A fun day at Green Oasis School in Shenzhen!

May 21, 2018 at 8:32 am | Posted in Green Oasis School, School visits, Shenzhen Schools, Story Readings, workshops | Leave a comment
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On Wednesday last week I took a train ride across the Chinese border to Shenzhen, where the lovely Rachael Taylor (photo above left) hosted me for a fabulous day at Green Oasis School! The Year 1s and 2s met my dashing Desmond Dog in a fun story reading with some fantastic pirate faces and growls from the kids and teachers too! Years 3 and 4 heard all about The Making of a Story Book as I took them on a step by step journey through the writing and publishing of The Tale of Desmond Dog. Then Years 5 and 7 learned all about How to Become a Great Writer – with a bit of a challenge to the Grade 7s to get OFF their digital screens and INTO reading lots and lots of books in their leisure time! And lastly the Year 6s learned all the tricks and tools in my popular workshop How to Write a Riveting Story. And after that I met some gorgeous fans when I signed books for a whole lot of kids, mums and dads! Thanks Rachael – and all the students and staff – for another busy and memorable day at Green Oasis!

Brrr!!!! I’m in Beijing for a fun fortnight!

January 21, 2018 at 7:19 pm | Posted in Beijing Schools, School visits, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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And just like Oswald in The Tale of Oswald Ox, in this fabulous illustration by Harry Harrison above, my mind is on the weather! I’m told it will be -4C tomorrow at NOON! But I must admit that it’s great to have an excuse to pull out my thick winter coat for once!

Tonight I’m staying at Keystone Academy, a beautiful school just near Beijing Capital International Airport, where for the next two days I’ll be meeting the primary school kids and teachers in some fantastic sessions all about the inspiration for my Chinese Calendar Tales, and how the books are planned and written. I’m hugely looking forward to it! Keep visiting my blog for all the news as I visit more fabulous Beijing schools, and the wonderful Wycombe Abbey International School in Changzhou later this week!

In the meantime, this will be me tonight – huddled up under an VERY thick duvet!

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A fabulous 2 day visit to QSI Zhuhai!

September 29, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Posted in Being an Author, School visits, Zhuhai schools | Leave a comment
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Thank you to the lovely Heather Domenico (above left) for hosting me on Wednesday and Thursday at QSI Zhuhai! It was a very busy time, with story readings from the Chinese Calendar Tales and Dirty Stories for everyone from 2 years old to 13 years old, and writing workshops for everyone from 7 years old to graduation! Plus a talk to the parents and staff about How to Create Writers in the Digital Age – and book-signings in between! Not to mention some great chats with British poet and publisher Neil Stevens, a teacher at the school (above right).  Then a fun evening  with Principal Cliff Geis-Poage and his lovely wife and teacher Becca who treated me to a delicious dinner before I caught the ferry home to Hong Kong! Everyone was so warm and welcoming – the terrific staff, Theresa in administration, not to mention the mums and dads and the gorgeous kids and teens. It was my first visit to Zhuhai in mainland China, and my first visit to QSI – I hope to see you all again soon!

Thank you Shatin Junior School mums and dads!

September 8, 2017 at 6:15 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Hong Kong Schools, School visits | Leave a comment
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Last night I had the great honour of speaking to over 150 parents of Shatin Junior School students about How to Create Writers in the Digital Age. I talked about the growing body of science showing the benefits of reading print books for the brain…as well as the problems of digital addiction amongst children, from infants to teenagers, and the shortcomings of screens for developing brains. I talked about the importance of imaginative play, and limiting time spent on extra-curricular activities so that children have plenty of free time. I also talked about redesigning the home with bookshelves, reading lamps and books galore, and regular outings to bookshops and libraries to browse the shelves. And a lot more! It was great to be amongst such motivated mums and dads! Many thanks to my wonderful host Karen Middleton!

It’s good to be back in Hong Kong!

June 13, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Posted in AISHK, Kingston International School Hong Kong, School visits | 2 Comments
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Well, I’m back in Hong Kong after 3 fabulous weeks in Hobart, Melbourne and Brisbane, and it’s sooooo good to be home! The very first thing to be done was to pack up the fabulous book orders from the students of Australian International School and Kingston International School where I visited the kids just before I left! Here I am signing books yesterday in my office – we packed over 300 books in total! Thanks kids – and your books will be delivered to your schools this week!

A fun day with the boys of Hutchins School in Sandy Bay!

May 24, 2017 at 8:00 pm | Posted in Australian schools, Being an Author, School visits | Leave a comment
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My Tassie tour kicked off with a fabulous morning at The Hutchins School in Sandy Bay, Hobart, today, where I caught up with my old friend Kate Reid, Head of Libraries at Hutchins, who used to be the primary librarian at AISHK in Hong Kong! Kate invited me in for two fab sessions, first with the Years 3 and 4 plus some intrepid Year 6 boys, who found out all about Chinese history from the mid-1700s right up to the founding of the People’s Rebublic of China in 1949, when I read them The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster!  Then the Year 1s and 2s met my hungry child-eating dragon in The Tale of Chester Choi and learned some very useful facts about the dragon in Chinese mythology! Thanks Kate, teachers and boys for a memorable morning! And here is one of my new fans, George, who buried himself into my Tale of a Dark Horse! It was great to meet you George!

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Hello Tasmania!!

May 24, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Posted in Being an Author, School visits | Leave a comment
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I’m back in my beautiful birth state of Tasmania, that  lovely island beneath Victoria, Australia, for a fabulous week of school visits, lectures and one fantastic event for The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster this Saturday at Hobart’s fabulous Fullers Bookshop! Then next week it’s off to Melbourne to visit my old friends at MLC before the VERY exciting launch of my new book with Allen & Unwin, Storm Whale; then finally a visit up to Brisbane to visit Churchie boys school and catch up with my family before flying back to Hong Kong! Phew! It’s a full schedule, but it’s going to be great fun!

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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A wonderful visit to my friends at WISS!

March 21, 2017 at 6:45 pm | Posted in School visits, Shanghai schools, Western International School of Shanghai | Leave a comment
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My last day in Shanghai was spent with my old friends at Western International School Shanghai! Here I am with my lovely friend, primary librarian Isolde Rosevear, who hosted me to a lovely day with the Grade 1s and Grade 5s! The Grade 1s and I had huge fun learning about Chinese dragons, with a reading of The Tale of Chester Choi, and the Grade 5s and I explored all the time-honoured rules about How to Write a Riveting Story. It was such a lovely, welcoming, warm day, and a fitting end to a really marvellous adventure in Shanghai!

A Happy Hangzhou Visit!

March 21, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Posted in Hangzhou Schools, HIS Hangzhou, School visits | Leave a comment
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A big HELLO to all my new friends at Hangzhou International School! I had such a fantastic time there on Friday, with the wonderful Paul Wong, librarian and host-with-the-most who organised my transport and my day with great precision! I worked with all the primary years, with the Kindies and Pre-Ks meeting my hungry dragon Chester Choi, the Grade 1s and 2s meeting Pin Yin Panda, and the Grade 3s, 4s and 5s meeting my noisy Rickshaw Rooster, in three funny and fabulous story readings! Then it was time to meet the lovely parents of HIS, with my Creating Literate, Literary Kids in the Digital Age presentation – leaving them with a summary of recommended reading! It was great to meet you all, as well as Primary Principal Russell O’Neill. I feel I’ve made some firm new friends in Hangzhou :).

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