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!

 

Shanghai International Literary Festival – in the Paris of the East!

March 21, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Literary Festivals, Shanghai International Literary Festival | Leave a comment
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Kids often ask me what the best things are about being an author – and one of the MANY fabulous things about being an author is being invited to Literary Festivals in different countries around the world! And the Shanghai International Literary Festival is one of the best there is!

HUGE thanks to Michelle Garnaut, of M on the Bund and the M Literary Festivals, for inviting me again to the SILF this year to present my latest Chinese Calendar Tale to the kids and parents of Shanghai! And what a wonderful weekend I had! We authors all stayed at the beautiful new Wanda Reign on the Bund Hotel, a superb homage to Art Deco and 1920s Shanghai, which of course is also paid homage to in my  new book The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster!! So Rickshaw Rooster and I felt quite at home! Above is a picture I took of the Bund in the evening – and you can see the green dome of the old Cathay Hotel (now called The Peace Hotel) where Miss Eugenie Stroganoff was flirting with the band in my story!

And here is, from left to right, The Bund again – you can see the Telegraph Building where Colonel Billy Flynn was posting a letter home in my story, with its big mast, at the back of the row of buildings on The Bund. In the middle is the Pudong skyline, on the other side of the Huangpu River – space-age and modern and extraordinary!! And a gorgeous light show on one of the Shanghai skyscrapers on the right! Shanghai is most definitely a city of ever-blazing lights, and is best seen at night!

And here are just some of the other authors I met: Patrick Lapeyre, a famous French writer and winner of the 2010 Prix Femina; in the middle, from left to right, Michelle Garnaut introducing Lee Tamahori (screen director of the renowned Once Were Warriors and, more recently James Bond film Die Another Day), Anne O’Brien, director of the New Zealand Writers Festival, and the wonderful Witi Ihimaera, author of famous The Whale Rider, talking about their latest collaboration Mahana; and on the right, Zhang Lijia, a famous Chinese author, talking about her latest book! I’m so fortunate to have met them and had lovely long chats with this last weekend!

IMG_3010  On Saturday evening, I walked down the Bund to the old Cathay Hotel, now called the Peace Hotel, to take a look! This hotel was THE place to be seen in 1920s Shanghai, at the time The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster was set, and it still has the most beautiful Art Deco carving and floors and ceilings and lights, as well as photos of the old days! Here’s one I discovered – and you can see a whole row of 1920s motor cars in the foreground! It reminded me of The Shanghai Race in my new book!

Lions are Rampant in Hong Kong!!

January 31, 2017 at 11:04 am | Posted in Chinese festivals, Chinese New Year, Chinese Zodiac, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Funny and Fabulous Lion Dance.jpgHello again! Here is a fabulous Lion in a Lion Dance at Hong Kong Airport for Chinese New Year! How many Lion Dances have you seen lately? Aren’t they fabulous!!

Ming Kee Monkey creates mischief at WISS!

November 7, 2016 at 9:05 pm | Posted in Children's Chinese Zodiac Books, children's literacy, Chinese Calendar Tales, School visits, Shanghai schools | Leave a comment
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Today Ming Kee Monkey and I – and all the other Chinese Calendar Tales beasties – had a fabulous day at Western International School Shanghai! We had three fun story readings, where everyone from the Grade Ones to the Grade Fives heard The Tale of Ming Kee Monkey and all the scrumptious history behind it! Here I am above with my lovely hosts, Head of Libraries Fiona Collins on the right, and Primary Librarian Isolde Rosevear on the left, who looked after me beautifully all day! I can’t wait to read all the WISS entries in my Horribly Hilarious Halloween story competition!

A Ram-bunctious Morning at Cranbrook Junior School!

February 26, 2015 at 2:44 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Chinese New Year, School visits, Sydney schools | 2 Comments
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A huge thank you to teacher librarian Megan Light and library technician Liz de Wit for hosting me at Cranbrook Junior today. The boys from Grade 3 to 6 met my shy but artistic Rodney Ram in two fun story-telling sessions jam-packed with Chinese history and folklore, and even explored their romantic sides! It was so much fun, and I had a ball! Thank you all for your lovely warm welcome, and make sure you enter my Clever Competition right away! Also, do remember to take a look at http://www.roomtoread.org for more information about this very important children’s charity. Here I am with the boys, working out their signs of the zodiac, and pretending to be the farmer in Rodney Ram’s story!

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Rodney Ram meets Robert Townson Public School!

February 26, 2015 at 4:51 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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On Wednesday, Rodney Ram and I and all the Chinese Calendar Tales characters met the wonderful kids and staff of Robert Townson Public School at Raby! It was a very special day for me, as my host was my dear friend Michelle Sarjana, deputy principal, who used to be deputy principal at Kennedy School in Hong Kong, and was one of the first teachers ever to invite me to visit her school with my first book, A Dirty Story! It was a BIG day! The Kindies met my hungry dragon Chester Choi, the Grade 1s and 2s learned all about the Chinese Zodiac animals in The Tale of Pin Yin Panda, then the Grade 3s and 4s met my VERY romantic Rodney Ram and the Grade 5s and 6s were hypnotized by Sybil Snake! Lastly, my toy tiger Tarini met the Townson Tiger who told her to Aim High! It was great to meet you all, and I really enjoyed my chats with the dedicated staff at the school – especially gifted potter and artist Lyn Thirwell who is currently looking after the library! It was a treat! I look forward to seeing lots of entries in my Clever Competition!

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