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
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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
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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!

Friday: Hutchins School Visit!

May 30, 2018 at 9:33 am | Posted in Australian schools, Hobart, The Hutchins School, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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My Hobart visit kicked off with a fabulous morning with the boys at The Hutchins Junior School! It just happened to be National Simultaneous Story Time that very morning, so we started off with a fabulous story from the Headmaster, Dr Rob McEwen! He was a spectacular story-reader! Then the Grade 1 to 3 boys listened to me reading Storm Whale¬†and simply didn’t stop asking questions and making some great observations about whales afterwards! Before my second session, the Grade 4 to 6 boys and I listened to the Deputy Principal Alan Jones (wearing a very interesting hat!) reading yet another story to the kids, after which I introduced them to the evil pirate queen Ching Shih and some fabulous Chinese history with¬†The Tale of Desmond Dog! Many thanks to my dear friend, and head librarian, Kate Read, for inviting me again! More photos to come!

Interview with ABC Hobart last Friday!

May 30, 2017 at 7:06 pm | Posted in Hobart, Radio interviews | Leave a comment
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I was lucky enough to meet the famous Louise Saunders, of ABC Radio Drive, last Friday afternoon in Hobart, and we had a lovely long chat about Storm Whale, the inspiration behind it, and the writing process. You can listen to the interview on this link!

http://www.abc.net.au/radio/hobart/programs/drive/storm-whale/8568362

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!

Rickshaw Rooster meets Hobart kids at Fullers Bookshop on Saturday!

May 26, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Posted in Books about Chinese Zodiac, Bookshop event, Children's Chinese Zodiac Books, Chinese festivals, Chinese New Year, Hobart | Leave a comment
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Rickshaw Rooster is saying a big HELLOOOO to Hobart tomorrow at Fullers Bookshop at 3pm in a fun belated Chinese New Year event to celebrate the Year of the Rooster! We’ll have laisee packets with tasty money, a fun story reading, a book-signing, a quiz with fun prizes for kids, mums and dads, and even some free Year of the Rooster bookmarks! So if you’re in Hobart this Saturday afternoon, come along and join the fun!

Cock-a-doodle-DOOOOO!

A marvellous morning at St Mary’s College

May 26, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Posted in Australian schools, children's literacy, Hobart, St Mary's College, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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What a fun morning I had today at St Mary’s College here in Hobart, introducing my Chinese Calendar Tales! My lonely dragon Chester Choi and I met all the lovely girls and boys of Prep to Year 1, and vain but loveable Pin Yin Panda and I met all the kids in Years 2 and 3! It was a joy to work with such a lovely lot of kids and their dedicated teachers. Warm thanks to lovely Deputy Director of Junior School, Glynis Devereux, who was my host for the day, and to librarian Marylouise Jones, who invited me! I hope to see you all again soon!

 

Helloooo St Michael’s Collegiate girls!

May 25, 2017 at 4:38 pm | Posted in Australian schools, Hobart, Story Readings, workshops | Leave a comment
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Today I spent a fabulous morning at St Michael’s Collegiate Middle School and a fantastic afternoon at Collegiate Junior School in South Hobart! The Grade 5s and Grade 4s worked very hard – with a lot of fun thrown in – in two Introduction to Poetry Workshops, with some excellent work in rhyming words, solving limerick puzzles and writing a group haiku about their teachers :). The Grade 6 girls learned all about Publishing a Picture Book from Brilliant Idea to Final Product:- I do hope you find it helpful when you make your picture books later this year girls! And the gorgeous Grades 2 to 4 heard my Tale of Rickshaw Rooster and learned some fascinating Chinese history! And afterwards I signed lots and lots of books for my new fans! It was such fun to meet you all and I’m sure I’m going to get some terrific entries from you all in my upcoming Clever Competitions! Huge thanks to the lovely Jodie Heath for inviting me and being such a stellar host! More photos to come!

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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!

An Homage to Hobart with my mischievous Monkey!

March 5, 2016 at 4:27 pm | Posted in Hobart, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Farewell to my beautiful home town Hobart, which I left with great sadness to return home to Hong Kong yesterday! It was wonderful to come home to my family, and Bobby our dog of course, but I’m already missing the clear skies, incredible beauty, peace and calm of Hobart, and of course the delicious food, my Tassie relatives, and my friends both new and old!

So here is an homage to my birthplace, in company with my cute Monkey Bear, a.k.a. Monkey Monkey, cousin of my mischievous Ming Kee Monkey!

Early morning, Sandy Bay by the yacht club (there were even wild ducks and galahs on the grass!)

Afternoon at MONA (Tasmania’s world-famous Museum of Old and New Art), at Berriedale, nestled amongst grapevines on a bend in the Derwent River!

Driving home via Cornelian Bay, with its pretty boathouses and view of The Tasman Bridge:

We dropped in to see the Governor at Tasmania’s beautiful Government House, by the Botanical Gardens, but sadly nobody let us in!

Dusk at the famous Salamanca Place with Kelly’s Steps…

And finally, Battery Point; heritage-listed and full of historical buildings, with my dear school friend Sally Kennedy (nee Barrett) posing with Monkey Monkey in Arthur’s Circus!

Goodbye beautiful Hobart, I’ll be back next year with my next book for the Year of the Rooster!

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