A fabulous day at The Peak School!

October 14, 2019 at 9:47 am | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Poetry Workshops for kids, Story Readings, The Peak School, Writing competitions for kids, writing workshops for children | Leave a comment
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It’s been a HUGELY busy fortnight, and first of all I have to let you all know about my fabulous day at The Peak School back on Thursday 3rd October! We had a fun day of story readings and workshops for everyone from Year 3 to Year 6! We started with my How to Write a Riveting Story workshop for the Year 6s; next came an Introduction to Poetry for the Year 4s; the Year 5s then learned all the science explaining why Books are a Brain’s Best Friend, and finally the Year 3s had a funny story reading of The Tale of Ping Pong Pig where they learned all about the mighty Yongle Emperor, and cheered as Ping Pong Pig evaded the cunning Minister of Most Important Things! Thank you to lovely librarian Rebecca Rigden Green for being such a wonderful host! And I can’t wait to receive all your entries in my Clever Competition!

A funny and fabulous day at Rose Bay Public School!

August 20, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Posted in Australian schools, Poetry Workshops for kids, Rose Bay Public School, Story Readings, Sydney schools, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Today I visited wonderful Rose Bay Public School, where I worked with all the classes from Kindy to Year 6!

The Kindies and Years 1 and 2 heard me read my story Storm Whale, and saw all of Jane Tanner’s beautiful illustrations up on the screen. We shared some fascinating facts about sperm whales, and how we can help them to survive.  Then I introduced them to my Chinese Calendar Tales and the characters of the Chinese Zodiac! They were very surprised to learn that Captain Cook was born in the Year of the Rat, and Winnie the Pooh was born in the Year of the Tiger!

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Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 heard me read my latest Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Ping Pong Pig – and had a lot of fun filling in the missing words! Congratulations to the Bandicoot Team in Years 5 and 6 which narrowly defeated the Echidna Team in filling in the blanks! I hope that this afternoon has inspired you all to have a go at writing your own rhyming verse…I have a feeling that you will be rather good at it!

And, of course, I hope that you’re all going to enter my next Clever Competition for kids which will be announced on this blog on the 1st of September!

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Huge thanks to lovely librarian Sarah Skelton (above right) and her fabulous assistant Gill Davidson for hosting me today! I wonder if you can guess what year of the Chinese Zodiac we were each born in?

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!

Hello Brisbane!!

October 24, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Posted in Australian schools, Awards, Brisbane schools, Poetry Workshops for kids | Leave a comment
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new-farm-park-with-brisbane-skyline-in-the-background_photosbyfarrPhoto credit https://blog.queensland.com/2017/10/26/jacarandas-south-east-queensland/

I’ve been in Brisbane this week for a wonderful 5 days to attend the awards ceremony for the Queensland Literary Awards, to visit some of my favourite Brisbane schools, and to visit my family! It’s jacaranda time in Brisbane, when the beautiful blue blooms on the jacaranda trees mean that students should be studying hard for their end-of-year exams!

On Tuesday morning, I visited my old friends at Churchie (Anglican Church Grammar School) in East Brisbane, where the fabulous Grade 3 boys identified haikus, unscrambled limericks and did some rapid rhyming exercises in my Introduction to Poetry Workshop! Many thanks to lovely primary teacher librarian Alison Findlay for expertly hosting me! We had a lot of fun!

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On Tuesday evening, my lovely daughter Bea, my brother and sister-in-law accompanied me to the Awards Ceremony for the Queensland Literary Awards 2018! You’ll remember that Storm Whale, my beautiful book with artist Jane Tanner and published last year by Allen & Unwin, was one of the 5 children’s books short-listed for the Griffith University Children’s Book Award. Here it is, displayed at left on the screen above! The Elephant by Peter Carnavas won the award in our section. It was such an exciting event, and I got to meet some of my amazing fellow authors and judges afterwards! Below you’ll see Storm Whale sitting very happily on the sales table with other fabulous short-listed titles!

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Today I dropped into two great Brisbane schools to say hello and to introduce them to my Chinese Calendar Tales. Below you’ll see me with some cuties at St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School, sitting astride their famous dragon mascot with a copy of The Tale of Chester Choi! See you all next year girls! Many thanks to their lovely primary principal Angela Drysdale and librarian Donna Jackson for the warm welcome!

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Finally, I met the fab team at my new Australian distributors, Novella Distribution in Capalaba! Below, the lovely Rochelle Manners is standing with their wombat mascot, and a very special small wombat which appears to have learned how to climb trees! Thanks girls for a great meeting, and for my new baby wombat, which I’ve christened The Barefoot ‘Bat!

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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!

Helloooo Brisbane…and my last school visit of the tour- with the boys of Churchie!

June 5, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Posted in Australian schools, Brisbane schools, Clever Competitions, Poetry Workshops for kids | Leave a comment
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Thank you Churchie (Anglican Church Grammar School) in Brisbane for a fabulous day today! I met all the Fantastic Grade Fours in four fun sessions of my Introduction to Poetry Workshop and we had a good old mental workout unscrambling limericks, identifying haikus, writing acrostics about some long-suffering teachers (who were very good sports!) and rhyming words! AND talking about the vital importance of reading books to the development of a great vocabulary, an even greater imagination, not to mention a great life! I hope to see loads of Churchie entries in my next Clever Competition! And last but not least, my warmest thanks to my lovely host for the day, librarian Rose Hoger (see above)!

A fab morning at GSIS!

May 10, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Posted in Poetry Workshops for kids, School visits | Leave a comment
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Thank you to my dear friend Megan Lindsay for inviting me for a fabulous morning of talks with the Year 5s and Year 6s in the international stream at GSIS! I really enjoyed telling the kids all about how I wrote The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster and the fascinating history behind it, and then to challenge them to replace many of the sophisticated words I used in the verse with words of their own choice! They came up with some excellent ideas – I’m quite sure that many of them are rather good poets themselves! I can’t wait to see their entries in my next Clever Competition! Here I am with Megan below!

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Another fun day at PLK CKY School!

November 24, 2016 at 6:13 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Poetry Workshops for kids | Leave a comment
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Today I had a lot of fun with the fabulous Grade 4s of PLK CKY School at Piper’s Hill, Hong Kong, in three busy sessions, with my Introduction to  Poetry Workshop. The sessions ended with some great group work completing a poem called Let’s Destroy the School in perfect rhythm and rhyme! Many thanks to the fabulous Joli Moore, primary librarian, for hosting me!

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