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! | Leave a comment
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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!

Harry and me!

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!

A touching gift from an old(ish) fan!

February 11, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Posted in Book launches, Canadian International School Hong Kong, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I was so very touched yesterday when the Fox family attended my launch yesterday, and Jess, who is now a very glam teenager (pictured above right some 6 years ago and below left) presented me with the lovely thank you note on the left! Jess and her sisters Liliana and Emerson had made a Pin Yin Panda cake from The Tale of Pin Yin Panda for the Books2Eat contest at Canadian International School way back in 2012, and their mum sent me their cute photo. All three (plus mum) were out in force to support the launch yesterday – the sisters are here below! We all teared up when Jess gave me her gorgeous note! Thanks Jess! Fans like you make my life very happy!

A Wonderful Woofy Book Launch in Hong Kong!

February 11, 2018 at 5:31 pm | Posted in Book launches, Bookazine Princes Building, Chinese New Year | Leave a comment
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On Saturday afternoon Harry Harrison and I launched our latest Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Desmond Dog, at Bookazine in Princes Building – our 14th annual book launch together since 2004! Huge thanks to the brave parents and kids who came along notwithstanding the primary school closures on Thursday due to the flu epidemic! And thanks also to Mr KK Mok, our excellent printer from Zhongtian Colour Printing (HK) P/L, who kindly sent me this great photo.

After I gave a fun story reading, Harry entertained us all with his usual quiz for one and all from 3 years old and up. Then as the crowd enjoyed snacks and delicious drinks generously supplied by Heidi Walsh at Ganymede Ltd, Harry and I signed books purchased by our lovely fans! Many thanks to Bookazine for hosting another fun event for us! Many more photos to come!

Aha me Japanese International School hearties!

February 8, 2018 at 8:52 am | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Japanese International School, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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With JIS Grade 6On Monday this week, Desmond, I and all the other Chinese Calendar Tales beasties braved the cold snap to visit Japanese International School, here in Hong Kong! We had four funny and fabulous story reading sessions, with the kids in fine form as dogs (woof!), pirates (aha, me hearties!) and the wicked pirate queen Ching Shih (hissss!). Many thanks to my lovely librarian friend Cath Wan for hosting me, and to the kids and staff for their warm welcome once more! I hope to see lots of JIS entries in my Dashing Dog Story Writing Competition! Here I am with the Grade 6s (above) and, below, some great listeners, and young Ema Poposka – who you may recall was joint-winner of my March Madness Minibus Photo Competition in 2017!

 

Some scrumptious ISB kids!

February 1, 2018 at 9:50 am | Posted in Beijing Schools, International School of Beijing, Week in Residence | Leave a comment
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UnknownMy week with ISB has been continuing apace, with such a lot of fun with so many scrumptious kiddies! Here I am with the gorgeous Grade 1s and my lovely ES librarian friend Rebecca Talyor (to my left) and Grade 1SD teacher Stephanie Dracz!

 

Another great day at Keystone Academy!

January 24, 2018 at 10:41 am | Posted in Beijing Schools, Keystone Academy, workshops | Leave a comment
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Some fabulous Grade 4s!

Thank you to the fabulous library team for another great day at Keystone Academy! I met more of the fantastic Grade 3s and 4s, as well as the Grade 5s, and we talked all about the historical figures in my Chinese Calendar Tales – it was wonderful to find that the Keystone kids know a LOT of Chinese history and I learned some really interesting new facts…like, for example, that the name of Genghis Khan (who is represented by Temujin in The Tale of Temujin) can mean not just “mighty leader” but also “leader of all from  the skies to the earth“. One of the primary librarians Lizzy Wong did some more research and found that “genghis” can also mean “powerful“, “gift of the gods” or “ocean“. I think it’s fair to conclude that whatever it’s meaning, “genghis” means something rather magnificent! Then to conclude we had a fun book signing! Thank you to all the fabulous parents, teachers and kids who bought my books!

With Grade 9 student Tori Gu

Here is Tori Gu, the Grade 9 student and library helper who helped pick me up at the airport. During my visit, Tori and I became firm friends. Tori is a remarkable young woman with ambition and great poise, who I’m sure is going to go far! Tori told me that her ambition is to study medicine at John Hopkins University in the United States – and I’m quite sure she’ll make it! She also introduced me to one of her friends, a young man from Afghanistan who has great ambitions for his country – especially for elevating the status of women. I think the future is in safe hands!

Finally, I would like to thank Primary Principal, Mary Jew, for her warm welcome and conversation at dinner, and for my very comfortable accommodation in the guest room in Keystone’s beautiful boarding house.

Brrr!!!! I’m in Beijing for a fun fortnight!

January 21, 2018 at 7:19 pm | Posted in Beijing Schools, School visits, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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Illo 5 - lo res

And just like Oswald in The Tale of Oswald Ox, in this fabulous illustration by Harry Harrison above, my mind is on the weather! I’m told it will be -4C tomorrow at NOON! But I must admit that it’s great to have an excuse to pull out my thick winter coat for once!

Tonight I’m staying at Keystone Academy, a beautiful school just near Beijing Capital International Airport, where for the next two days I’ll be meeting the primary school kids and teachers in some fantastic sessions all about the inspiration for my Chinese Calendar Tales, and how the books are planned and written. I’m hugely looking forward to it! Keep visiting my blog for all the news as I visit more fabulous Beijing schools, and the wonderful Wycombe Abbey International School in Changzhou later this week!

In the meantime, this will be me tonight – huddled up under an VERY thick duvet!

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Desmond Dog the Hero visits Kennedy School!

January 18, 2018 at 5:37 am | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Kennedy School, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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Desmond saving catDesmond Dog, the hero of Hong Kong, is so noble he even saves drowning cats! But yesterday there was not a cat in sight when he visited the 900 kids of Kennedy School in Pok Fu Lam! We had 3 fabulous reading sessions and the kids made expert pirates and dogs with their “ah-ha-me-hearties” , “woof“s and “ROAR”s! Everybody LOVED Harry Harrison’s funny and fabulous illustrations, and was fascinated to hear the history of that notorious pirate queen Ching Shih! Many thanks to all the lovely staff and especially Jeff Moore, Head of English, who was my wonderful host! Photos to come!

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