Two fun zoom sessions at Stamford American School Hong Kong!

February 21, 2022 at 11:55 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools | Leave a comment
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Last week I had two fabulously fun sessions zooming in to visit my friends at Stamford American School Hong Kong! The kids were all at home (thanks to Covid … grrr… ) but they and their teachers were all on deck. The Grade 1s roared like tigers and screamed like spoiled princesses with great enthusiasm during my reading of The Tale of Temujin (sorry, all you Mums and Dads at home with the kids!) while the Grade 3s participated with lots of fantastic suggestions during my new workshop: Turning Historical Research into a Story. We all had a lot of fun! I look forward to seeing some fabulous entries with excellent background research in my latest Clever Competition, all you fabulous Grade 3s!

Huge thanks to Ms Lisa Olinski, Ms Kirsten Struble and Ms Maria Evans for hosting me!

Goodbye reluctant readers! Hello StoryTellAR!

February 19, 2022 at 7:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Reading The Tale of Temujin on StoryTellAR

Do you know any kids who prefer to play with technological toys than to read great books?

I’m guessing the answer is a resounding YES! And this has troubled me for years, as many of you already know. The benefits of constant book reading for leisure and pleasure are vital to our kids’ development into successful, happy, articulate and literate adults, but in recent decades kids have been deserting books and book reading in favour of technology.

But now there is a way to get these kids to fall in love with books AND to use their beloved technology at the same time!

I’ve partnered with the prize-winning Hong Kong tech wizards at StoryTellAR to produce enhanced audio books which your kids can listen to – and click on – to their hearts content at the same time as reading my books! And the links are FABULOUS! It’s like having me – or indeed a teacher – sitting right beside them giving them all sorts of background and further information about the text.

They’ll learn:

  • the meaning of new words
  • the real history behind the text or illustrations
  • fascinating scientific information relating to the text or illustrations
  • where places in the story are located
  • what things look like in action
  • what things sound like
  • fun inside stories about the way the story was made

Using age-appropriate links to websites, YouTube, voice recordings, images and text, all carefully chosen by me, your child will not only learn HUGE amounts but also have a lot of fun along the way! And all because they’re sitting down reading a book – over and over and over again.

They’re going to fall in love with books again, and learn an awful lot at the same time. Hooray!

Take a look at this link to watch StoryTellAR in action as I read this year’s Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Temujin! And then download the StoryTellAR QR code to try it yourself!

StoryTellAR QR code

It’s time for a writing competition about TIGERS!

February 2, 2022 at 6:40 pm | Posted in Clever Competitions | Leave a comment
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From The Tale of Temujin, written by me and illustrated by Harry Harrison

It’s a brand new Year of the Tiger, and what better way to celebrate than a story writing competition for primary school aged kids around the world! So if you’re (a) a kid, (b) primary school-aged, (c) living somewhere on Planet Earth and (d) someone who loves writing stories, this competition is the one for you!

This time, your story must include:

  • a ferocious tiger
  • a Chinese princess
  • a wise silkworm
  • an inquisitive hawfinch (and if you don’t know what that is, you’ll have to look it up!)
  • a magical pepper grinder
  • a terrible famine
  • the colour aureolin (and if you don’t know what that is, you’ll have to look it up as well!)

Now if the first four characters sound a lot like the characters in The Tale of Temujin, you’d be right! But your story must be completely different to my story, thank you very much!!

You can start right now, and the deadline is Sunday 23rd April. So that gives you a whole ten weeks to get your stories in! Go to my Clever Competitions page right away to find out all the details!

R-O-A-R-R-R! Temujin the Tiger is back!

February 1, 2022 at 5:47 pm | Posted in Chinese New Year, The Year of the Tiger | Leave a comment
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Kung Hei Fat Choy!!

It’s the Year of the Tiger, and my favourite big cat Temujin is marauding again! Just like his namesake, (that boy Temujin who fought his way to becoming Genghis Khan), he’s munching his way through Mongolia right now, before turning towards China, with its magnificent masterpiece the Grand Imperial Palace (or the G.I.P for short!). But wait – who is that grumpy looking Royal Princess in the picture? And will she become just another toothsome morsel…or has Temujin finally met his match? You’ll have to read the story to find out!

Fun sessions at Sau Ming Primary School in Hong Kong!

December 17, 2021 at 4:00 pm | Posted in Zoom visits | Leave a comment
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Richard Chan (left) at Wiseman Education with me before the sessions!

Many thanks to Clement Chung and Richard Chan (above) at Wiseman Education for inviting me to present 6 sessions to the gifted kids of Classes 2E, 3E and 4D at Sau Ming Primary School in Hong Kong! Class 2E listened to The Tale of Chester Choi, about a hungry and lonely Chinese Dragon; Class 3E heard about a superfast and clever rat in The Tale of Run Run Rat, and Class 4D enjoyed The Tale of Temujin about a tiger who was just like Genghis Khan! Then they answered some tricky puzzles about rhyming words, some cunning questions to test how much they remembered the story, and then we did some predicting about what happened next! We all had a lot of fun! I hope to see you all again soon!

Hello to the Sisterhood of Readers at Salwan Public School, Delhi!

June 9, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Posted in benefits of reading books, children's literacy, girls' education, Indian schools, Salwan Public School, Delhi, Sisterhood of Readers, workshops, Zoom visits | Leave a comment
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Thank you to principal Rasshmi Malik of Salwan Public School, Delhi, for inviting me to visit her wonderful school this morning, in association with the Sisterhood of Readers, the brainchild of Ahaana Subberwal of Hong Kong International School here in Hong Kong! After telling the students all about how I became an author and the vital importance of reading lots and lots of books to a happy, healthy and wealthy life, I read my story The Tale of Run Run Rat. And then we had a terrific Q and A session, with some really interesting questions from the kids! I look forward to many future visits to this inspiring school!

Below see Ahaana Subberwal and some members of the Sisterhood of Readers with my book The Tale of Sybil Snake – a tale of female empowerment if ever there was one!

Sisterhood of Readers, Salwan Public School, Delhi

And here are some of the younger members, with The Tale of Temujin!

Sisterhood of Readers #3

 

The Princess is thinking…be patient my friends!

November 1, 2018 at 10:16 am | Posted in Clever Competitions, Poetry competitions for children, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Precious and Bright Idea

Illustration by Harry Harrison from The Tale of Temujin

Do not disturb! This Princess Precious is thinking! And she’s loving all the entries in the Perfect Pet Poem Competition! I’ll be announcing the results soon – but please be patient in the meantime! Remember…a watched pot never boils!!!

Meet Harry, a HUGE book reader!

June 3, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Posted in Australian schools, children's literacy, Hobart, The Hutchins School | Leave a comment
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Harry and I at Hutchins

Meet Harry from The Hutchins School, who I met in the Junior Library during my Tassie visit a fortnight ago! Harry has such a huge smile on his face because he LOVES READING BOOKS! And he told me that his bedroom at home is so full of books, there’s hardly any room for his bed! Now THAT’S what I call a great reader! I bet Harry is a fantastic writer and thinker too, because that’s what you become when you read lots of books for leisure and fun! Well done Harry!

ps Harry was born in the Year of the Tiger and I was born in the Year of the Rat – hence the books we are holding!

Temujin the Tiger visits Book Week in Panama!

March 10, 2018 at 10:03 am | Posted in Book Week, Fabulous fans!, Panama schools, The International School of Panama | Leave a comment
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Wow! Just look at the photo I just received all the way from Panama! Here is a fabulously fierce young tiger, a.k.a. Renzo Gomez Schumacher, who went to Book Week at the International School of Panama dressed up as Temujin, the terrifying tiger who marauds through Mongolia and China eating human beings left, right and centre before meeting the equally terrifying Princess Precious in the Imperial Palace in The Tale of Temujin! I bet the kids at school kept a very respectful distance! A big thank you to Renzo and his Dad Luis for sending it in!

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.

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