A fun day at the Il Mercato Christmas Fair in Pok Fu Lam!

December 3, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Posted in Books about Chinese Zodiac, Buying my books, Christmas Fairs | Leave a comment
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On Saturday my lovely office manager Shilpa and I had a fun day out with our table of Chinese Calendar Tales at the Il Mercato Christmas Fair in Sandy Bay, Pok Fu Lam! The market was magnificent! And at our table, we met lots of lovely fans from Kennedy School and Peak School and their mums and dads! Below you can see some of them: the two on the left are at West Island School now, but still remembered my books from their primary school days – it was great to say hello! And the young man on the right was riveted reading my new book for next year, The Tale of Ping Pong Pig!

 

Give children the most precious gift of all – today and Wednesday only!

November 27, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Room to Read | Leave a comment
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How is all that Christmas shopping going? Have you finished your list for the kids? I’m quite sure they’re going to be spoiled rotten again! I HOPE you’re getting them lots of fabulous books this year, to keep them happy and entertained, and above all, to keep their brains in fantastic shape!

But what about the kids who aren’t as lucky as yours, who don’t have access to books and who can’t even read?

I just LOVE being a writer ambassador for my favourite charity, Room to Read, because it makes wonderful futures possible for children all over the world who might otherwise have a very bleak future indeed – and who almost certainly won’t be getting Christmas gifts this year.

So what can you give them? You will be so excited to find out here!

So today, if you can spare a moment, and a dollar or two, for the kiddies that won’t be waking up in your house this Christmas to bulging Christmas stockings, please give on the link above, and Room to Read’s partner Sensato, will TRIPLE your gift!

Happy Tuesday Giving Day!

The Results are out in my Perfect Pet Poem Competition!

November 18, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Clever Competitions, poetry, Poetry competitions for children | Leave a comment
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Desmond Dog rescues a cat in The Tale of Desmond Dog! Illustration by Harry Harrison

Thank you all so much for your wonderful entries into my latest Clever Competition! And what a lovely time I’ve had reading about your Perfect Pets! There were 48 fabulous entries this time, from 15 different schools in 7 cities on 4 different continents! There were entries from Melbourne in Australia; from Shanghai and Zhuhai in mainland China; from Hong Kong; from Chicago and San Diego in the United States of America, and, for the first time, from Colombo in Sri Lanka! There were real pets, like cats, hamsters, pigs and a red panda! There were fantastical pets, like dragons, seahorns and snickerdoodles! Most were cute and cuddly, some were downright scary! But most of all, there were DOGS – to which, as a dog lover myself, I can only say of course!

Special congratulations to Hannah Thompson, of Grade 3, Methodist Ladies College, Melbourne, Australia, who won the Grade 1 to 3 Category in the competition, and Madeline Painter of Grade 6, South Middle School, Illinois, Chicago, USA, who won the Grade 4 to 6 Category. They each win a signed copy of one of my books sent to their school for presenation in assembly. Well done girls!

Go to my Clever Competitions Page right away to read all the fantastic place-winning entries!

I’m posting the Competition Results today!

November 18, 2018 at 10:18 am | Posted in Clever Competitions, Poetry competitions for children, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’ve been busy as Run Run Rat going to the market in Harry Harrison’s wonderful illustration above! See The Tale of Run Run Rat

Huge thanks, and apologies, to my loyal writer fans who have been waiting so very patiently for the results of my Perfect Pet Poem Competition! I’ve been HUGELY busy the last two weeks, with my lovely daughter Annabel sitting her final IB exams (which requires a lot of mother love and attention!) and a very busy time at work getting ready for the release of my next Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Ping Pong Pig, into the shops! So I’ve had not a moment to finalise the results! But today, the house is quiet, I’m putting the final touches to my judging – and you’ll hear from me later today! YAY! Thank you so much for your patience!

Which little pig is coming to market?

November 14, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Posted in Bookazine Festival Walk, Bookazine Princes Building, Buying my books, Christmas Fairs | Leave a comment
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There’s a tasty little pig coming to a market near you any day now! Yes, it’s Ping Pong Pig, in her very own special story for next Chinese New Year, about her amazing adventures in the Forbidden City in Beijing! You can see her, with the cunning Minister of Most Important Things, in the picture above – the Tale has been illustrated by the wonderful Harry Harrison yet again and you’re going to just love the whole book! The Tale of Ping Pong Pig will be available online soon here, as well as in Bookazine shops in Hong Kong and at the Conrad Christmas Fair by next week! So make sure you add that tasty little porker to your Christmas list!

A fabulous time at the AISHK Fair!

November 14, 2018 at 4:17 pm | Posted in AISHK, Australian schools, Christmas Fairs | Leave a comment
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On Saturday I felt right at home with the Aussie kids, parents and teachers at the fantastic Australian International School Fair at Kowloon Tong! I sold lots of  books, met lots of fans, young and old, and all in all had a great time!

The Princess is thinking…be patient my friends!

November 1, 2018 at 10:16 am | Posted in Clever Competitions, Poetry competitions for children, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Illustration by Harry Harrison from The Tale of Temujin

Do not disturb! This Princess Precious is thinking! And she’s loving all the entries in the Perfect Pet Poem Competition! I’ll be announcing the results soon – but please be patient in the meantime! Remember…a watched pot never boils!!!

The deadline’s on Sunday!

October 26, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Clever Competitions, Poetry competitions for children | Leave a comment
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Woof! You have just two days to go to send in your poem in my Perfect Pet Poem Competition! So if you haven’t sent it yours yet, take a look at all the information and rules here, and GET WRITING!!!

Long live libraries!

October 26, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Posted in children's literacy, libraries, school libraries, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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pexels-photo-256541Photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/row-of-books-in-shelf-256541/

If you’re anything like me, you just LOVE libraries. In fact, in my opinion, in any school, the library is both its heart and its soul, and should be treasured accordingly. And placed accordingly too! Not in a far distant wing of the building, or in the basement, or up under the roof – but RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of the school’s ground floor, where kids can see it, and use it, every single day.

So take a look here, in this wonderful piece from The Atlantic on Wednesday, at photos of some of the most extraordinary libraries in the world, in countries where, clearly, the real book is still cherished and promoted to its citizens! And ponder if your country and your school cherishes books the same way. And if not, do something about it, FAST!

After all, as the great American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author and thinker Carl Sagan once said: “I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture, and our concern for the future, can all be tested by how well we support our libraries.”

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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