Prizes galore to be won in The Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020!

February 22, 2020 at 10:07 am | Posted in Asia Society Hong Kong, Challenges and activities, Chinese Calendar Tales | Leave a comment
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Here is Run Run Rat, racing home to his family (and his forty seven cousins) after winning the Olympics Marathon! Now Run Run won a fabulous Gold Medal…but I wonder what YOU could win in The Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020?

I’ll let you know on Monday, when Asia Society Hong Kong and I launch the challenge! Make sure you visit this page again on Monday to find out all about it!

The Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 is coming your way!

February 21, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Posted in Asia Society Hong Kong, Challenges and activities, Hong Kong, Hong Kong events | Leave a comment
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Are you a primary school student in Hong Kong or mainland China, stuck at home, waiting for schools to reopen in mid-March? Or maybe you live somewhere else, and are lucky enough to be able to go to school right now! Either way, if you love a fun challenge, with lots of great puzzles, pictures and tasks to complete, and with FABULOUS PRIZES, then you’re going to LOVE the GREAT YEAR OF THE RAT CHALLENGE 2020! My friends at Asia Society Hong Kong and I are launching the Challenge on next Monday, 24 January! So make sure you and Mum or Dad visit my blog again on Monday for all the details! Or you can visit my Facebook or Instagram pages! See you then!

Run Run Rat and The Chinese Calendar Tales reach Kiwi Land!

February 17, 2020 at 8:25 am | Posted in Bookshops, Buying my books, Hamilton, New Zealand | Leave a comment
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I’m tickled pink! All your favourite Chinese Calendar Tales beasties are now on sale in New Zealand at the fabulous Books for Kids, the best kids’ bookshop in Hamilton! Here is a photo of owner and manager Megan Lindsay with The Tale of Run Run Rat and The Tale of Pin Yin Panda! She tells me that the day after they arrived, three Run Run Rats ran out of the door with grateful customers! Go Run Run Rat!!

Beyond the Boundaries interview!

February 15, 2020 at 9:52 am | Posted in Beyond the Boundaries, Book reviews, Chinese Zodiac, media articles, Press interviews | Leave a comment
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A big THANK YOU to Shikha Lamba, Editor of Beyond the Boundaries, for this fabulous feature article, published on 20th January. You can read all about my journey with the Chinese Calendar Tales and what I’ve got in store now that I’ve finished the series!

And if mums and dads would like some great recommendations for books to read, here is another fascinating article in the magazine with contributions from me and other wonderful Hong Kong authors on the books we love!

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If you’re sitting at home looking for a bit of fun!

February 12, 2020 at 8:04 am | Posted in Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Precious and Bright IdeaHello all you primary school kids out there who are sitting at home with all that home school work! If you want a bit of fun, this is your PERFECT opportunity to enter my Rascally Rat Tale story writing competition! You can see all the special ingredients and rules here! So get out those pens and start writing!

 

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Run Run Rat at the China Institute in New York!

February 8, 2020 at 11:32 am | Posted in China Institute New York, Chinese New Year, Events, New York | Leave a comment
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Run Run Rat scampered into the China Institute Chinese New Year Family Celebration last Sunday, and here he is having his story read by a lovely China Institute story-teller! I am assured that the room was chockful of kiddies and their parents! I can’t wait to meet some of them in person when I fly out to New York later in the year!

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Thank you so much Michael Buening, Operations Director at the China Institute in New York, for inviting me, being so flexible when I had to cancel, and sending me these lovely photos! I’ll see you all soon!

Seven big reasons why I love Hong Kong!

February 5, 2020 at 11:21 am | Posted in Chinese New Year, Dragon dance, Hong Kong, Hong Kong events | Leave a comment
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For all the recent doom and gloom about viruses and protests, Hong Kong, my home for the last 21 years, is still one of my favourite places in the world! And here are just a few reasons why I ESPECIALLY love Hong Kong at Chinese New Year!

Blue, blue skies above spectacular architecture!

Chinese New Year really is the best time of year in Hong Kong weather-wise, with low humidity and lovely bright days with cool nights – yum! And its buildings are fantastic! Above are just a few that I snapped on a brisk walk from Wanchai into Central the other day!

Flowers, flowers everywhere!

Chinese New Year is the time for spectacular fruit and flower displays at home, in the office, and on every street corner! Above are just a few I spotted on my walk through the city centre!

Extraordinary trees, some literally hanging off the walls!

The city is home to some of the most glorious banyan trees, with their aerial roots and extraordinary root systems making them a unique part of this unique city!

Fabulous decorations in shopping malls!

And in shops…

 

And in the streets…

 

And all the excitement of Dragon Dances!

Here’s a short video I took in Saikung village, in the New Territories, where four different teams of dancers, drummers and their followers circulated around the village, spreading good fortune for the New Year! Here you can see a Black Lion entering a small shop, to receive the gift of a lettuce, which it “eats” to ensure the prosperity of the shop for the coming year!

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!

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