A big HELLO to the fabulous Grade 3s at Canadian International School, who I visited on Monday! They’re currently learning about how culture is reflected through story-telling, so a funny story reading of The Tale of Pin Yin Panda, which retells the ancient Chinese legend of Lord Buddha’s Race and how the 12 animals got into the Chinese Zodiac, was just the ticket! After the story reading we had a terrific Q and A session where we discussed the real reason why pandas aren’t in the Chinese Zodiac, as well as why all the other animals are! Many thanks to teacher-librarian Colleen Williams (below) for hosting me!

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Thank you Bookazine for a fabulous Hong Kong event!

January 21, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Posted in Book signings, Bookazine Princes Building, Chinese New Year, Hong Kong events, Room to Read | Leave a comment
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A big THANK YOU to Bookazine for hosting a fabulous event last Saturday to celebrate the upcoming Year of the Rat – and our wonderful city of Hong Kong – at the beautiful Centricity in Central! A huge bunch of kids, mums and dads came along to hear three fantastic Hong Kong story readings from three fabulous Hong Kong authors, and take part in some fun Chinese New Year activities! They even got to meet Geronimo Stilton!

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Of course we had to celebrate the 12th Birthday of The Tale of Run Run Rat, the very first of the Chinese Calendar Tales, which even outsold Harry Potter for 6 weeks in Hong Kong when it was released in 2008! Here I am, above, reading the story to the audience. We had a lot of fun following Run Run from his humble Chinese village all around China to the Olympics Marathon in Beijing!

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Then everyone trooped into the activity room to make my rather tricky Rat Mask – I was SO impressed with all the masks the kids made, with a little bit of help from their parents! I think the mums and dads especially had a lot of fun! I’ll be posting details shortly, so you can make the mask too!

After that, Karen Jane Ho and Jessamy Woolley gave two fabulously entertaining story readings – and trips around Hong Kong’s special places – with their beautiful books Emi Takes Hong Kong and Billy the Cavalier and Friends. And then everyone made some gorgeous Chinese New Year decorations…and played Hong Kong Bingo!

Thank you again to Arti and Shonee Mirchandani of Bookazine, their events manager Clemence Robine, and of course Mrs Mirchandani with her steadfast support! Here we are below:

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And thank you to all the lovely fans who came up to say hello and get their books signed afterwards!

And last but not least, thank you to my dear friend Jennie Orchard, of my favourite children’s literacy charity Room to Read, who came along to support us all. Here we are below with my beautiful Boxed Set of Chinese Calendar Tales.

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We all had a wonderful afternoon!

Happy New Year 2020 – and a fabulous event next Saturday to celebrate Chinese New Year!

January 12, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Posted in Book signings, Bookshop event, Chinese New Year, Chinese Zodiac, Hong Kong events | Leave a comment
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A very Happy New Year to you all for 2020! I hope that it’s filled with fun and laughter and wonderful events for all my lovely fans…including this very special Year of the Rat event by my favourite Hong Kong bookshop Bookazine on Saturday 18th January from 2-5pm at a very special venue at Centricity, 2nd Floor, Landmark Chater, Central!

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We’ll be celebrating my feisty and ambitious Run Run Rat of course :), with a fun story reading followed by a chance to make your own Rat Mask! Then we’ll be celebrating our beautiful city of Hong Kong with story readings by my fabulous fellow Hong Kong authors Jane Karen Ho and Jessamy Woolley, who will respectively host a CNY decoration-making session and a fun game of Hong Kong Wildlife Bingo!

Not to mention special appearances by the most famous rat in the world, Geronimo Stilton! Wow!

So make sure you book your ticket NOW at this link so you don’t miss out! I can’t wait to see you there!

Ping Pong Pig visits the Asia Society!

February 24, 2019 at 11:41 am | Posted in Asia Society, Chinese festivals, Chinese New Year, Events, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Ping Pong Pig and I visited the Asia Society yesterday for a lovely afternoon with some scrumptious kids, mums, dads and some fabulous grandmas! We had so much shouting to that plump little pig to “Run Pig Run!” or “Stay Pig Stay!” as the Minister of Most Important Things tried to track her down, and winning mini-pandas during my quiz! And the kids really learned their Ming Dynasty history too, with some impressively accurate answers to some of my tricky questions! Many thanks to the lovely Pauline Wong who hosted me for the event, and to CEO Alice Mong for asking me in!

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