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 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!

Another great visit to Stamford American International School…with an SCMP journalist!

January 23, 2019 at 8:32 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, media articles, School visits, Stamford American School Hong Kong, Story Readings, writing workshops for children | Leave a comment
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Ping Pong Pig and I continued our funny and fabulous Hong Kong School tour on Tuesday afternoon with a visit to my friends at Stamford American International School in Ho Man Tin, where I am proud to be a Global Mentor. And this time I was accompanied by Fionnuala McHugh, a journalist for the South China Morning Post, who is writing a feature article for the Sunday Post for Chinese New Year!

After photos in the Activity Room, our terrific host Lisa Olinski introduced me to some lovely parents and younger kids who heard me reading my “youngest” book, The Tale of Chester Choi, and enthusiastically joined in with contributions as to how you chop off a dragon’s head, especially if it’s threatening your Dad! Then a lovely roomful of older kids and their parents heard my Tale of Ping Pong Pig, together with a whole lot of fascinating history about the third Ming Dynasty Emperor Zhu Di and his best friend the explorer Admiral Zheng He and his seven epic  journeys in huge Treasure Boats as far as Africa!

Lastly, I gave my popular How to Write a Riveting Story workshop to the hardy mums and children who stayed on after the story reading! It was a busy, fun day, and wonderful to see this lovely school again! More photos to come!

A fabulous Thursday at ICHK in Hong Lok Yuen!

January 18, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Posted in Chinese New Year, Hong Kong Schools, ICHK HLY, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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Yesterday I introduced Ping Pong Pig to the gorgeous kids of International College Hong Kong in Hong Lok Yuen! They learned all about the founding of the Ming Dynasty by the extraordinary Hongwu Emperor; his wily fourth son, Zhu Di, who became the third Ming emperor when he stole the throne from his nephew; and the remarkable achievements of his reign including the building of the Forbidden City in Beijing and the treasure ships of Admiral Zheng He, whose seven voyages over the Indian ocean included three to Africa! Here I am above with six keen Grade 6 students, including library leaders, and below with lovely teacher librarian Charlie Beard who hosted me for the day, as well as all my zodiac toys! Thank you ICHK for making me feel so welcome again!

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Ping Pong Pig visits the brand new Malvern College Hong Kong!

January 18, 2019 at 10:31 am | Posted in Chinese New Year, Hong Kong Schools, Malvern College Hong Kong, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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On Tuesday this week, I was honoured to be the very first author to visit Hong Kong’s brand new Malvern College HK, set by the Science Park just by Tolo Harbour and Tai Po! It’s a beautiful school, with lots of space and light, which opened in September last year, and it already has hundreds of very keen students! The Prep 1s met my lonely dragon in The Tale of Chester Choi; the Prep 2s met cheeky Pin Yin Panda and all the animals of the Chinese Zodiac in The Tale of Ping Pong Panda, and the Prep 3s to 6s all met my latest addition to the Chinese Calendar Tales, my plump and pretty Ping Pong Pig! It was a fabulous day! Thanks so much to my wonderful hosts Ryan Dempsey, head of Library, and deputy librarian Karen Potts, pictured in the library above!

 

 

Ping Pong’s First Day at School in Hong Kong!

January 17, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Posted in Chinese New Year, Hong Kong Schools, Kingston International School Hong Kong, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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On Monday this week, Ping Pong danced in to visit all my old friends (and young!) at Kingston International School in Kowloon Tong! There were story readings for everyone, from Grade 2 to Grade 5, and lots of fun for everybody! Thank you Jade Engelbrecht for being such a fabulous host!

A memorable visit to QSI Zhuhai!

September 29, 2018 at 11:00 am | Posted in QSI Zhuhai, Story Readings, workshops, Zhuhai schools | Leave a comment
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Thank you so much to fabulous primary school teacher Heather Domenico, for hosting me for two very busy days at QSI in Zhuhai on Wednesday and Thursday this last week! We had sessions for absolutely everyone from ages 2 to 18, as well as an after-school talk to the mums and dads!

The littlest ones met my crew of stuffed toys in a funny re-enactment of Lord Buddha’s Race – and proved they were extremely good at counting up to 12!

The 5 to 6 year olds proved they were old hands at the Chinese Zodiac when I read them The Tale of Pin Yin Panda while the 7 to 8 year olds became fearsome pirates as they heard The Tale of Desmond Dog!

The 9 to 11 year olds learned all about How to Publish A Picture Book from Brilliant Idea to Final Product and even got a sneek peak at my final Chinese Calendar Tale for the Year of the Pig, which is currently in production!

After school on Wednesday, I talked to a lovely group of parents about How to Create Bookworms in the Digital Age. Here are just a few of them, with their kids!

And finally, the 12 to 18 year olds and I spent almost the whole of Thursday together, in three different workshops: How to Become a Good Writer, An Introduction to Poetry and, finally, Nailing the Narrative Curve, where we had tremendous fun writing a story plan for the tragic story of three teenagers caught in a love triangle…in a paradise entered through a school locker portal!

And in between I met some fabulous kids, parents and teachers when I signed the books they bought from my wonderful distributor, Aaron Tearne at Obido Educational Services! If anyone missed out on buying a book, you can still do so, with some great discounts for multiple purchases here!

More photos to come!

A Book Week visit at MLC in Melbourne!

August 28, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Posted in Australian schools, Melbourne schools, Methodist Ladies College, Story Readings, workshops | Leave a comment
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The subject of this year’s Book Week in Australia was Find Your Treasure, and what better book to introduce to the fabulous girls of Melbourne Ladies College on 16th and 17th August than my latest Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Desmond Dog, a story of pirates, treasure and an infamous Pirate Queen!  On the 16th, all the girls from Grade 4 to Grade 6 joined the crew for a story reading, followed by a hearty lunch with the Book Bugs (top photo) who heard some Top Secrets about my next (and final) Chinese Calendar Tale for next year’s Year of the Pig! In the afternoon I was delighted to meet wonderful Grade 3 student Hannah Thompson, the winner of the Grade 1 to 3 Category in my Dashing Dog Story Competition earlier this year (middle photo above), followed by a delightful Grade 1 student who is already writing lots of stories in her spare time (bottom left). The future of great writing from MLC alumni is clearly bright!

Then on the 17th, the Grade 6s took part in my brand new workshop entitled Geography is History: How topography shaped China’s remarkable history! We talked about China’s grasslands in the North (from which invaders came on horseback); its mountains and deserts in the West and North West (which formed a natural barrier both inwards and outwards); its fertile deltas in the East (which formed the first united China under Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi) and the seas beyond (from which trade came and went, and ultimately the incursion of foreign powers, and invasion of the Japanese navy, which together precipitated the End of Empire). I hope the girls found the subject as fascinating as I did!!

Huge thanks to my friend, and fabulous Junior School Head of Library, Tracey Ricchini, who you can just see at the back of the Book Bugs in the top photo! She made a fantastic Ching Shi, the evil (and real life) pirate queen from The Tale of Desmond Dog! More photos to come!

Monday: A fabulous morning at Fahan School!

May 30, 2018 at 11:01 am | Posted in Australian schools, Fahan School, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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And finally, on Monday, I spent the morning with my friends at Fahan School! We had two story readings of Storm Whale for Upper Primary, and some great time for Q and A about whales, how I write, and why reading books is so important to a successful future! Here I am above right with my wonderful host, Junior School Teacher Librarian Megan Denman, and at right with some of the gorgeous Grade 5 to 6 girls! Thank you so much for having me again!

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!

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