A fabulous 2 day visit to QSI Zhuhai!

September 29, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Posted in Being an Author, School visits, Zhuhai schools | Leave a comment
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Thank you to the lovely Heather Domenico (above left) for hosting me on Wednesday and Thursday at QSI Zhuhai! It was a very busy time, with story readings from the Chinese Calendar Tales and Dirty Stories for everyone from 2 years old to 13 years old, and writing workshops for everyone from 7 years old to graduation! Plus a talk to the parents and staff about How to Create Writers in the Digital Age Рand book-signings in between! Not to mention some great chats with British poet and publisher Neil Stevens, a teacher at the school (above right).  Then a fun evening  with Principal Cliff Geis-Poage and his lovely wife and teacher Becca who treated me to a delicious dinner before I caught the ferry home to Hong Kong! Everyone was so warm and welcoming Рthe terrific staff, Theresa in administration, not to mention the mums and dads and the gorgeous kids and teens. It was my first visit to Zhuhai in mainland China, and my first visit to QSI РI hope to see you all again soon!

A short but wonderful visit to Beijing!

September 8, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Posted in Beijing Schools, Story Readings, workshops | Leave a comment
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Many thanks to the lovely Kelly Miller (head of library) for hosting me to two fabulous days at Beijing World Youth Academy on Tuesday and Wednesday this week! I gave story readings for all the students, from Kindy to Year 5, and two parent sessions where BWYA’s very dedicated and caring parents heard my top tips for creating Bookworms and Readers in the digital Age! I had a lot of fun, and signed a LOT of books for the many kids and teachers who bought my Chinese Calendar Tales and Dirty Stories!


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!

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!


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!

A marvellous morning at St Mary’s College

May 26, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Posted in Australian schools, children's literacy, Hobart, St Mary's College, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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What a fun morning I had today at St Mary’s College here in Hobart, introducing my Chinese Calendar Tales! My lonely dragon Chester Choi and I met all the lovely girls and boys of Prep to Year 1, and vain but loveable Pin Yin Panda and I met all the kids in Years 2 and 3! It was a joy to work with such a lovely lot of kids and their dedicated teachers. Warm thanks to lovely Deputy Director of Junior School, Glynis Devereux, who was my host for the day, and to librarian Marylouise Jones, who invited me! I hope to see you all again soon!


Announcing the winners of the March Minibus Madness Photo Competition!

May 13, 2017 at 11:58 am | Posted in Hong Kong Minibus, Hong Kong Schools, Photo competitions | Leave a comment
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A big THANK YOU to all the Hong Kong kids, mums and dads who sent in such funny and fabulous photos to our March Minibus Madness Photo Competition! Me and my team at Auspicious Times loved them ALL – and it was clear that you all had a lot of fun tracking down our minibuses on the Island and Kowloon-side and posing in front of them! But a winner there has to be, and in the end we simply couldn’t choose between two fabulous photos below!

Winning entrants Ema and Claire each win a COMPLETE SET of signed Chinese Calendar Tales, as well as a FREE set each for the primary school of their choice!

Here they are, with the stories behind them:

Ema 3(3)

EQUAL WINNER: Ema. We loved Ema’s cheeky face hiding behind The Tale of Run Run Rat, and the clever way she featured the entire set of Chinese Calendar Tales on the front of Island-side Minibus 22 in her photo! We’ll be letting you know more about Ema and her primary school of choice soon. Ema wrote: “I really enjoyed travelling across Hong Kong to find the bus and take this image at Pokfulam Gardens. Hope you’ll like it as well!”


EQUAL WINNER: Claire. We loved Claire’s night-time photo of our Kowloon-side Minibus 74, just about to get a good wash! Claire’s mum Majela sent us the sweetest covering email – here’s just some of it below! We’ll let you know more about Claire and her chosen primary school shortly!

I am writing to enter the competition. In fact it should be my daughter Claire who is writing to you, but she is too sleepy now and we need to make sure we send the photo to you before the deadline which is the end of today! Claire and I don’t live or work/study close to any of the bus stops on the two minibus routes. We were always looking for the chance to go to a bus stop to take photos. Both of us were quite busy so I felt we almost gave up when the deadline was approaching. We should NOT! Today Claire and I invited a family to dinner and we got to choose the restaurant. I chose Elements mostly because it’s where the minibus 74’s terminal is. It was 10:25pm when we got to the bus terminal and Claire spotted Run Run Rat in no time. Claire was thankful for the bus driver who stopped cleaning the bus to let us take photos – the driver moved his buckets away several times to give us more space beside the bus; we said it’s ok, we actually wanted the buckets in the photo because it’s so real life. Claire was amazed how many people were working that late at night as her usual bedtime is 8:30pm!

Aren’t they wonderful photos! Congratulations again to Ema and Claire and everyone who entered our March Minibus Madness Competition! We hope you continue to enjoy our funny and fabulous Chinese Calendar Tales AND our two fantastic Hong Kong minibuses!

A fabulous photo shoot!

April 15, 2017 at 6:17 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Photoshoots, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Huge thanks to Hong Kong photographer Ellen Claire Taylor for a fun photoshoot on Wednesday this week at my home in Tai Po, in beautiful Tai Po Kau Park, and at the Pok Fu Lam Gardens terminus of Green Minibus 22 on Hong Kong Island! Here I am above left at home with my beautiful new book Storm Whale, launching in Melbourne on 1st June; at my favourite local park in Tai Po Kau (above right) and catching up with the Chinese Calendar Tales characters on Green Minibus 22 at the Pok Fu Lam Gardens terminus in the rain! Pandora, my toy panda, loved it!

Wow! 52 entries in our March Madness Minibus Photo Competition!

April 2, 2017 at 9:46 am | Posted in Photo competitions, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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IMG_2784Congratulations to all you 52 clever people out there who registered in our March Madness Minibus Photo Competition! Registration has now closed, and my team at Auspicious Times and I can’t wait to see your fun photos!

But first you have to complete our Questionnaire in Step 2! We sent you your unique number when you registered, with the link to our fun multiple choice questionnaire: please don’t worry, it’s not difficult, and all the answers are on our website at http://www.chinesecalendartales.com!

So send in your completed questionnaire, and after that, we’ll send you the exciting instructions to the final Step 3: That Photo!

The weather’s perfect, the Easter holidays are here…what better time to go snapping our funny and fabulous minibuses! Remember, you can find them on Hong Kong Island here: http://www.16seats.net/eng/gmb/gh_22.html and on Kowloon side here: http://www.16seats.net/eng/gmb/gk_74.html!

So get cracking and get snapping!

Last chance to win a free set of books for you AND your school in our March Madness Minibus Photo Competition!

March 31, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Minibus, Hong Kong Schools, Photo competitions | Leave a comment
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Chinese Calendart Tales Minibus

Yes, it’s the last day of March, and the deadline to sign up in our fabulous March Madness Minibus Photo Competition is midnight Hong Kong time today! So if you want to win a free set of my funny and fabulous Chinese Calendar Tales…PLUS a free set for your favourite primary school, go right away to http://www.chinesecalendartales.com to register right away in our competition!

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