Run Run Rat goes to New York…and hits the New York Times!

February 1, 2020 at 10:33 am | Posted in China Institute New York, Chinese New Year, Events, New York, New York Times, Year of the Rat | Leave a comment
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Hooray! Run Run Rat has run all the way to New York, where he’ll meet hundreds of kids, mums and dads at the China Institute during their special Chinese New Year Family Festival this Sunday! Take a look at this link in the famous New York Times: Seven Things to Do with your Kids in NYC this Weekend! I’m so sad that I can no longer be there to read out loud the funny and fabulous story of his adventures travelling around China, where he ends up running in a rather famous race during the Beijing Olympics! But a lovely story teller from China Institute will be telling his story in my place, and showing Harry Harrison’s fabulous pictures up on a screen to the audience during the afternoon, and for an ambitious little Rat, that’s very exciting! Especially in the Year of the Rat!

I’ll be posting lots of photos after the event. Huge thanks to Michael Buening, Director of Operations at the Institute, for inviting me and Run Run to take part in this fantastic event, and for his generosity and understanding over the last few days. I know the event is going to be just fantastic!

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A Chinese New Year’s message from Harry!

January 29, 2020 at 10:52 am | Posted in benefits of reading books, Harry Harrison, Year of the Rat | Leave a comment
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Harry Harrison, the fabulous illustrator of the Chinese Calendar Tales, has asked me to wish all our fans a very Happy Year of the Rat! And isn’t his cartoon fantastic?! I just love the grumpy pig (last year’s beastie) being overrun with cunning little rats for 2020!

Now this year is a Metal Rat Year, and apparently that means it will be a great year for just about everybody! Yippee! Here’s what lies ahead:

  • new goals!
  • new businesses!
  • new hobbies!
  • strength!
  • prosperity!
  • and even better, good luck!

 

Now here’s a great new goal for us all – let’s all read lots and lots of books this year!
Because we don’t even need a Year of the Metal Rat to chose this proven route to health, wealth and happiness!

Kung Hei Fat Choi! It’s time for a Rascally Rat Tale writing competition!

January 24, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Posted in Chinese Calendar Tales, Chinese New Year, Clever Competitions | Leave a comment
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Picture credit: Harry Harrison, The Tale of Run Run Rat

Kung Hei Fat Choi! It’s Chinese New Year! My feisty Run Run Rat is telling his family all about his adventurous plans for his trip around China. His mum is busy baking some delicious steam buns for a Chinese New Year feast! His dad is taking a break from his hard work as a miner, and his big sister is STILL filing her claws!! As for Run Run’s little brother – he’s wondering how many egg tarts he can gobble up before his mum notices!

So it’s high time we had another writing competition!

It’s open to anyone, anywhere in the world who is:

  • a primary or elementary school student from Grade 1 to Grade 6
  • or home-educated students of equivalent stage

This time I want you to write me a story about a rascally Rat, set in China, with the following further ingredients:

  • a Chinese emperor
  • a brainy princess
  • three magic tangerines
  • an evil talking dumpling
  • the colour malachite (if you don’t know what that is, then look it up!)
  • a long drought

Click on my Clever Competitions page right away to find out what I’ll be looking for, and all the competition rules!

The deadline date is Friday 17th April, so you have 3 months to write your story! And with a fabulous Chinese New Year holiday just starting, you could begin your story plan right away!

What a fabulous way to start your celebrations for the Year of the Rat! Run Run Rat would surely approve!

And if you don’t have your copy of The Tale of Run Run Rat yet, click here to purchase right away!

A fabulous visit to the Grade 3s at Canadian International School!

January 22, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Posted in Canadian International School Hong Kong, Chinese festivals, Chinese New Year, Hong Kong Schools | Leave a comment
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A big HELLO to the fabulous Grade 3s at Canadian International School, who I visited on Monday! They’re currently learning about how culture is reflected through story-telling, so a funny story reading of The Tale of Pin Yin Panda, which retells the ancient Chinese legend of Lord Buddha’s Race and how the 12 animals got into the Chinese Zodiac, was just the ticket! After the story reading we had a terrific Q and A session where we discussed the real reason why pandas aren’t in the Chinese Zodiac, as well as why all the other animals are! Many thanks to teacher-librarian Colleen Williams (below) for hosting me!

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Thank you Bookazine for a fabulous Hong Kong event!

January 21, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Posted in Book signings, Bookazine Princes Building, Chinese New Year, Hong Kong events, Room to Read | Leave a comment
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A big THANK YOU to Bookazine for hosting a fabulous event last Saturday to celebrate the upcoming Year of the Rat – and our wonderful city of Hong Kong – at the beautiful Centricity in Central! A huge bunch of kids, mums and dads came along to hear three fantastic Hong Kong story readings from three fabulous Hong Kong authors, and take part in some fun Chinese New Year activities! They even got to meet Geronimo Stilton!

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Of course we had to celebrate the 12th Birthday of The Tale of Run Run Rat, the very first of the Chinese Calendar Tales, which even outsold Harry Potter for 6 weeks in Hong Kong when it was released in 2008! Here I am, above, reading the story to the audience. We had a lot of fun following Run Run from his humble Chinese village all around China to the Olympics Marathon in Beijing!

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Then everyone trooped into the activity room to make my rather tricky Rat Mask – I was SO impressed with all the masks the kids made, with a little bit of help from their parents! I think the mums and dads especially had a lot of fun! I’ll be posting details shortly, so you can make the mask too!

After that, Karen Jane Ho and Jessamy Woolley gave two fabulously entertaining story readings – and trips around Hong Kong’s special places – with their beautiful books Emi Takes Hong Kong and Billy the Cavalier and Friends. And then everyone made some gorgeous Chinese New Year decorations…and played Hong Kong Bingo!

Thank you again to Arti and Shonee Mirchandani of Bookazine, their events manager Clemence Robine, and of course Mrs Mirchandani with her steadfast support! Here we are below:

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And thank you to all the lovely fans who came up to say hello and get their books signed afterwards!

And last but not least, thank you to my dear friend Jennie Orchard, of my favourite children’s literacy charity Room to Read, who came along to support us all. Here we are below with my beautiful Boxed Set of Chinese Calendar Tales.

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We all had a wonderful afternoon!

Happy New Year 2020 – and a fabulous event next Saturday to celebrate Chinese New Year!

January 12, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Posted in Book signings, Bookshop event, Chinese New Year, Chinese Zodiac, Hong Kong events | Leave a comment
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A very Happy New Year to you all for 2020! I hope that it’s filled with fun and laughter and wonderful events for all my lovely fans…including this very special Year of the Rat event by my favourite Hong Kong bookshop Bookazine on Saturday 18th January from 2-5pm at a very special venue at Centricity, 2nd Floor, Landmark Chater, Central!

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We’ll be celebrating my feisty and ambitious Run Run Rat of course :), with a fun story reading followed by a chance to make your own Rat Mask! Then we’ll be celebrating our beautiful city of Hong Kong with story readings by my fabulous fellow Hong Kong authors Jane Karen Ho and Jessamy Woolley, who will respectively host a CNY decoration-making session and a fun game of Hong Kong Wildlife Bingo!

Not to mention special appearances by the most famous rat in the world, Geronimo Stilton! Wow!

So make sure you book your ticket NOW at this link so you don’t miss out! I can’t wait to see you there!

Fabulous news for 60 girls for 2019!

December 19, 2019 at 7:38 am | Posted in Australian schools, children's literacy, girls' education, Room to Read | Leave a comment
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Photos courtesy of https://www.roomtoread.org/literacy-girls-education/

Wow! The Australian Writer-Ambassador team (of which I’m a very proud member) for Room to Read has had another successful year and thanks to the support of Aussie students, teachers and parents, it has EXCEEDED its goal once again! This year it has raised AUD$22,066 which is enough to educate 60 girls for a year and support them on their way to a brighter future!

Next year, 2020, is the very special 20th Anniversary year for Room to Read. If you want to help make it the year that changed everything for girls – and boys – around the world who desperately need an education, just click on the link here and see what you can do to contribute!

Well done Shiv!

December 14, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Clever Competitions, Glenealy School, Hong Kong Schools, Poetry competitions for children | Leave a comment
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Say hello to Shiv Mohan, who regularly enters my Clever Competitions, and won Third Place in the Grade 4 to 6 section of the My Favourite Season Haiku Competition (He also came third in his section in the Clever Competition before that!). Here he is accepting his prize from the Principal, Mr Briggs, at Glenealy School. Well done Shiv!

I’ll be posting details of the next Clever Competition early in the New Year – so make sure you enter! You’ve got to be in it to win it!

The international Kids’ Lit Quiz rules!!

December 11, 2019 at 7:50 am | Posted in children's literacy, Hong Kong events, Hong Kong Schools, International literacy competitions | Leave a comment
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Yesterday I had the huge pleasure of co-judging the Hong Kong Kids’ Lit Quiz 2019-2020! Twenty teams from around Hong Kong battled it out at Harrow International School HK in the exciting heats in the morning, and in the afternoon the five top scoring teams took part in the Finals! The questions were really tricky and I was so impressed by the extensive knowledge of the teams! Congratulations to the five finalist teams from German Swiss International School, King George V School, HK Homeschools (two teams) and Harrow International School Hong Kong!

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And huge congratulations to King George V School Team #1 which won the Hong Kong title with a stunning performance! Here they are above, from left to right: Ruo Zhao, Rosie Sun, Thomas Chan and Audrey Lee. They will be representing Hong Kong in the 2020 World Finals in New Zealand on 13th July 2020 against teams from Australia, Canada, Indonesia, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, the UK and USA!

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And here is the HK Kids Lit Team, flanked by Wayne Mills (the fabulous Creator and Quiz Master of Kids Lit Quiz) to the right and Yupa Mills, business manager of KLQ to the left. From second left to second right: Mary Jones (Head of Library at Harrow International School HK), Sabine Simpson (former world finalist and HK Team runner); Anne Simpson (National Co-ordinator Hong Kong), Liz Mills-Campbell (from Scholastic) and Kelsey Chau (Assistant Librarian, Harrow International School HK).

Memo to teachers and librarians: The KLQ is a great way of encouraging kids to read as widely and well as possible! And unlike other school literacy quizzes, there’s no book list to read!

Memo to kids: The KLQ is SUCH FUN!! And if you love reading, a fabulous way of testing your knowledge of all your favourite authors, books and characters!

If you want to get your school involved next year, just ask your librarian or Head of English to take a look here!

2 Clever Competition finalists from Taiwan!

December 2, 2019 at 12:18 pm | Posted in Hsinchu International School, Taiwan Schools | Leave a comment
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Say hello to two clever young writers from Grade 2M of Hsinchu International School in Taiwan! Isabel Huang (holding her prize, a signed copy of The Tale of Sybil Snake) won 2nd Place in the Grade 1 to 3 Category of my latest competition, the My Favourite Season Haiku Competition, and Alyssa Lin (holding a signed copy of The Tale of Chester Choi), won 3rd place! Standing with them is their lovely teacher, Cairan Meister, Congratulations girls! You can see their winning entries on my Clever Competitions page here!

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