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!

Rickshaw Rooster meets Hobart kids at Fullers Bookshop on Saturday!

May 26, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Posted in Books about Chinese Zodiac, Bookshop event, Children's Chinese Zodiac Books, Chinese festivals, Chinese New Year, Hobart | Leave a comment
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Rickshaw Rooster is saying a big HELLOOOO to Hobart tomorrow at Fullers Bookshop at 3pm in a fun belated Chinese New Year event to celebrate the Year of the Rooster! We’ll have laisee packets with tasty money, a fun story reading, a book-signing, a quiz with fun prizes for kids, mums and dads, and even some free Year of the Rooster bookmarks! So if you’re in Hobart this Saturday afternoon, come along and join the fun!

Cock-a-doodle-DOOOOO!

Helloooo St Michael’s Collegiate girls!

May 25, 2017 at 4:38 pm | Posted in Australian schools, Hobart, Story Readings, workshops | Leave a comment
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Today I spent a fabulous morning at St Michael’s Collegiate Middle School and a fantastic afternoon at Collegiate Junior School in South Hobart! The Grade 5s and Grade 4s worked very hard – with a lot of fun thrown in – in two Introduction to Poetry Workshops, with some excellent work in rhyming words, solving limerick puzzles and writing a group haiku about their teachers :). The Grade 6 girls learned all about Publishing a Picture Book from Brilliant Idea to Final Product:- I do hope you find it helpful when you make your picture books later this year girls! And the gorgeous Grades 2 to 4 heard my Tale of Rickshaw Rooster and learned some fascinating Chinese history! And afterwards I signed lots and lots of books for my new fans! It was such fun to meet you all and I’m sure I’m going to get some terrific entries from you all in my upcoming Clever Competitions! Huge thanks to the lovely Jodie Heath for inviting me and being such a stellar host! More photos to come!

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A fun day with the boys of Hutchins School in Sandy Bay!

May 24, 2017 at 8:00 pm | Posted in Australian schools, Being an Author, School visits | Leave a comment
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My Tassie tour kicked off with a fabulous morning at The Hutchins School in Sandy Bay, Hobart, today, where I caught up with my old friend Kate Reid, Head of Libraries at Hutchins, who used to be the primary librarian at AISHK in Hong Kong! Kate invited me in for two fab sessions, first with the Years 3 and 4 plus some intrepid Year 6 boys, who found out all about Chinese history from the mid-1700s right up to the founding of the People’s Rebublic of China in 1949, when I read them The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster!  Then the Year 1s and 2s met my hungry child-eating dragon in The Tale of Chester Choi and learned some very useful facts about the dragon in Chinese mythology! Thanks Kate, teachers and boys for a memorable morning! And here is one of my new fans, George, who buried himself into my Tale of a Dark Horse! It was great to meet you George!

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Hello Tasmania!!

May 24, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Posted in Being an Author, School visits | Leave a comment
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I’m back in my beautiful birth state of Tasmania, that  lovely island beneath Victoria, Australia, for a fabulous week of school visits, lectures and one fantastic event for The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster this Saturday at Hobart’s fabulous Fullers Bookshop! Then next week it’s off to Melbourne to visit my old friends at MLC before the VERY exciting launch of my new book with Allen & Unwin, Storm Whale; then finally a visit up to Brisbane to visit Churchie boys school and catch up with my family before flying back to Hong Kong! Phew! It’s a full schedule, but it’s going to be great fun!

A funny and fabulous day at Kingston International School!

May 22, 2017 at 6:09 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Books about Chinese Zodiac, Hong Kong Schools, Kingston International School Hong Kong, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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IMG_3746I’ve just had the BEST day at one of my favourite Hong Kong schools, Kingston International School, today! I met ALL the kids in primary school, as well as their lovely teachers, in some fun, very educational story readings from my Chinese Calendar Tales! The littlest kids in P1 met my hungry dragon with a lonely heart, Chester Choi, and learned all about dragons in Chinese mythology. The P2s met my vain but loveable panda, Pin Yin Panda, and found out how all the animals got into the Chinese Zodiac. And the P3s, P4s, P5s and P6s met my proud, cocky but promise-keeping rooster in this years Tale of Rickshaw Rooster, and learned some fascinating facts about the end of the Chinese Empire and the rise of the ordinary man in China! Huge thanks to my lovely hosts, Jennifer Shaw from Upper Primary above left, and Melissa Preisig from Lower Primary, above right! More fabulous photos to come!

A brilliant day at AISHK!

May 18, 2017 at 3:05 pm | Posted in AISHK, children's literacy, Hong Kong Schools, workshops | Leave a comment
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With Nicole Atkins, primary library AISHK

A big thank you to the lovely Nicole Atkins, primary teacher librarian at Australian International School Hong Kong, for hosting me for a fabulous day of story readings and workshops on Tuesday! The Preps up to the Grade 2s met latest Chinese Calendar Tales character in two noisy story readings where they cockadoodle-dooed and cheered on the national team of their choice in The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster, and learned a little bit of Chinese history about Shanghai and the international concessions in China in the early 20th Century along the way! Then I met with the fantastic students of Grade 3 to 6 in two sessions of my very serious workshop, Books are a Brain’s Best Friend, where they learned all about the importance of reading print books to the development of the brain – both historically and right now, in this increasingly digital age. The kids were so impressive, coming up with some fascinating questions and observations, and I’m quite sure we all – me included – came away from these two intense sessions firmly resolved to limit our time on digital devices to a minimum, and to read more books in our leisure time in order to maximise our chances of a fulfilling, creative and happy life. Please do keep up the great book reading, my friends at AISHK, and make sure you enter my next Clever Competition!

Yay! The results are out in my Really Riveting Rooster Story competition!

May 14, 2017 at 9:49 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Rooster story, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Cockadoodle doo! I’m just about roostered out!!

I’ve had enormous fun judging all the fantastic entries in my Really Riveting Rooster Tale writing competition, but I’ll be quite happy not to see another rooster for a while! Rickshaw Rooster had better watch out – I might just put him in a cooking pot!!

Once again, the competition was truly international, with entries coming from 6 major cities around the world: Calcutta, Chicago, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney!

Special congratulations to Daniel Song, of Grade 3, Shanghai United International School, Hongqiao Campus, Shanghai, who came first in the Grades 1 to 3 Category, and Arjya Kanjilal, of Grade 6, Delhi Public School, Newtown, Calcutta, India, who placed first in the Grades 4 to 6 Category! Daniel and Arjya each win a free signed copy of one of my books!

Go to my Clever Competitions page (see link above) right away to read their winning stories, and the fantastic entries of the other 9 finalists, as well as two fabulous Special Mentions and a special treat from high school writers Hillary Lo and Winter Lau from Shatin College in Hong Kong!  

Have patience, my writer friends…

May 14, 2017 at 2:34 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Rooster story, writing competitions | Leave a comment
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I’m almost there! I’ve been super busy judging the fabulous entries in my Really Riveting Rooster Tale Clever Competition over the last VERY busy fortnight and I’m just about finished! So hang in there – the results should be out in the next 24 hours – COCKADOODLE – DOOOOOOO!

A fab morning at GSIS!

May 10, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Posted in Poetry Workshops for kids, School visits | Leave a comment
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Thank you to my dear friend Megan Lindsay for inviting me for a fabulous morning of talks with the Year 5s and Year 6s in the international stream at GSIS! I really enjoyed telling the kids all about how I wrote The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster and the fascinating history behind it, and then to challenge them to replace many of the sophisticated words I used in the verse with words of their own choice! They came up with some excellent ideas – I’m quite sure that many of them are rather good poets themselves! I can’t wait to see their entries in my next Clever Competition! Here I am with Megan below!

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