Time’s Up! And the judging begins…

May 18, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Posted in Beijing Schools, Chicago schools, Clever Competitions, Hong Kong Schools, Melbourne schools, Shanghai schools, Sydney schools | Leave a comment
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Time’s up in my Practically Perfect Pig Tale Competition, and it’s time to start judging your fabulous entries! I’ve had over 50 magnificent entries from schools in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Melbourne, Sydney and Chicago – so it might take me a little bit of time!

So please be patient, all you clever writers out there, and Ping Pong Pig and I will be singing out the results as soon as we can!

A Writing Workshop at St Clare’s Primary School!

May 9, 2019 at 10:31 am | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, St Clare's Primary School, Writing competitions for kids, writing workshops for children | Leave a comment
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Here are the fabulous girls of Grades 4 to 6 at St Clare’s Primary School in Sai Ying Pun in Hong Kong preparing to contribute their clever ideas in my How to Write a Riveting Story Workshop on Tuesday this week! They had some fantastic ideas for stories! They learned all about the vital elements in a story, and how to make a story plan that makes a perfect skeleton story. I also explained some of the current science about the extraordinary importance of reading for leisure and pleasure if you want to have a creative and successful life – and the very real problems for the brain if you spend your spare time on digital screens, especially social media and digital games. Thank you to lovely English Panel Head, Ms. Sandy (with me below right), and to School Principal Elsa Hui (below left), for inviting me. The girls were a delight and I look forward to working with them again! And, of course, to their entries in my Clever Competition!

It’s Book Week at DBIS!

May 2, 2019 at 6:56 pm | Posted in Discovery Bay International School, Hong Kong Schools, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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This week is Book Week at Discovery Bay International School, and I was honoured to be part of their celebrations today! The whole of primary school from Year 1 to Year 6 met my latest and last Chinese Calendar Tales character, the feisty Ping Pong Pig, not to mention the mighty Yongle Emperor and his crafty Minister of Most Important Things, in three funny and fabulous story readings of The Tale of Ping Pong Pig. Then I spent a fun twenty minutes during the lunch hour with the DBIS Battle of the Books team, who had just come back from the Hong Kong Semi-Finals, where they placed a very impressive Second! Well done to the DBIS BOBS!

You can see me with Head of English, Mr Jonnie Haines’, Class 5JH, above, and below, with my lovely host, school librarian Melanie Foti.

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And below, you can meet wonderful DBIS author and illustrator, Luka Van der Noord, creator of The Adventures of Sticko! He’s already written and printed eight books! Keep up the good work, Luka! You’ll be selling in bookstores soon!

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Last but not least, a message to all you DBIS writers – I’ve decided to extend the deadline for my story competition for just one more week to give you all time to get your stories in! So the deadline will now be midnight on Friday 17th May 2019! Just click here to find out all the rules and special ingredients for your entry!

Fabulous fun writing poetry at PLK CKY today!

February 20, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, PLK CKY School, Poetry Workshops for kids, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I had so much fun today with the Year 4s at my old friends at Po Leung Kuk Choi Kai Yau School at Piper’s Point today! I talked to the kids about writing my favourite rhyming verse, then after a few rhyming and rhythm exercises they got down to work to complete a funny poem called Let’s Destroy the School! in perfect rhythm and rhyme! At the end of each session, the first groups to finish got to read their masterpieces out to the class! Warm thanks to Joli Moore, to my left above, who was my wonderful host for the day! And kids – remember, writing poems is FUN!

The Kennedy School kids meet Ping Pong Pig!

February 17, 2019 at 10:13 am | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Kennedy School, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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On Wednesday I took my tasty little Ping Pong Pig to meet all my old friends at Kennedy School in Pok Fu Lam! 900 kiddies from Year 1 to Year 6 made that difficult choice between crispy pork and cute pink pigs as they exhorted Ping Pong to Run Pig Run! or Stay Pig Stay! while the crafty Minister of Most Important Things tried to track her down, in four delicious story reading sessions! A big Thank You to English Co-ordinator Jeff Moore for inviting me in, and assistant librarian Susan Mifsud (below to my right, with Michelle Spratt teacher librarian to my left) for being such a welcoming host! And to all you Kennedy kids – I look forward to receiving your entries in my new Clever Competition!

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A great day at CAIS!

February 17, 2019 at 8:57 am | Posted in Christian Alliance International School, Hong Kong Schools, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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On Tuesday I visited the fabulous new Butterfly Valley campus of Christian Alliance International School! The Prep and Grade 1 kiddies met my hungry, lonely dragon in The Tale of Chester Choi, and everybody else up to Grade 6 just LOVED PORK when we shared The Tale of Ping Pong Pig! Warm thanks to teacher librarian Phebe Liu (to my left, above) for inviting me, and assistant librarian Eunice and tech wizard Brunel for looking after me so well! More photos to come!

Ping Pong Pig visits Japanese International School in Tai Po!

February 11, 2019 at 3:39 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Japanese International School, Story Readings, writing workshops for children | Leave a comment
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Today my plump little Ping Pong Pig and I dashed into Japanese International School in Tai Po, just up the road from my house! We met the gorgeous Grade 1s, 2s, 3s and 4s in two funny story readings, then the Grade 5s and 6s had two workshop sessions where we explored How to Write a Riveting Story! It was so great to see you all again! Many thanks to my lovely hosts below, Principal Simon Walton (who also fixed my car at lunchtime when the battery ran out!), and Cath Wan, librarian and PYP co-ordinator, to my right, as well as to the terrific staff including support teacher Angie Bilbow on the far right in the picture! I had a lot of fun!

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A Funny and Fabulous Visit to Shatin Junior School!

February 4, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Shatin Junior School | Leave a comment
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Illustration credit: Harry Harrison. From The Tale of Ping Pong Pig.

My second school visit last week, on Wednesday, was to my dear friends at Shatin Junior School, just around the corner from my office in Fo Tan! In four very noisy and animated sessions all the kids from P1 to P6 made friends with Ping Pong Pig, and echoes of “Run Pig! Run!” could be heard in the playground in all the breaks! Above, you can see Ping Pong heading off to the Forbidden City in the evil clutches of the Minister of Most Important Things! Run Pig! Run! And below, me and my toy pig Paavo (cousin of Ping Pong Pig) with a fabulous bunch of Year 6 Pig lovers!

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A wonderful visit to Beacon Hill School in Kowloon Tong!

February 4, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Posted in Beacon Hill School, Hong Kong Schools | Leave a comment
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Last week I visited two lovely schools with Ping Pong Pig and all her Chinese Zodiac animal cousins! Here I am above with a fabulous hall of students at Beacon Hill School in Kowloon Tong! All the primary school classes met my new Chinese Calendar Tales character Ping Pong in 4 big, fun sessions, and cheered on my little pig as she kept escaping the clutches of the wily Minister of Most Important Things in his attempt to win favour with the third Ming Dynasty Emperor Zhu Di! Many thanks, as ever, to the lovely Emily Jeves, Deputy Principal, for inviting me in and being such a great host! Here we both are with our own animal signs (I’m a Rat and Emily is a Dragon, and we both love that Ping Pong Pig) below!

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A fantastic Thursday at Shrewsbury College Hong Kong!

January 25, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Parent workshops, Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong, Story Readings | 1 Comment
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Yesterday I drove down to Tseung Kwan O to visit the beautiful campus at Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong! My lovely hosts Beth McNeilly, School Librarian, and Jane Wong, Library Assistant, gave me a fantastic welcome! I introduced all the kids from Grade 2 to Grace 6 to my pretty Ping Pong Pig, and then spoke to some dedicated parents all about How to Create Bookworms in the Digital Age. It was a wonderful day! Thanks Beth for the photos below!

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