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 :).

A fantastic day with Stamford American School Hong Kong!

March 9, 2017 at 2:40 pm | Posted in School visits, Stamford American School Hong Kong | Leave a comment
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IMG_2820Yesterday I had a truly memorable Global Mentors day with staff, students and management at Hong Kong’s new and very exciting international school, Stamford American School!

We started with a terrific session with the little ones, aged 3 to 6, when they met my loveable dragon with bad habits, in a story reading session of The Tale of Chester Choi at the fabulous rooms of Safari Kids in Chi Fu Pok Fu Lam – a warm thank you to our host Lisa Olinski! Then, after a fun hour meeting parents for a busy book-signing of my Chinese Calendar Tales and Dirty Stories, we decamped for a delicious lunch, followed by an interview with John Cremer of the Education Post at SCMP, then a workshop session open to kids around Hong Kong in Grades 4 and 5 at SAS’s glamorous office in Central, when they learned all my top tips about How to Write a Riveting Story. Their fabulous mums and dads were all there, and it was great to tell them – and their kids – a bit about the latest science on the huge benefits of reading real books vs. the perils of the overuse of digital games,screens and devices!

Huge thanks to Admissions Director Carol Wong (above 2nd from left), Marketing Manager Wai Yan Yip (on the right) who was my lovely host for the day, and her assistant Mandy Man, for their warm hospitality!

Here are some photos, including one of my young fans, Sabrina, a keen young listener and budding writer!

Video to come!

Three fabulous days at Shatin Junior School!

March 1, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Posted in Chinese New Year, School visits, Shatin Junior School | 2 Comments
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A huge thank you to Karen Hubbard and all the lovely staff and students at Shatin Junior School, for hosting me at their Book Week this week! I spent three full, funny and fabulous days with the kids doing a host of story readings and workshops! Everyone from Year One to Year Six met my latest character in The Chinese Calendar Tales – that cocky but loveable Rickshaw Rooster- in a fun story reading full of fascinating historical facts and cockadoodledoos! Then I spent two inspiring days with the Year 5s (who learned How to Become A Great Writer) and the Year 4s (who learned How to Write a Riveting Story)! Five things to remember, for ALL you kids who want to write fabulous stories:

  1. Free up your leisure time!
  2. Radically reduce the time you spend on digital games and devices!
  3. Radically increase the time you spend reading great books!
  4. Plan your stories before you write them!
  5. Enter my latest Clever Competition right away!

And you’ll be well on the way to becoming truly GREAT writers!

Two fabulous days at the Discovery College Cultural Festival!

December 2, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Children's Chinese Zodiac Books, Chinese Calendar Tales, Chinese Zodiac, Monkey story, School visits, Story Readings, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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A big THANK YOU to all my fabulous friends at Discovery College for inviting me for two wonderful days this week as part of their fantastic annual Cultural Festival! We had six funny and educational story readings from my Chinese Calendar Tales series, with the Grade Ones meeting Chester Choi, the Grade Twos laughing along with Pin Yin Panda, the Grade Threes having a frolic with Rodney Ram, the Grade Fours falling in love with my noble Dark Horse, and the Grade Fives and Sixes saying a fond farewell to Ming Kee Monkey in my last Ming Kee Monkey story readings for the Year of the Monkey! Huge thanks to my dear friend and talented teacher librarian host Leanne Sercombe for looking after me so well! See you all next year!

Ming Kee Monkey creates mischief at WISS!

November 7, 2016 at 9:05 pm | Posted in Children's Chinese Zodiac Books, children's literacy, Chinese Calendar Tales, School visits, Shanghai schools | Leave a comment
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Today Ming Kee Monkey and I – and all the other Chinese Calendar Tales beasties – had a fabulous day at Western International School Shanghai! We had three fun story readings, where everyone from the Grade Ones to the Grade Fives heard The Tale of Ming Kee Monkey and all the scrumptious history behind it! Here I am above with my lovely hosts, Head of Libraries Fiona Collins on the right, and Primary Librarian Isolde Rosevear on the left, who looked after me beautifully all day! I can’t wait to read all the WISS entries in my Horribly Hilarious Halloween story competition!

Hello Singapore – and thank you CIS Lakeside!

May 25, 2016 at 7:27 am | Posted in Chinese Calendar Tales, Chinese Zodiac, School visits, Singapore schools, workshops | Leave a comment
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It’s fabulous to be back in Singapore! Yesterday I had a wonderful day with the Grade 4s, 5s and 6s at beautiful big Canadian International School Lakeside, where I introduced the kids to my Chinese Calendar Tales, and especially to my mischievous Ming Kee Monkey and my dashing Dark Horse! We finished the day with the Grade 4s learning all about How to Write a Riveting Story! I look forward to all your entries in my next Clever Competition! Huge thanks to the lovely Lisa Miller, Head of Senior Library, for being such a kind and welcoming host!

Two fabulous days at The Kellett School!

April 26, 2016 at 4:23 pm | Posted in Children's Chinese Zodiac Books, Hong Kong Schools, School visits | Leave a comment
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Many thanks to Lisa Share, head of libraries at The Kellett School, for inviting me and my Chinese Zodiac animals to two fabulous days with the Kellett kids! On Monday I visited the Pok Fu Lam campus with my mischievous Ming Kee Monkey, where the lovely Natalie Fitton hosted me to a fun day of story readings in the library with Years 3 to 5!

Today I had another lovely day at the Kowloon Bay campus, hosted by my dear friend Beth McNeilly (below left with some fabulous Kellett Monkeys) in the library. We had fun story readings for Years 2 to 4, who all met my Ming Kee Monkey and heard the fabulous true life story of the famous Buddhist explorer Xuanzang and his Journey to the West, immortalised in the Legend of the Monkey King! And it was even more special for me to bring along my oldest friend Prue Kesby (below right) – we were in Grade One together, a long time ago!

A mischievous Monkey Monday at Glenealy School!

March 22, 2016 at 6:52 pm | Posted in Children's Chinese Zodiac Books, Chinese New Year, School visits | Leave a comment
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That mischievous Monkey of mine cut a dash through Glenealy School yesterday in three funny and fabulous story reading sessions with the Grade 3s to Grade 6s, and then Pin Yin Panda decided to join the fun with the Grade 1s and 2s! We all had a lot of fun! Warm thanks to the lovely Trish Oliver, librarian, enthusiast and friend, for a memorable day!

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