A hugely happy day at AISHK!

February 22, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Posted in AISHK, Hong Kong Schools | Leave a comment
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Desmond Dog and I had the BEST day yesterday at my old friends, Australian International School Hong Kong, when I warmly and expertly hosted by primary librarian Nicole Atkins (above)! All the classes from Prep right up to Grade 6 met my dashing dog in four fun story reading sessions – not to mention also meeting that extraordinary pirate queen Ching Shih and her Red Flags! It’s been 9 years since I first read The Tale of Oswald Ox to the AISHK kids, and I’ve visited them almost every year since with each new Chinese Calendar Tale! It’s wonderful to think that my series has grown up with this lovely school and its teachers and students and gives me many fond memories. More photos to come, but in the meantime just look at the number of books in the photo below that Harry Harrison and I and our terrific team have created over the last 12 years!

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Aha me Japanese International School hearties!

February 8, 2018 at 8:52 am | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Japanese International School, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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With JIS Grade 6On Monday this week, Desmond, I and all the other Chinese Calendar Tales beasties braved the cold snap to visit Japanese International School, here in Hong Kong! We had four funny and fabulous story reading sessions, with the kids in fine form as dogs (woof!), pirates (aha, me hearties!) and the wicked pirate queen Ching Shih (hissss!). Many thanks to my lovely librarian friend Cath Wan for hosting me, and to the kids and staff for their warm welcome once more! I hope to see lots of JIS entries in my Dashing Dog Story Writing Competition! Here I am with the Grade 6s (above) and, below, some great listeners, and young Ema Poposka – who you may recall was joint-winner of my March Madness Minibus Photo Competition in 2017!

 

Thank you Stamford American School of Hong Kong!

January 18, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Stamford American School Hong Kong, workshops | Leave a comment
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Today I spent a fantastic day at the brand new Stamford American School of Hong Kong in Ho Man Tin! It’s a wonderful place and I really enjoyed meeting all the terrific kids and teachers! The Kindies and Grade 1s learned some fun environmental lessons with a story reading of A Dirty Story, and at the end of the session promised me hand on heart NOT to become Grots! The Grade 2s met my latest Chinese Calendar Tales character in The Tale of Desmond Dog and the Grade 3s enthusastically answered all my questions in my How to Write A Riveting Story workshop! Many thanks to the lovely Lisa Olinski (with me above) who was the perfect host! I look forward to seeing you all again tomorrow!

Desmond Dog the Hero visits Kennedy School!

January 18, 2018 at 5:37 am | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Kennedy School, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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Desmond saving catDesmond Dog, the hero of Hong Kong, is so noble he even saves drowning cats! But yesterday there was not a cat in sight when he visited the 900 kids of Kennedy School in Pok Fu Lam! We had 3 fabulous reading sessions and the kids made expert pirates and dogs with their “ah-ha-me-hearties” , “woof“s and “ROAR”s! Everybody LOVED Harry Harrison’s funny and fabulous illustrations, and was fascinated to hear the history of that notorious pirate queen Ching Shih! Many thanks to all the lovely staff and especially Jeff Moore, Head of English, who was my wonderful host! Photos to come!

Desmond starts his Hong Kong tour early!

January 16, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Story Readings, workshops, Writing competitions for kids, writing workshops for children | Leave a comment
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Front cover image without textDesmond Dog got off to an early start (a month before his official year begins!) yesterday when I visited one of my favourite Hong Kong schools, Kingston International School in Kowloon Tong! The Grade Ones met Desmond first, and as such, had naming rights for the two little creatures that Harry Harrison always adds in to his wonderful illustrations! See my next post to find out what they called them! The Lower Primary school all had fun pretending they were pirates, like the infamous baddie in the story, Ching Shih, with many a ferocious “Aha, me hearties!” but were reminded at the end of the story that Crime Doesn’t Pay! They also learned about Hong Kong’s early history! Then the Grade 4s to 6s all took part in my How to Write A Riveting Story workshop! I can’t wait to see their entries in my new Dashing Dog Story Competition! Warm thanks to Jade Englebracht who hosted me – I had a ball! More photos to come!

A wonderful morning at Diocesan Girls Junior School

December 14, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Story Readings, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Many thanks to my hosts, teacher Rachel Yu (above) and PTA parent Hynn Ming Lau, for inviting me to talk to the lovely young ladies of Grade One to Three at Diocesan Girls Junior School in Hong Kong yesterday. First I read the girls my beautiful new story Storm Whale, which was followed by dozens of eager questions about whales, some of which I had to admit were so tricky that I could not answer them! Then I gave the girls my Top 12 Tips to Become Great Writers in the Digital Age – and I was so impressed by their focus and understanding of this very topical and important subject! I’m quite sure that they will be strictly limiting their time on digital screens and greatly increasing their time spent reading books from now on! I look forward to receiving lots of DGJS story entries in my next Clever Competition! Thank you to my old friend Matt Steele of Growhouse for organising the event and co-ordinating the fabulous book sales!

Judging at the KidsLitQuiz Hong Kong!

December 14, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Hong Kong Schools | Leave a comment
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Last Friday, I had the great honour of being one of a panel of four judges at the Kids Lit Quiz Hong Kong competition held at German Swiss International School! It was great to judge alongside my friend and fellow Hong Kong author, Mio Debnam, and to catch up with my old friend GSIS Librarian Jun Niu, who is National Co-ordinator for Hong Kong.

The Kids’ Lit Quiz is an annual literature quiz for students aged 10 – 13 years. Quizzes are held in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom and USA. The winning team from each heat competes in a National Final, then the National champions compete in the World Final. The quiz was founded by New Zealand quizmaster Wayne Mills, who reads enough books to write several thousand questions each year! For more information, click here.

On Friday, over 20 teams from Hong Kong schools competed, answering questions from books as diverse as Humpty Dumpty and I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith! The winning team was Hong Kong Home School Team 1 (pictured with me above), with Harrow International School Team 1 placing second and Creative Secondary School placing third. The winning team will be representing Hong Kong in the World Finals in Auckland, New Zealand in July 2018! I wish them all the luck in the world!

Many thanks to Anne Simpson for the wonderful photos!

Thank you Think International School!

November 24, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Poetry Workshops for kids, writing workshops for children | Leave a comment
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Yesterday I spent a happy day at Think International School in Cheung Sha Wan with the Year 4 to 6 students and their team of dedicated teachers. We started with a story reading of The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster, when the kids learned a LOT of history about the end of the Chinese Empire and the growth of nationalism and communism in China at the beginning of the 20th Century – and had fun cheering for their favourite team in the Shanghai Cup! We then followed with two Introduction to Poetry workshops for the Year 4s and Year 6s, and my How to Write a Riveting Story workshop for the Year 5s! It was a full-on day of learning and fun! Thanks to my hosts Melanie Bates, and librarian Christine Olsen and assistant CK Tam (both pictured above) for a fabulous day!

Three fun poetry workshops at PLK CKY!

November 24, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Poetry Workshops for kids | Leave a comment
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On Tuesday I visited the fabulous Year 4s at PLK CKY school in Piper’s Hill, Kowloon with my Introduction to Poetry Workshop! We had great fun exploring different styles of poetry, then breaking out into groups to complete that crazy poem Let’s Destroy the School! Warmest thanks to Joli Moore, librarian, who hosted me again! It’s always such a pleasure to see you all!

A Riveting Story Time at PLK CKY!

November 3, 2017 at 9:23 am | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, PLK CKY School, workshops | Leave a comment
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A big hello to two of my favourite Hong Kong librarians Tammy Ng and Joli Moore, at Po Leung Kuk Choi Kai Yau School in Piper’s Hill, Kowloon, pictured with me above. Joli (to my left) was my wonderful host yesterday for 3 fabulous workshop sessions with the gorgeous Grade 3s, who enthusiastically joined my How to Write a Riveting Story workshop! We had lots of fun thinking working with our five senses to describe different settings and imagining great characters, and the kids all enjoyed my famous adventure story (about the missing dog and the alien abductors) and mystery story (about the missing teachers at PLK CKY :)) as we talked about correct story structure! And I showed them all my latest Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster, and my beautiful new book Storm Whale I can’t wait to meet the Grade 4s with my Poetry Workshop in 3 weeks’ time! More photos to come!

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