The results are out in my Mischievous Monkey Story Competition!

April 19, 2016 at 3:25 pm | Posted in Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Helloooo again all you wonderful writers out there! Thank you for your patience: it’s been a tough job judging my latest Clever Competition, but great fun too! All the stories were so entertaining and varied, and I really appreciated the way that you all took my list of ingredients and mixed them up in so many different and original ways!

Now the best writers are always looking for ways to write even better, and so this time I’ve decided to share with you a little more about what I’m looking for when I judge my competitions, and what common problems seem to be occurring in many of the entries I have read. Even the winners (announced below) will get a little bit of positive criticism, which I hope inspires them to polish their fabulous writing even more! So go to my Clever Competitions Page (see tab above) right away, to read all the winning stories and some helpful information for next time!

Special congratulations to Emily Davis of Arden Anglican School, Sydney (Grade 1 to 3 Category) and Abigail Bilsland of Canadian International School, Tanjong Katong Campus, Singapore (Grade 4 to 6 Category), who won First Place in their sections and will each receive a free signed copy of one of my books! And a special mention to the little ones of Busy Bees Class at Raintrees International Kindergarten in Singapore, whose group entry has also been posted as a special treat!

The Judging Begins!

April 12, 2016 at 9:41 am | Posted in children's literacy, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Well done to all those clever writers who got their entries in to my Mischievous Monkey Story Writing Competition by the extended deadline date on Sunday! I’m starting the judging right now, and will post the results as soon as I can! Hang in there!

Ming Kee Monkey tours London!

April 4, 2016 at 6:34 am | Posted in Being an Author | Leave a comment
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This week Ming Kee Monkey flew all the way to London for a fun four day visit, and not surprisingly, she got up to a lot of mischief! Here she is crossing the footbridge from Waterloo Station to The Embankment, with the Thames River and St Paul’s Cathedral in the background!

Here above is the great writer Rudyard Kipling’s house near The Embankment – Ming Kee is trying very hard to behave herself! And on the right, she poses in front of the Eleanor Cross at Charing Cross Station!

And on to Trafalgar Square, where Ming Kee and I met Yoda, floating above the ground! Ming Kee is trying to steal some of Yoda’s wisdom by sitting on his staff! She also met the Trafalgar Lions, and saw the famous National Gallery, as well as Nelson’s Column!

Then it was time for a serenade with the lovely Liam of Leicester Square, and a poem with William Shakespeare, a.k.a The Bard…but oh no!! That mischievous Ming Kee has put a pigeon on his head! Shame on you, you rascally monkey!

And finally, a foray into Leicester Square to see the Angel, though sadly Ming Kee didn’t become any more angelic, having fun instead with that reprobate Spider Man, Harry Potter and a Very Tall Person!

Farewell to wonderful London, one of my favourite cities on the planet! May peace and calm return now that Ming Kee Monkey has left for Bologna!

Phew! The deadline is extended in my Clever Competition!

March 22, 2016 at 7:10 pm | Posted in Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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I know you’ve all been super busy this term, with a million things to do at school and for homework…because you’ve been telling me! So by special request, I’ve decided to extend the deadline for my Mischievous Monkey Story Competition till 12 midnight, Sunday 10th April, so you can write your story during the Easter holidays ! So now you’ve got a bit more time…and I’m looking forward to some fantastic entries! Click on my Clever Competition tab (above) right away for all the information!

A fun interview with Noreen Mir at RTHK3!

March 12, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Posted in Books about Chinese Zodiac, children's literacy, Chinese New Year, Press | Leave a comment
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On Thursday I had a fabulous interview with Noreen Mir at RTHK3 in Kowloon Tong. If you want to hear us talk about The Tale of Ming Kee Monkey, the fantastic history behind it, as well as all my other books about the Chinese Zodiac AND how to become great readers and writers in the digital age, here is the link!

An Homage to Hobart with my mischievous Monkey!

March 5, 2016 at 4:27 pm | Posted in Hobart, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Farewell to my beautiful home town Hobart, which I left with great sadness to return home to Hong Kong yesterday! It was wonderful to come home to my family, and Bobby our dog of course, but I’m already missing the clear skies, incredible beauty, peace and calm of Hobart, and of course the delicious food, my Tassie relatives, and my friends both new and old!

So here is an homage to my birthplace, in company with my cute Monkey Bear, a.k.a. Monkey Monkey, cousin of my mischievous Ming Kee Monkey!

Early morning, Sandy Bay by the yacht club (there were even wild ducks and galahs on the grass!)

Afternoon at MONA (Tasmania’s world-famous Museum of Old and New Art), at Berriedale, nestled amongst grapevines on a bend in the Derwent River!

Driving home via Cornelian Bay, with its pretty boathouses and view of The Tasman Bridge:

We dropped in to see the Governor at Tasmania’s beautiful Government House, by the Botanical Gardens, but sadly nobody let us in!

Dusk at the famous Salamanca Place with Kelly’s Steps…

And finally, Battery Point; heritage-listed and full of historical buildings, with my dear school friend Sally Kennedy (nee Barrett) posing with Monkey Monkey in Arthur’s Circus!

Goodbye beautiful Hobart, I’ll be back next year with my next book for the Year of the Rooster!

Thank you MLC!

February 24, 2016 at 6:54 pm | Posted in Chinese Calendar Tales, Chinese New Year, Chinese Zodiac, Melbourne schools, Monkey story, School visits, Uncategorized, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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A big THANK YOU to the lovely Tracey Ricchini, Junior School Teacher Librarian, and the fabulous girls and staff at Methodist Ladies College, for a wonderful day today! It was so good to see you all again, and to introduce you to my maverick Ming Kee Monkey, as well as the rare and exotic plants and creatures of the jungles of Yunnan Province…not to mention Emperor Taizong of Tang, the extraordinary Buddhist explorer Xuanzang, and the Legend of the Monkey King and the Journey to the West! You made a fantastic audience; thank you so much for your enthusiasm and interest! I look forward to receiving LOADS of MLC entries in my Clever Competition!

Thank you Japanese International School!

February 15, 2016 at 8:41 pm | Posted in Chinese Calendar Tales, Chinese New Year, Chinese Zodiac, Hong Kong Schools, Monkey story, School visits, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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A big THANK YOU to the fabulous staff and students of Grades 3 to 6 at Japanese International School in Tai Po for a fun day today! It was great to introduce you to my mischievous Ming Kee Monkey, not to mention some of the fascinating, rare animals of the Yunnan jungle like Binturongs, Gaurs, Civet Cats, Gibbons and Lorises named Doris! And then the Grade 5s and 6s and I met again for fun and games in my Introduction to Poetry Workshops! I was especially impressed with the talent they showed in completing our poem Let’s Destroy the School! I look forward to lots of entries in my Clever Competition – see the button above!

Monkeys, monkeys everywhere!

February 10, 2016 at 9:17 am | Posted in Chinese New Year, Chinese Zodiac, Monkey story | Leave a comment
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Help! It’s a Monkey Invasion! There are monkeys EVERYWHERE here in Hong Kong – and there were even monkeys rampaging in Singapore! Here is just a small selection of the monkeys I’ve encountered in the last 10 days – see if you can spot my Monkey Monkey (cousin of Ming Kee Monkey) in the collage above!

Kung Hei Fat Choy from Ming Kee Monkey and Me!!

February 8, 2016 at 6:02 pm | Posted in Chinese Calendar Tales, Chinese New Year, Chinese Zodiac, Monkey story, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Today is the first day of Chinese New Year!! Kung Hei Fat Choy from Ming Kee Monkey and me for a fabulous Year of the Monkey ahead! We wish you all health, wealth and great happiness, not to mention wisdom, which (when you read The Tale of Ming Kee Monkey you will find that Ming Kee achieved in the end, although not until she’d been through a lot of trouble after causing WAY too much mischief in the jungles of Yunnan first!). Have a great holiday, and see you all next week!

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