A Fabulous International Holiday Writing Challenge: The Wonderful Whale Haiku Competition!

June 19, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Posted in Book launches, Buying my books, Clever Competitions, Storm Whale | Leave a comment
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Don’t you just love whales? These beautiful giants of the deep are so intelligent and wise, and they’ve lived at peace in their watery world for many thousands of years, in a way that we silly human beings simply cannot seem to manage up here on the earth! And many of you will know that my new book with Australian publishers Allen & Unwin, called Storm Whale, illustrated by the award-winning Australian artist Jane Tanner, has just been launched in Melbourne! So to celebrate these beautiful animals – and Jane’s and my beautiful new book – I thought it was high time that we celebrated these wonderful animals in a Wonderful Whale Haiku Competition!

The competition is open to any kid of Primary School age, anywhere in the world.

You’ve got lots of time for this one: the deadline is Saturday 30th September 2017, so you can have a lovely time over your upcoming holidays thinking about whales and writing your poem!

Go to my Clever Competitions page above for all the rules and requirements!

Storm Whale cover

And if you love the illustration above, and want to purchase your own copy of our new book, just click on the link here: http://www.chinesecalendartales.com!

A fabulously fun YouTube video if you’re travelling to Italy this summer!

June 14, 2017 at 3:10 pm | Posted in Favourite kids' books | Leave a comment
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I ADORE Leigh Hobbs’ Mister Chicken series…and this is a wonderful video tribute made by one of his fan-families about “Mr Chicken Goes to Rome”. It’s MAGNIFICO!

It’s good to be back in Hong Kong!

June 13, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Posted in AISHK, Kingston International School Hong Kong, School visits | 2 Comments
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Well, I’m back in Hong Kong after 3 fabulous weeks in Hobart, Melbourne and Brisbane, and it’s sooooo good to be home! The very first thing to be done was to pack up the fabulous book orders from the students of Australian International School and Kingston International School where I visited the kids just before I left! Here I am signing books yesterday in my office – we packed over 300 books in total! Thanks kids – and your books will be delivered to your schools this week!

Helloooo Brisbane…and my last school visit of the tour- with the boys of Churchie!

June 5, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Posted in Australian schools, Brisbane schools, Clever Competitions, Poetry Workshops for kids | Leave a comment
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Thank you Churchie (Anglican Church Grammar School) in Brisbane for a fabulous day today! I met all the Fantastic Grade Fours in four fun sessions of my Introduction to Poetry Workshop and we had a good old mental workout unscrambling limericks, identifying haikus, writing acrostics about some long-suffering teachers (who were very good sports!) and rhyming words! AND talking about the vital importance of reading books to the development of a great vocabulary, an even greater imagination, not to mention a great life! I hope to see loads of Churchie entries in my next Clever Competition! And last but not least, my warmest thanks to my lovely host for the day, librarian Rose Hoger (see above)!

Storm Whale’s Wonderful Melbourne Launch!

June 4, 2017 at 6:05 am | Posted in Being an Author, Book launches, Melbourne events, Storm Whale | Leave a comment
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Our beautiful Storm Whale splashed off to a wonderful start at the launch party at the famous Readings Kids bookshop in Lygon Street in Melbourne on Thursday night 1st June! Here are just some of the photos! Top – an original illustration from the book, by award-winning artist Jane Tanner. Isn’t it just gorgeous?

Readings Kids beautiful store front in Lygon Street.

Before the launch with my dear friend Judy Mackerras who flew in all the way from London via Sydney!

Three very important women – to me, and to Storm Whale! Top left, my wonderful agent and friend Julie Watts, top right, Jane Tanner, the renowned artist who brought Storm Whale to life in her exquisite pictures, and top centre, the lovely Erica Wagner, head of children’s books at Allen & Unwin, our fantastic publisher.

With two dear old friends, Jill (top left) with whom I went to school in Hobart many, many years ago and Stacey who lives in Melbourne; and my new friend Jane Tanner!

With Jane, Julie and my friend Tom Danby of INT Books (left), and the three gorgeous girls who were Jane’s models for the drawings of me and my sisters in the book!

Book signing after the speeches…

The shop window before and after the launch! We sold out completely!!

A big warm thank you to Readings Kids for hosting this wonderful event, and to my friends at Allen & Unwin for putting on such a fabulous party!

My Marvellous Day at MLC, Melbourne!

June 1, 2017 at 10:36 am | Posted in Australian schools, Being an Author, children's literacy, Melbourne schools, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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It was wonderful to visit my old friends at Methodist Ladies College Junior School yesterday, and to catch up with my dear friend, librarian Tracey Ricchini (below)! I had SUCH a great day introducing my latest Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster, to the girls from Grades 3 to 6 in three wonderful sessions chockful of history and fun, and then meeting up with my very favourite Book Bugs (above) at lunchtime for a lovely long chat about being an author, as well as a sneak preview of Storm Whale. Tracey is one of the most dedicated librarians I know, and we spent every spare moment talking about our most passionate shared interest – children’s literacy. The girls of MLC love their books, and below you can see a photo of Tilda Clohesy, a young author who has written and illustrated her own excellent children’s book! Thanks Tracey for a brilliant day and I look forward to seeing you all again next year!

 

Interview with ABC Hobart last Friday!

May 30, 2017 at 7:06 pm | Posted in Hobart, Radio interviews | Leave a comment
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I was lucky enough to meet the famous Louise Saunders, of ABC Radio Drive, last Friday afternoon in Hobart, and we had a lovely long chat about Storm Whale, the inspiration behind it, and the writing process. You can listen to the interview on this link!

http://www.abc.net.au/radio/hobart/programs/drive/storm-whale/8568362

In Melbourne…and the Storm Whale countdown begins!

May 30, 2017 at 7:01 pm | Posted in Book launches, Bookshop event, Melbourne events | Leave a comment
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I arrived in Melbourne yesterday to some cold, bleak and windy weather – perfect for the launch on Thursday of my new book Storm Whale, where the weather is exactly the same! I’m SO excited to be meeting up at the launch with the lovely Jane Tanner, who did the exquisite drawings, my Allen & Unwin publisher Erica Wagner and my wonderful agent Julie Watts. If you live in Melbourne, please do come along – it would be fantastic to see you there!

Thanks Fullers for a funny and fabulous event!

May 27, 2017 at 4:01 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Books about Chinese Zodiac, Bookshop event, Chinese festivals, Hobart | Leave a comment
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A big thank you to all the friendly efficient staff at Fullers Bookshop in Hobart for hosting a wonderful event this afternoon for me and Rickshaw Rooster! We had a lovely crowd of babies, kids, pre-teens, mums, dads and grandparents, who cockadoodle-dooed beautifully during my story reading, learned lots of Chinese history, and did brilliantly in the post-reading Quiz (for which they won some tasty fortune cookies!) Special thanks to my host for the day, Anne – photographed with me above; to Cat, the fabulous shop manager, and to Peter Igram-Jones who so patiently and efficiently handled all the lovely book sales in the three schools I visited this week (even though we sold out of four of my titles!). I’ll see you again soon!

Rickshaw Rooster meets Hobart kids at Fullers Bookshop on Saturday!

May 26, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Posted in Books about Chinese Zodiac, Bookshop event, Children's Chinese Zodiac Books, Chinese festivals, Chinese New Year, Hobart | Leave a comment
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Rickshaw Rooster is saying a big HELLOOOO to Hobart tomorrow at Fullers Bookshop at 3pm in a fun belated Chinese New Year event to celebrate the Year of the Rooster! We’ll have laisee packets with tasty money, a fun story reading, a book-signing, a quiz with fun prizes for kids, mums and dads, and even some free Year of the Rooster bookmarks! So if you’re in Hobart this Saturday afternoon, come along and join the fun!

Cock-a-doodle-DOOOOO!

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