Phew!! We’ve just packed all the boxed sets!

April 25, 2019 at 11:12 am | Posted in Boxed Set, Boxed Set of Chinese Calendar Tales, Online Sales | Leave a comment
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HOORAY! My lovely office manager Shilpa Patel and I have just finished hand-boxing all our beautiful sets of The Chinese Calendar Tales! It’s been a labour of love to get the right books packed, so that the fabulous red dragon logo sits just right on the spines!

So now all you have to do is click here to purchase your very own boxed set of all 12 Chinese Calendar Tales plus The Tale of Pin Yin Panda!

It’s our best online seller!

And it makes a FANTASTIC gift for birthdays, primary school graduation gifts and other happy celebrations!

Ping Pong Pig visits the Asia Society!

February 24, 2019 at 11:41 am | Posted in Asia Society, Chinese festivals, Chinese New Year, Events, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Ping Pong Pig and I visited the Asia Society yesterday for a lovely afternoon with some scrumptious kids, mums, dads and some fabulous grandmas! We had so much shouting to that plump little pig to “Run Pig Run!” or “Stay Pig Stay!” as the Minister of Most Important Things tried to track her down, and winning mini-pandas during my quiz! And the kids really learned their Ming Dynasty history too, with some impressively accurate answers to some of my tricky questions! Many thanks to the lovely Pauline Wong who hosted me for the event, and to CEO Alice Mong for asking me in!

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The Kennedy School kids meet Ping Pong Pig!

February 17, 2019 at 10:13 am | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Kennedy School, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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On Wednesday I took my tasty little Ping Pong Pig to meet all my old friends at Kennedy School in Pok Fu Lam! 900 kiddies from Year 1 to Year 6 made that difficult choice between crispy pork and cute pink pigs as they exhorted Ping Pong to Run Pig Run! or Stay Pig Stay! while the crafty Minister of Most Important Things tried to track her down, in four delicious story reading sessions! A big Thank You to English Co-ordinator Jeff Moore for inviting me in, and assistant librarian Susan Mifsud (below to my right, with Michelle Spratt teacher librarian to my left) for being such a welcoming host! And to all you Kennedy kids – I look forward to receiving your entries in my new Clever Competition!

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A Big Fat “Happy Year of the Pig!” from Harry Harrison!

February 11, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Posted in Chinese New Year, Chinese Zodiac | Leave a comment
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My friend Harry Harrison, who is the FABULOUS illustrator of the Chinese Calendar Tales, has asked me to post this very funny cartoon on my blog to wish all his fans a very Happy Year of the Pig! Harry is the famous cartoonist in the South China Morning Post as well as many other publications in the world, such as The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom and the Far East Economic Review. I’m so lucky that he illustrates my stories – and all the fans of the Chinese Calendar Tales are too! What can we say but Thank you Harry!

A Funny and Fabulous Visit to Shatin Junior School!

February 4, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Shatin Junior School | Leave a comment
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Illustration credit: Harry Harrison. From The Tale of Ping Pong Pig.

My second school visit last week, on Wednesday, was to my dear friends at Shatin Junior School, just around the corner from my office in Fo Tan! In four very noisy and animated sessions all the kids from P1 to P6 made friends with Ping Pong Pig, and echoes of “Run Pig! Run!” could be heard in the playground in all the breaks! Above, you can see Ping Pong heading off to the Forbidden City in the evil clutches of the Minister of Most Important Things! Run Pig! Run! And below, me and my toy pig Paavo (cousin of Ping Pong Pig) with a fabulous bunch of Year 6 Pig lovers!

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A wonderful visit to Beacon Hill School in Kowloon Tong!

February 4, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Posted in Beacon Hill School, Hong Kong Schools | Leave a comment
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Last week I visited two lovely schools with Ping Pong Pig and all her Chinese Zodiac animal cousins! Here I am above with a fabulous hall of students at Beacon Hill School in Kowloon Tong! All the primary school classes met my new Chinese Calendar Tales character Ping Pong in 4 big, fun sessions, and cheered on my little pig as she kept escaping the clutches of the wily Minister of Most Important Things in his attempt to win favour with the third Ming Dynasty Emperor Zhu Di! Many thanks, as ever, to the lovely Emily Jeves, Deputy Principal, for inviting me in and being such a great host! Here we both are with our own animal signs (I’m a Rat and Emily is a Dragon, and we both love that Ping Pong Pig) below!

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Another great visit to Stamford American International School…with an SCMP journalist!

January 23, 2019 at 8:32 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, media articles, School visits, Stamford American School Hong Kong, Story Readings, writing workshops for children | Leave a comment
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Ping Pong Pig and I continued our funny and fabulous Hong Kong School tour on Tuesday afternoon with a visit to my friends at Stamford American International School in Ho Man Tin, where I am proud to be a Global Mentor. And this time I was accompanied by Fionnuala McHugh, a journalist for the South China Morning Post, who is writing a feature article for the Sunday Post for Chinese New Year!

After photos in the Activity Room, our terrific host Lisa Olinski introduced me to some lovely parents and younger kids who heard me reading my “youngest” book, The Tale of Chester Choi, and enthusiastically joined in with contributions as to how you chop off a dragon’s head, especially if it’s threatening your Dad! Then a lovely roomful of older kids and their parents heard my Tale of Ping Pong Pig, together with a whole lot of fascinating history about the third Ming Dynasty Emperor Zhu Di and his best friend the explorer Admiral Zheng He and his seven epic  journeys in huge Treasure Boats as far as Africa!

Lastly, I gave my popular How to Write a Riveting Story workshop to the hardy mums and children who stayed on after the story reading! It was a busy, fun day, and wonderful to see this lovely school again! More photos to come!

A Book Week visit at MLC in Melbourne!

August 28, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Posted in Australian schools, Melbourne schools, Methodist Ladies College, Story Readings, workshops | Leave a comment
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The subject of this year’s Book Week in Australia was Find Your Treasure, and what better book to introduce to the fabulous girls of Melbourne Ladies College on 16th and 17th August than my latest Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Desmond Dog, a story of pirates, treasure and an infamous Pirate Queen!  On the 16th, all the girls from Grade 4 to Grade 6 joined the crew for a story reading, followed by a hearty lunch with the Book Bugs (top photo) who heard some Top Secrets about my next (and final) Chinese Calendar Tale for next year’s Year of the Pig! In the afternoon I was delighted to meet wonderful Grade 3 student Hannah Thompson, the winner of the Grade 1 to 3 Category in my Dashing Dog Story Competition earlier this year (middle photo above), followed by a delightful Grade 1 student who is already writing lots of stories in her spare time (bottom left). The future of great writing from MLC alumni is clearly bright!

Then on the 17th, the Grade 6s took part in my brand new workshop entitled Geography is History: How topography shaped China’s remarkable history! We talked about China’s grasslands in the North (from which invaders came on horseback); its mountains and deserts in the West and North West (which formed a natural barrier both inwards and outwards); its fertile deltas in the East (which formed the first united China under Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi) and the seas beyond (from which trade came and went, and ultimately the incursion of foreign powers, and invasion of the Japanese navy, which together precipitated the End of Empire). I hope the girls found the subject as fascinating as I did!!

Huge thanks to my friend, and fabulous Junior School Head of Library, Tracey Ricchini, who you can just see at the back of the Book Bugs in the top photo! She made a fantastic Ching Shi, the evil (and real life) pirate queen from The Tale of Desmond Dog! More photos to come!

Woof! Desmond is a best seller in Hong Kong!

February 28, 2018 at 9:47 pm | Posted in Best sellers, Bookazine Festival Walk, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Woof! It’s official! The Tale of Desmond Dog is one of the Top 5 January Books at Bookazine, Hong Kong’s leading bookshop! Here’s what I found on their new Festival Walk shop screen last weekend!

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