I’m judging the Rascally Rat Tale Competition now – and having such fun!

May 1, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Posted in Challenges and activities, Clever Competitions | Leave a comment
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Run Run running

Phew! The judging of the Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 is done and dusted, and now I’m judging my Rascally Rat Tale Competition!! And I’m having so much fun! Thanks to the fabulous writers from Hong Kong, Melbourne, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney for sending in such terrific stories – and for their patience! The results will be out soon!

The Results are out in The Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020!

April 28, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Posted in Asia Society Hong Kong, Challenges and activities, Hong Kong events, illustrators, The Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 | Leave a comment
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Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 cover illo

Hooray! The results are out in The Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020!

And we’ve had so much fun judging the entries! A grand total of 55 primary school aged kids registered, and we were excited to see so many entries flooding in before the deadline date! The standard was really high too! It’s great to know that so much talent is alive and well today among our amazing young students! Hearty congratulations to all of you who completed this exciting challenge!

Extra congratulations to the Super-Challenge entrants who completed all the challenges, and to the clever kids who took our hint (you must complete at least ONE Special Challenge) and completed more of them to lift their scores!

And huge thanks to Harry Harrison for the use of all his fabulous illustrations from The Chinese Calendar Tales as well as his contribution of our fabulous Mystery Prize for the Super Challenge!

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PRIZE WINNERS:

GRAND PRIZE FOR BEST ENTRY:

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A Boxed Set of the Chinese Calendar Tales (RRP HK$1199) PLUS Free Family Membership of Asia Society Hong Kong for a year (Value HK$2500)

Grades 1 to 3 Category

Equal first: Clement Leung and Yvonne Yang

Grades 4 to 6 Category

Dhairya Mitesh

PRIZE FOR COMPLETING CHALLENGE:

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Congratulations to everyone who completed this Challenge! We think you are brilliant! You will ALL receive FREE STUDENT MEMBERSHIP of Asia Society Hong Kong for a year (Value HK$300). Asia Society HK will be in contact with you shortly.

 

PRIZE FOR BEST SING! VIDEO:

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The best 10 SING! Entries will be invited to perform LIVE at a special event at Asia Society Hong Kong later this year!

 Winners: Only 7 entrants were brave enough to undertake this category, so in order of merit, all of them are listed below!

 Clement Leung, Dhairya Mitesh, Yvonne Yang, Sofia Graham, Gabrielle Hon, Noelle Lui, and Natalie Hon.

PRIZE DRAW FOR ALL COMPLETED ENTRIES:

The first 10 names drawn from all completed entries will each receive a FREE copy of The Tale of Run Run Rat by Sarah Brennan and Harry Harrison (RRP HK$99), PLUS a free copy of Once in a Life – Encounters with Nara by Asia Society HK Center (RRP HK$280) PLUS free family entry to an Asia Society event to be advised.

 

Winners: Noelle Lui, Advait Deshmakh, Charis Chan, Mavis Leung, Megumi Yano, Natalie Hon, Kavi Deshmakh, Alina Hsu, Hana Yano, Maisy Leung.

 

MYSTERY PRIZE FOR BEST SUPER-CHALLENGE ENTRY:

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The BEST entry showing completion of ALL 20 CHALLENGES will receive THE ORIGINAL ILLUSTRATION OF THE GREAT YEAR OF THE RAT CHALLENGE 2020 above, signed by the artist Harry Harrison and inscribed with the entrant’s name (RRP HK$5000)!

 Winner: Sofia Graham

Congratulations once again for taking part in this fabulous Challenge! You can find photos of some of the best entries received in each category here as well as some of the fantastic SING! Videos on our Facebook page

Hang in there, all you fabulous competition entrants!

April 27, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Posted in Challenges and activities, Clever Competitions, Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 | Leave a comment
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Run Run running

Run Run Rat from The Tale of Run Run Rat, illustration by Harry Harrison

Hang in there my friends! We are SO nearly there with the results for two great competitions:

The Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 and my A Rascally Rat Tale Competition!

I promise the results will be published here on my blog REALLY SOON!

Story Reading with Asia Society Hong Kong – The Tale of Run Run Rat!

April 20, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Posted in Asia Society Hong Kong, Video, Year of the Rat | Leave a comment
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Asia Society Story Reading - The Tale of Run Run Rat

Hooray! You can listen to me reading The Tale of Run Run Rat in this very special story reading for Asia Society Hong Kong here!

Enjoy!

 

The Rascally Rat Tale Competition ends tonight!

April 17, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Posted in Clever Competitions, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Screen Shot 2020-02-22 at 11.00.49 AM

Run Run Rat is racing for the finish line – and so should you be if you’ve been writing your Rascally Rat Tale for my latest Clever Competition! The deadline is midnight tonight so send that story in right away – I can’t wait to read it!

A fun virtual visit to Stamford American International School, HK!

April 9, 2020 at 10:22 am | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, School visits, Stamford American School Hong Kong, Video, Virtual visits | Leave a comment
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Yesterday I had a fun virtual visit to the kids of Stamford American International school Hong Kong.We celebrated the Year of the Rat with my story The Tale of Run Run Rat, now celebrating its 12th birthday and 4th edition! After the reading, the kids had lots of questions about the story, and we also talked about what Chinese zodiac animal we were. I’m a Rat, and I had to admit that I’m a typical Rat, always on the go and very ratty when I’m bored! Many thanks to the two Lisas, Lisa Olinski and Lisa Choy, as well as the SAISHK tech team, for making it happen!

If a dog can make a Rat Mask…

March 4, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Posted in Asia Society Hong Kong, Challenges and activities, Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020, Year of the Rat | Leave a comment
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Mickey Mo

Here is my very old dog, Mo, transformed into Mickey Mo! Now Mo is here to tell you that it really isn’t that difficult to make a Rat Mask! It just takes a bit of care, and maybe some help from a grown-up. And if you can make this mask, you can EASILY complete your challenges in The Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020!

And be eligible to win some fantastic prizes!!

So if you haven’t registered yet, ask Mum or Dad to click this link right away! We can’t wait to see YOUR mask!

Visit to Shatin Junior by Zoom!

March 2, 2020 at 11:06 am | Posted in Chinese New Year, Hong Kong Schools, School visits, Shatin Junior School, Video, Year of the Rat, Zoom visits | Leave a comment
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I just visited the kids and teachers Shatin Junior School by Zoom, to do a fun live story reading of The Tale of Run Run Rat! We had over 120 kids logging in! Thanks so much to teachers Trudy McMillin and James Haworth for organising and hosting this fun online event! Below you can see a couple of fun video clips, and above, some photos. You can even see my little dog Mozart in one of them, enjoying the story!

It’s Leap Day!

February 29, 2020 at 10:29 am | Posted in Chinese Calendar Tales, Chinese customs, Chinese Zodiac, Leap Year | Leave a comment
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Screen Shot 2020-02-29 at 10.33.42 AM

Illustration credit: Harry Harrison, The Tale of Run Run Rat

And how fitting that Leap Year 2020 is the Year of the Rat! Or that’s what Run Run Rat thinks, anyway! Because that’s how Run Run won the Olympics Marathon in The Tale of Run Run Rat, by leaping over the shoulder of the lead runner, who was built like a buffalo! (And of course quite coincidentally 🙂, the Rat won Lord Buddha’s Race, to place first in the Chinese Zodiac…by leaping over the Ox’s shoulder!).

So to celebrate this special day, 29th February, I thought it would be fun to find out some fascinating Leap Year facts! Here we go:

  • Leap Years contain one extra day, of 24 hours, because the Earth takes 365 days PLUS 6 hours to orbit the Sun! (This is known as a Tropical Year). So by adding (4 x 6) hours to the calendar every four years, our Gregorian calendar keeps pace with astronomy!
  • So they occur every 4 years – or, to put it another way, every year that is an integer (ie can be divided by to leave a whole number) of 4. Thus this year, 2020, can be divided by 4 to equal the whole number 505!
  • BUT you have to leave out the “century” years eg 1800, 1900, 2100, EXCEPT those that can be divided exactly by 400 (eg 1600, 2000) because a Tropical Year is just slightly shorter than 365.25 days (365.242190 days long, to be exact)! Phew that’s tricky!
  • If you are born on a Leap Day, you are called a leaper or a leapling! Technically, this means you can only have a true birthday every 4 years, which is rather sad when you’re young, but on the other hand, when you are 84 years in physical age, you can justly claim to be just 21 years old! Now I can think of a few adults who would be happy with that!
  • But never fear, the law says that if you are a leapling, your annual birthday is deemed to be either February 28 or March 1, depending on where you live. So you can still get birthday presents and a cake each year!
  • The comic super-hero Superman is a leapling! DC Comics, publishers of the Superman series, thought of this clever device to explain why Superman apparently never ages!
  • On Leap Day in Ireland, called Bachelor’s Day, women have traditionally proposed marriage to men, rather than the other way round. And if the man refused, he had to give the woman a new silk dress (or, by the middle of last century) a fur coat! Now that’s a handy way to get a new wardrobe!
  • In the Chinese and Jewish Calendar, which are lunar calendars, Leap Year adds on an extra month to the calendar! In the Chinese version, the extra month has the same name as the previous lunar month. In the Jewish version, it’s called Adar, and is extra-lucky!

So if you are a leapling, I wish you an incredibly happy Birthday, worth four times as much as a normal birthday!

But remember, always look before you leap!

Ram pagespread #2

Illustration credit: Harry Harrison, The Tale of Rodney Ram

Ready, steady, GO! The Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 starts NOW!

February 24, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Posted in Asia Society Hong Kong, Challenges and activities, Chinese New Year, The Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 | Leave a comment
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Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 cover illo

Asia Society and I are hugely excited to announce the beginning of our Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020, with fabulous prizes to be won! It’s open to all students of primary school age, especially those who are stuck at home at present! You can register right away, and you’ll have our Information Sheets and Challenge Checklist within 48 hours. You have until midnight, Sunday 15th March to get your completed entries in! Click on the form below to find out more and to register!

And good luck!

0224 The Year of the Rat Challenge (with List of Challenges)

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