Isn’t it great that we’re all different?

June 7, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Posted in social issues for kids, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Screen Shot 2020-06-07 at 11.42.14 AMhttps://uk.news.yahoo.com/teacher-helps-students-make-skin-color-paints-beyond-brown-tan-

Wow! Don’t you just love this photo! And don’t you just love how everybody looks different? Some  kids are girls and some are boys. Some have dark coloured skin, and some have really pale coloured skin, and some have skin tones in between! And that means that all of them have different stories to tell about where their families come from, the things that they celebrate, the things they believe in and the things that they love to eat and do! Isn’t that special and isn’t that fun!

But you know, there are actually people out there that think that the colour of your skin, or your religion, or where you come from, makes you better than people with a different coloured skin or religion or country of origin!  Isn’t that just crazy? We’re all just as fabulous as each other! What makes a person better – or worse – than someone else is how they treat other people – that’s all. So if you are good and kind to everybody, no matter where they come from, or what religion they believe in, or what the colour of their skin is, you are the top of my Favourite People List! But anyone who believes that it’s okay to treat other people badly because they have a different country of origin, or a different religion, or different skin colour is right down the bottom and I really don’t like them. And how silly would it be to think that way, anyway?

Don’t miss a fun session with Harry Harrison and me at the Hong Kong Young Readers’ Festival next week!

June 5, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Posted in Being a publisher, Hong Kong Young Readers Festival 2020, Literary Festivals, Shatin Junior School, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’m so excited to be a part of the Hong Kong Virtual Young Readers Festival 2020! I’m appearing alongside British author and performer Mark Llewelyn Evans, who uses music and storytelling to engage kids with the story of opera, Australian writer and bush worker Matt Zurbo, who inspires kids to create their own stories by finding humour and inspiration in every day events, and fellow Hong Kong writer Anna Tso! The Festival is accessible to all children in Hong Kong, live this and next week, and after that you can view the sessions on the HKYRF website at any time!

My live session with Harry Harrison takes place next Wednesday, and today we had a fun rehearsal with the kids of Shatin Junior School for an audience! They watched our very funny, informative video session, made by my daughter Annabel Cohen, in which we tell how The Chinese Calendar Tales came about, and how to publish a picture book, with some fantastic footage of Harry drawing one of our characters from The Tale of Chester Choi, from initial sketch to final painting! Make sure you visit the HKYRF site next week to see the video and Q and A session yourself!

Update on the Rascally Rat Tale Competition…

May 7, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Posted in Clever Competitions, My dog Mo, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Here is our little dog Mo, who celebrated his 16th birthday last week, cuddling his favourite toy Daisy Duck! Mo has been very sick for the last couple of days and I’ve been taking him back and forth to the vets for lots of medical appointments. He’s getting good treatment now, and we’re hoping he gets better very soon. But it was very worrying at the time and unfortunately it put a stop to all my work, including judging the Rascally Rat Tale Competition! But please don’t worry – the results are almost completed and will be out shortly!

Ode to a single sock…

March 21, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Here, just for a bit of fun, is a poem I’ve just written about a sad single sock I have at home, which has lost its pair!  I challenge you to write a poem about something funny, like a shoe, or a coat hanger, or maybe even a toothbrush! Enjoy!

Ode to a Single Sock

 

 

 

 

12 great reasons to come to the Conrad Xmas Fair tomorrow!

November 25, 2019 at 11:14 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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Came along to the Prestige Xmas Fair at the Conrad Hotel Ballroom in Admiralty and I’ll see you at the Chinese Calendar Tales table just inside the entrance door! We’ve got every single Chinese Zodiac sign covered now, with funny illustrated books chock full of brilliant illustrations by Harry Harrison (of South China Morning Post fame) and fascinating Chinese history! They make fabulous gifts as:

  • Birth books for newborn babies (yes, I know they can’t read them yet, but Mum and Dad can (and have a whole lot of fun doing so!) and baby can keep the book forever!
  • Fun gifts for nieces, nephews, god-children, kids of friends…any kid who loves reading books!
  • Perfect, fun stocking fillers or “just a thought”s for husbands, wives, grown-up siblings and friends who are hard to think of presents for! Who doesn’t want to remind their brother that he’s a ravishing Rabbit, or their Mum that she’s a terrific Tiger? Not to mention your darling Mum-in-Law, who may just be a delightful Dragon? (If you’re not sure what sign of the Zodiac they belong to, see my handy guide here, including a link to those tricky birth months January and February!)
  • Not to mention that little Christmas gift for you, as a reward for shopping for everybody else!

Other good reasons to buy them tomorrow for Christmas:

  • They send easily in a medium size padded post bag (that’s what they were designed for)
  • They’re a great little taste of Hong Kong and China for the rellies overseas
  • They’re selling at a 10% discount from the RRP for the Conrad Fair only!
  • And I’ll sign every single one you purchase, with a fun comment for the recipient!

We even have, for whole families and for Chinese Calendar Tales addicts our gorgeous:

And finally, if you’ve got all your Chinese Calendar Tales already, we also will be selling (at between 10 and 33% off the RRP):

  • Our Dark Horse Activity Book full of puzzles, colouring-in pages and stickers for kids
  • A Dirty Story, An Even Dirtier Story and even A Dirty Map for bedroom walls, full of dire warnings about NOT BEING NEAT for any little Grots you know – not to mention a vital environmental message for us all!
  • Storm Whale, my lyrical story in rhyme about 3 little girls who try to save a beached whale, illustrated by Australia’s famous artist Jane Tanner. It was inspired by my childhood holidays in Tasmania, and has been listed for many prestigious awards both in the UK and Australia.

So there you are – 12 good reasons to come along tomorrow, say hello and buy my books! And if you can’t make it tomorrow, I’ll also be there on 16th December! And if all else fails, simply click on this link and purchase on-line right away!

Results for the My Favourite Season Haiku Competition!

November 18, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Photo credits: Summer – https://all-free-download.com/free-photos/download/sunflower-image-06-hd-pictures_167025.html; Winter – https://www.123rf.com/photo_11049126_beautiful-nature-winter-scenery-frosty-trees-in-forest.html; Spring – https://www.pexels.com/photo/selective-focus-photography-of-pink-flowers-1045615/; Autumn – https://wallpapercave.com/w/8r8chAr

Hello my friends! I’ve just had a lovely time judging your My Favourite Season Haikus! This time there were entries from Taiwan, Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong, and even an entry from California! I was very surprised to find out that the favourite season of most competition entrants was winter! And after that came autumn (or Fall), then spring, then last of all summer! I wonder why? Maybe the extremes of winter weather lend themselves to descriptive poems more than gentler seasons – or maybe we just love snow!

Suffice to say that I’ve had a lovely time judging all your entries, and I’ve just published the top ten in each age category! Special congratulations to Alisha Stokes, Year 2, Arden Anglican Junior School, Sydney,  who won the Grade 1 to 3 Category, and Eleanor Meyer, Grade 6, San Diego French American School, California, who won the Grade 4 to 6 Category! They each receive a signed hard cover copy of my multi-award-listed lyrical story Storm Whale, while Second and Third place-getters in each Category win a free signed copy of a Chinese Calendar Tale of their choice!

You can read all the winning entries on my Clever Competitions page here!

Huge congratulations to everyone who entered, and I look forward to receiving entries from you all in my further Clever Competitions! Make sure that you click on the Subscribe Button on this page if you want to be sure to find out all about my upcoming competitions!

See you at these Christmas Fairs this week!

November 5, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’m going to be at two fabulous Christmas Fairs in Central this week! Come up and say hello, browse my books, buy your own signed copies and even take a selfie with me on your mobile phone! Here are all the details!

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I can’t wait to see you there!

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.

Welcome back – and a new Clever Competition!

September 3, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Posted in Clever Competitions, Uncategorized, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Photo credits: Summer – https://all-free-download.com/free-photos/download/sunflower-image-06-hd-pictures_167025.html; Winter – https://www.123rf.com/photo_11049126_beautiful-nature-winter-scenery-frosty-trees-in-forest.html; Spring – https://www.pexels.com/photo/selective-focus-photography-of-pink-flowers-1045615/; Autumn – https://wallpapercave.com/w/8r8chAr

A very warm welcome back to school!

Don’t you just love the four seasons? They are all so beautiful in their own way! Now if you’re anything like me, you’ll love Autumn best, when you can rug up in a warm coat and go walking with your dog in a nearby park on a crisp, clear day. Or you might prefer lazy, hot Summers when you can go to the beach and splash about in the sea. Or those stormy Winter days when you can sit beside a roaring fire feeling snug and safe inside as the wind buffets and the rain buckets down outside. Or those cool, damp Spring mornings, with their drifts of blossom and gorgeous scent of narcissi and jonquils filling the air.

And just about everyone I know also loves haikus! They’re very short poems, dating back to the 17th century in Japan, and with very strict rules. And they’re PERFECT for describing nature, weather, and the seasons! In fact, the four seasons were regular topics in the very earliest haikus!

So today I’ve posted a brand new Clever Competition, to hone your wits and test your writing skills and have a bit of fun, whilst pursuing world wide fame as a published writer on my blog!

And this time, I want a haiku, all about My Favourite Seasonand by that I mean YOUR favourite season!

See my Clever Competition page here to read all the rules and requirements. The deadline for this competition is FRIDAY 15th November, in just over 10 weeks’ time.

So get out those writing pads, pick your favourite season, and start writing your My Favourite Season Haiku NOW!

Please be patient my friends…

May 29, 2019 at 9:27 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hello, all you clever kids who entered my Practically Perfect Pig Story writing competition! I have a small favour to ask of you. My lovely helper here in Hong Kong has been in hospital lately and unfortunately she has had a few complications. I’m her employer and she is like one of the family, so I’m very busy currently visiting her at the hospital twice a day and consulting with the doctors and nurses. So I haven’t been able to judge the competition yet!! I’m working on it bit by bit, but I may be a little delayed bringing you the results! Don’t worry – I’ll be sure to post them before school breaks up for the summer. And in the meantime, thank you again for your patience!

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