A fun morning at FSSA in Yau Tong!

April 18, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Posted in Fukien Secondary School Affiliated, Hong Kong Schools, Story Readings, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Many thanks to Head of English and Deputy Principal Nicolas Delbos (with me above right) and Sunny Ding (above left) for hosting me yesterday at Fukien Secondary School Affiliated Primary School for a morning of fun story readings with all the kids from Primary One to Primary Six! The P1 to P3 kids met my vain but loveable Pin Yin Panda as we explored the Legend of Lord Buddha’s Race and how all the animals got into the Chinese Zodiac in The Tale of Pin Yin Panda, while the P4 to P6s pretended to be fabulously fearsome pirates as I read them this year’s Chinese Calendar TaleThe Tale of Desmond Dog! We had a lot of fun!

Desmond Dog leaps into Beacon Hill School last Wednesday!

March 26, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Posted in Beacon Hill School, Hong Kong Schools | Leave a comment
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Last Wednesday, Desmond Dog and I visited the fabulous kids of Beacon Hill School in Kowloon Tong! We had four funny (and highly educational :)!) reading sessions of The Tale of Desmond Dog with all the kids from Grades 1, 2, 3 and 6! They learned all about Hong Kong’s origins as a small fishing village, the infamous pirate queen Ching Shih, and the characteristics of people born in the Year of the Dog! A warm thank you to the lovely Emily Jeves, Teacher Librarian (above left) for hosting me, and to her assistant Shirley Lowe, Librarian, between us. Emily and Shirley are both Dragons, and I’m a Rat, if you’re wondering about the toys we’re holding!

My Brilliant Week in China!

March 23, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Posted in Beijing, Beijing Schools, Bookworm Cafe Beijing, Changzhou, Changzhou schools, China photos, Montessori School of Beijing, Suzhou, Suzhou schools, Suzhou Science and Technology Town Foreign Language School, Tsinghua International School Beijing, Wycombe Abbey International School Changzhou, YCIS Beijing | Leave a comment
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Hello everyone – I’m back in Hong Kong, and now I can update you about my fantastic week in China last week!

Day One: Wycombe Abbey International School in Changzhou

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On Monday I met the fabulous kids and teachers at Wycombe Abbey International School in Changzhou! Here above I’m standing with the lovely librarians – Betty Ton, my host for the day (who kindly let me stay in her flat!), and her library colleagues Lesley Kelly and Marianne Booth.

We had a fun day of 4 story readings where the kids met my Chinese Calendar Tales characters from The Tale of Desmond Dog, The Tale of a Dark Horse, and The Tale of Chester Choi. Then just a few days ago I received a lovely list of questions from the school magazine – the questions were so interesting, I’ve added them and my answers to to my FAQ list on the tab above! Do take a look! And here are some more photos!

 

That evening I flew to the ancient city of Suzhou, where I met up with my Bookworm Festival Minder Elaine and her friend Zoe, who took me out for a dinner of black carp soup at a local restaurant. It was delicate and absolutely delicious!

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=Afterwards, we took a walk along the canal which runs around the old city, seeing some wonderful landmarks below:

 

 

Day Two: Suzhou Science and Technology Town Foreign Language School

After staying in the very elegant Pan Pacific Hotel in Suzhou overnight,

Elaine and I were driven an hour into the countryside to a local private high school in Suzhou’s Science and Technology Town, the Suzhou Science and Technology Town Foreign Language School.

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I met some remarkable, forward-thinking teachers and the students of Grades 5 and 7, who impressed me hugely with their creativity. I gave two hour long sessions about How to Become Writers in the Digital Age, to a great response from the students and staff. Below top left, you will see me with Vice Principal Wang Haiyan to my left, the lovely Zhang Chen, Director of the Principal’s Office to her left, and my helper Elaine to my right!

In particular I met a delightful young lady at lunch, Rose Yang, just 11 years old, who later sent me a very accomplished and lovely sonnet she had written – I’ll write about it in my next post!

That night I flew to Beijing, where the Bookworm Festival kindly accommodated me and the other Festival writers in the very modern, stylish and minimalist hotel The Opposite House. Here are some pictures – though I’m not sure how much I appreciated the terracotta soldiers in the foyer…!

 

 

Day Three: Montessori School of Beijing

On Wednesday I visited my old friends at Montessori School of Beijing, where I gave two story reading sessions to the younger students, and two Riveting Story workshops to the older students. It was great to see the school again, to meet its new Principal Laura King (to my left) and its marketing director Wairimu Wanjau (Nimo) to my right! I also made a wonderful new friend Yun (below far right) who was my Bookworm Minder for the day – thanks Yun! More photos to come!

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Day Four: Yew Chung International School Beijing

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On Thursday I visited YCIS Beijing, where the Year 1 and Year 2 kids heard my latest Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Desmond Dog, while the Year 4s took part in my How to Write a Riveting Story workshop and the Year 5s learned How to Publish Your Own Picture Book! We had a lot of fun! Many thanks to my hosts Anna Esposito and Landy Hwang, and to my wonderful Bookworm Minder, Gary Fang.

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Day Five: Tsinghua International School Beijing

IMG_0369The final school in my busy tour was the wonderful THISB, set in the middle of the Olympics Tennis Center! With workshops and story readings for everyone from Grade 1 to Grade 5, we had so much fun together in this energetic, enthusiastic school. Many thanks for inviting me to the lovely Principal Mandy Zhang and my host for the day, librarian Christine Wedge. Here we are below in a fun selfie!

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And here I am in my sessions with the kids!

 

 

And meeting some of my new fans!

 

 

 

Friday evening and Saturday at The Bookworm

Finally, I spent a wonderful evening and day at The Bookworm International Literary Festival listening to three fabulous Australian authors, Booker Prize Winning Richard Flanagan from my home State of Tasmania, and prize-winning Sydney poet and author Fiona Wright and multi-award winning author Alexis Wright. It was a rare privilege to hear them talk about their writing, their inspiration and their craft.

 

Huge thanks to Peter Goff, owner of The Bookworm Cafe and Festival Director, for inviting me to participate in the Schools Program for the Festival this year, to Zoe for her fantastic organisation of the tour, and to my fabulous minders. And for the splendid accommodation, and always warm welcome at the unique and beautiful Bookworm Cafe!

Farewell Beijing!

And finally, a fond farewell to misty late-winter Beijing, a magnificent city with a magnificent history! I can’t wait to return!

 

 

A day to remember at Renaissance College HK!

March 7, 2018 at 9:04 am | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, RCHK, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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What a fun day I had yesterday with my old friends at RCHK in Ma On Shan! I was hosted by the lovely Shirley Chan (above) in 3 fun venues to visit the students of Years 4 to 6 – including the breezy rooftop! The kids learned the fabulous true history of notorious (and rather magnificent!) pirate queen Ching Shih, the Tanka people of Hong Kong and how Hong Kong actually got it’s name, whilst hearing my Tale of Desmond Dog and pretending to be pirates with great expertise! Thanks Shirley for your expert hosting and company yesterday, and thanks to all the students and teachers for their warm welcome! I look forward to many entries from you all in my Dashing Dog Story Writing Competition!

Harry and I feature in a great article – and video – in the South China Morning Post Online!

March 2, 2018 at 11:30 am | Posted in media articles, On-line sales, books about Chinese Zodiac, Press, Video | Leave a comment
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Many thanks to Jarrod Watt for this fantastic article AND video in the South China Morning Post Online, published on 28 February! You can watch Harry and I talking all about our new story The Tale of Desmond Dog and how we work together on our Chinese Calendar Tales series! You can even see Harry drawing! Please share it with your family and friends! And if you want to buy our exciting new tale about Hong Kong, some wicked pirates and a very brave dog, just click on this link!

Desmond Dog sails to Discovery Bay!

February 28, 2018 at 9:29 pm | Posted in Discovery College, Hong Kong Schools, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Huge thanks to my lovely friend, PYP Teacher Librarian Leanne Sercombe (also known as Sherlock Holmes), who expertly hosted Desmond Dog and me (also known as Dr Watson) yesterday when we visited Discovery College! We had a fabulous day of story readings, with everyone involved from the Year 1s right up to the Year 6s! Here are some fab photos above and below!

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A hugely happy day at AISHK!

February 22, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Posted in AISHK, Hong Kong Schools | Leave a comment
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Desmond Dog and I had the BEST day yesterday at my old friends, Australian International School Hong Kong, when I warmly and expertly hosted by primary librarian Nicole Atkins (above)! All the classes from Prep right up to Grade 6 met my dashing dog in four fun story reading sessions – not to mention also meeting that extraordinary pirate queen Ching Shih and her Red Flags! It’s been 9 years since I first read The Tale of Oswald Ox to the AISHK kids, and I’ve visited them almost every year since with each new Chinese Calendar Tale! It’s wonderful to think that my series has grown up with this lovely school and its teachers and students and gives me many fond memories. More photos to come, but in the meantime just look at the number of books in the photo below that Harry Harrison and I and our terrific team have created over the last 12 years!

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Happy Year of the Dog from Desmond in Hong Kong!

February 16, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Posted in Books about Chinese Zodiac | Leave a comment
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Kung Hei Fat Choy or Gong Xi Fa Cai, depending on whether you live in Hong Kong or Mainland China! And Happy Year of the Dog to everybody else! Desmond and I wish you a WOOFY New Year full of good fortune, fabulous frolics and fearless fun!

A fabulous family of fans send this photo!

February 14, 2018 at 8:13 am | Posted in children's literacy, Fantastic fans! | 2 Comments
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I was very honoured today to receive this lovely photo of one of my young fans, Osman Pasha, with last year’s book The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster! Osman’s mum Janana tells me that Pasha and his older brothers have grown up reading my Chinese Calendar Tales and they love them! She tells me that, being of Russian speaking background educated on Pushkin and Lermintov, she really appreciates the rhythm and rhyme in my poetry – thank you so much Janana for your lovely message and for allowing me to post this photo! I’m delighted to meet you and Pasha and please do send my warmest wishes to your boys!

More fab photos from Desmond Dog’s Woofy Launch Party on Saturday!

February 12, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Book launches, Bookazine Princes Building, Bookshop event, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Many thanks to Bookazine Events Organizer Manon for these lovely photos!

Here’s Harry Harrison and me before the launch!

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Here’s our fun book reading with some avid fans!

My gorgeous daughters Bea (left) and Annabel (right) have been holding up the pictures for the last 14 years now! Thanks Bea and Annabel!!

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A busy book-signing!

Harry and the Quiz, me and Harry – and the man himself with his fabulous book covers!

My wacky daughter Annabel continuing her annual ritual of a finger-signing by Harry and me!

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