And last but not least…two famous New York libraries!

October 16, 2019 at 2:59 am | Posted in New York | Leave a comment
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Finally, here are two of the most extraordinary libraries you could ever hope to visit!

A very expensive private library: The Pierpont Morgan Library

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I spent a whole Saturday afternoon in New York exploring this wonderful library and museum, created by one of the richest men in New York, financier J Pierpont Morgan, about one hundred years ago!

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He travelled the world collecting the rarest and most beautiful books he could find. Just imagine – I saw an original Gutenberg Bible (the earliest printed bible), one of the earliest maps of the world and one of the most beautiful bible covers in the world!

There was also a special exhibition of Maurice Sendak’s stage sets! You’ll know Maurice Sendak’s name from his great children’s classic, Where the Wild Things Are. And of course I had to buy myself another Maurice Sendak book, Swine Lake. It’s the hilarious story of a wolf who decides to eat the ballerinas in a piggy production of the ballet Swan Lake! I laughed out loud when I read it!

 

A very beautiful, large and famous public library: The New York Public Library

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The New York Public Library is the third largest public library in the world! It holds nearly 53 million items and has 92 branches throughout the city. Phew! And just look at the famous Rose Reading Room and its even more famous ceiling:

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The great astronomer and philosopher Carl Sagan once said:

” I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture, and our concern for the future, can all be tested by how well we support our libraries”

Thank you, New York, for supporting public libraries.

And on that note, I’ll end my “New York Report”! I think you’ll agree with me that it is one of the greatest cities of the world, where books, libraries, poets, writers, art and culture are celebrated and thriving.

As the T-shirts say, I LOVE NEW YORK!

My favourite bookshops in New York!

October 15, 2019 at 8:24 am | Posted in New York | Leave a comment
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New York is FULL of readers who love books! So of course, there are some fantastic bookshops, and some day soon I hope to see my books there! Here are just three of my favourites.

Books of Wonder

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I loved this beautiful bookshop for children. Everywhere I looked, there were my favourite story characters on the walls, the shelves, even the revolving doors! Here you can see just a small sample, with one of the wonderful members of staff!

 

The Strand Bookstore

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This is one of the most famous bookshops in New York, and as the banner says, it has 18 miles of books for sale inside! You can even buy books by the foot!

 

Albertine

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Last but not least is this exquisite French bookshop in fashionable 5th Avenue! I bought my lovely French husband some books here, which has made him very happy! Just look at the ceiling! Isn’t it beautiful?

 

Just say it after me: WE LOVE BOOKSHOPS!!!

Hans Christian Andersen, Alice in Wonderland…and me!

October 15, 2019 at 7:57 am | Posted in New York | Leave a comment
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Here I am in Central Park, New York, with one of my favourite children’s authors – the great Hans Christian Andersen, author of some of the most famous children’s stories of all time, like The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes, Thumbelina and The Little Mermaid. I thought I’d read aloud The Tale of Ping Pong Pig, but I think the duck preferred Hans Christian Andersen’s story!

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And here is the wonderful statue of Alice in Wonderland with her friends the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit, just nearby – isn’t it wonderful?

Poets of New York!

October 15, 2019 at 7:38 am | Posted in New York | Leave a comment
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I love poetry, don’t you? And New York is FULL of poetry and poets! Here is a wonderful poet I met outside the New York Central Library, Garrett Buhl Robinson, who read me one of his beautiful poems. You can hear it too if you click on the link! And you can find out more about him here!

Garrett was so much fun, and he wanted to hear all about my poems too! He very kindly invited me to a poetry reading that evening, where I met some other famous New York poets, including the fabulous Chocolate Waters and James B. Nicola! They invited me to an Open Mic, where people can perform their own poems, the very next day!

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And I did! Here I am outside the venue, with the fabulous name of Otto’s Shrunken Head!

A famous Hippo…and a Rat in New York!

October 15, 2019 at 4:38 am | Posted in New York | Leave a comment
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Meet the most beautiful Hippo in New York, on the Flatiron South Plaza in Downtown New York! Isn’t she simply gorgeous!

But as they say, no matter where you are in any big city, there’s a Rat nearby! Here’s a giant Rat I saw when I was sitting in a taxi. Whoaar!!

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Now Run Run Rat would like to point out that he might not be quite as big, but he’s much faster!

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Illustration by Harry Harrison

Squirrels of New York (and some sparrows…)

October 15, 2019 at 4:17 am | Posted in New York | Leave a comment
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I don’t know about you, but to me, there’s something very special about squirrels! And in Central Park there are hundreds of them (probably thousands), going about their business with great industry, just like any good New Yorker, with no regard for the noise we humans make! Here is a video I took, just for fun!

And just so they don’t feel left out, some rather cute little sparrows having a bird bath!

 

Dogs of New York!

October 15, 2019 at 3:56 am | Posted in New York | Leave a comment
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Now my visit to New York was very busy, but I couldn’t resist taking photographs and recording videos as I went to and from my meetings! So in my next few posts I’m going to show you some of the fantastic things I saw and heard on my trip, which will inspire you to visit The Big Apple just as soon as you can!

Dogs of New York

IMG_0150A gorgeous mosaic of a very dapper dog in the New York subway!

IMG_9749Have you ever seen so many dogs being walked in one go? Professional dog walkers walking dogs to Central Park!

IMG_0042Dogs in a shop window!

IMG_0358The ultimate in Dog Fashion!

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Dog Day Care, grooming, walking, whatever you want when money is no object! Near Wall Street of course!

If I ever come back as a dog, I think I’d like to be a Dog in New York! And Desmond Dog does too! Woof!Front cover image without text

Illustration by Harry Harrison

New York! New York!

October 14, 2019 at 2:36 pm | Posted in New York, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Hello again! I’ve just spent a wonderful week in New York with the Chinese Calendar Tales and it’s been fantastic fun! So I thought I’d write a post all about it to tell you what I’ve been up to!

With the Chinese Calendar Tales series now completed, and our beautiful Boxed Set selling brilliantly in Hong Kong, I thought it was about time that I showed the books off to some important people in New York!

Monday 7 October: The China Institute

Here I am below outside the fabulous China Institute in Washington Street. I met up with Shenzhan Liao, Head of the School of Chinese Studies, as well as Public Programming Manager Aaron Nicholson and the President, James Heimowitz. And I returned there just before the end of my trip to leave them with most of my Boxed Set! It was fantastic to meet everyone and to see their beautiful new facilities! You can read more about the Institute here.

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Tuesday 8 October: The Asia Society, New York

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On Tuesday I spent the afternoon at the Asia Society in Park Avenue with the lovely Lauren Smith, Buyer, Books and Media.

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After our meeting, I was very lucky to see their remarkable exhibition of modern Chinese calligraphy by Wang Donling. You can read more about the Asia Society here.

 

Wednesday 9 October

On chilly, rainy Wednesday, I caught the subway to Long Island City, where I met Xiaoning Wang, CEO of ChinaSprout, a leading supplier of Chinese Cultural Educational Products. I’m very excited to report that ChinaSprout will be supplying the Chinese Calendar Tales to buyers in the United States and Canada! You can find out more about the company here.

Thursday 10 October

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Then on Thursday, I spent a fantastic afternoon with Seph Duong, Director of Programs and Guest Experience at MOCA, the Museum of Chinese in America in Centre Street near China Town in Downtown New York! I also met his colleagues Jeff Van Damme and Jeffrey Reynolds. All of them are gifted performance artists as well as dedicated staff at MOCA and it was a privilege to meet them! You can see me with Seph (right) and Jeffrey (left) below with “our” Zodiac animals! You can find out more about MOCA here!

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It was such a fabulous opportunity to meet everybody, and I’m so happy that they loved the books! I’ll see you all again at Chinese New Year in January 2020!

I cannot close this post without thanking my friend and inspirational guide Alice Mong, Executive Director of the Asia Society here in Hong Kong, for all the wonderful introductions, help, and suggestions which made my visit such a success. Thank you so much Alice! You can find out more about the Asia Society Hong Kong and its fantastic work here.

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