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Roger's News in 2012
24th November: The NLB's 10'000 Father Reading Campaign has now added another zero with an astonishing 100,000 Dads signed up! It was great to be part of the celebration at the Central Library on this joyful Saturday night. I had a 60 minute slot to tell Tales Around the World to a packed children's section. Delivering such a progrogramme solo requires a lot of thought (and energy!) and I was delighted to keep the crowd right through to the all-dancing ending of El Conejito, a story from Ecuador (which I tell as my identical Spanish speaking Ecuadorian cousin!!) I was followed by the excellent Frankie Malachi and his puppets sharing some lovely bignettes with Singapore themed puppets.
8 Sept A brief but enjoyable trip to NOBEL INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL in Kelana Jaya in KL, for performances and workshops with the Yrs 1 - 3. What a friendly, family-focussed school it seems to be! The kids were most responsive and created some lively stories from the assorted picture cards I gave them, after I had made up a story from their pictures about a witch trying to destroy the twin towers (the KLCC)! Thanks to Ms Shum, who saw me during my residenccy at Tenby International in April, and who recommended me to the Principal. This is how one good story leads to another! And I've put the school in touch with Capital Commuincations, the good people who organise the Malaysian International Storytelling Festival where i'll also be performing in November.
2 Sept I'm delighted to be part of this year's WRITER'S FESTIVAL (Little Lit section) following the success of my performances in last year's Festival. Do check out my two shows - one solo and one with my good friends Hemang Yadav and Mariah Zainal
1 Sept I ran a workshop for 25 parents + 25 kids organised by NEXT Magazine and SIMMONS, the mattress people, who sponsor a Bedtime Storytelling competition in Hong Kong, now in its 3rd year. (some lovely photos here) Isn't that great? A bedtime storytelling competition (for 4 - 8 yr olds) Well done Simmons! The good people of Next's Marketing Dept did a terrific job setting up the workshop, which was oversubscribed (let's hope they add a second next year?!) and everyone had great fun making up stories with the Peru finger puppets I gave them. It was fun seeing kids play teacher and, through their puppet, teach mummy's puppet how to count to 10!
31 August I had a wonderful week working at the Singapore International School in HONG KONG, telling for 5 HOURS EVERY DAY to classes from K1 to Primary 6, plus a day of workshops with the Secondary 1's. The kids were great listeners and active participants. I also conducted two parent workshops and the mums (and 4 Dads!) were eager learners - I hope I've planted the seeds for some promising parents to become volunteer tellers at the school. (Am I doing myself out of a job?!) The school is a fabuluos environment, now that the Secdondary section is on the same site, and when the MTR opens literally across the street in 2015, it'll be amazingly easy to get to. Thanks to Aaron Ho & Andrew Douglas, the two HODs English for arranging it all and keeping me well supplied with tea to soothe the throat and biscuits for nourishment (and the Two foolish Cats story!!)
26 July Publicity for the 2nd MALAYSIAN INTERNATIONAL STORYTELLING FESTIVAL is now out and I'm looking forward to being a part of it again. Last year's Festival was extremely well-organised and attracted a terrific response.
24 July I'll be returning to conduct a week's residency at the Singapore International School in Hong Kong (27-31 Aug) which will a hectic week, but the kids are terrific and now that the Secondary sachool has been developed on the adjacent site, I'm looking forward to exploring the whole school - and telling from 4 - 16 yr olds!
13 July: I've just uploaded two winter tale videos recorded during my holiday in Thredbo, Australia, while the family was busy skiing/snowboarding.
23 May: Good news - the National Library has placed an order for 14 copies of both the JUNIORS and TEENS editions of Stories For Moral Education. Thanks to continuing strong sales, I've just sent the books for their 3rd re-print and hope to deliver the copies to the NLB next week, so I hope they'll be on your local Library's shelves soon!
21st May I've just spent a most enjoyable week at the Australian International School working with their nine Year 4 classes on Myths and Legends which is a Unit of Inquiry in the IB Primary Years Programme. The kids were very creative in their explorations of Perseus, Yuuki and the Tsunami, the Chinese Willow pattern, the story of Altyn Aryg - a heroine from Khazakhstan, and The Enchanted Gourd from Africa. It was terrific reading their responses in terms of colour, image and symbol which demonstrated how powerfully the stories spoke to them. The blue plate artwork produced in reponse to the Willow Pattern legend was especially striking and inventive. I tried a couple of new stories in my 50 minute performance for them and the Legend of the Three Sisters Rocks, a striking formation west of Sydney, which I came across during my research for the session, was the surprise hit. I also attempted to do a version of Theseus and the Minotaur inspired by David Novak's wonderful string version.
2/3 April It's Book Week at Tenby International School in the beautiful Setia Eco Park, just outside Kuala Lumpur. I had a terrific two days telling tales to Reception to Yr 6, plus the teachers. Thanks to librarian Ruth Silva and everyone for your warm welcome and active participaption!
28/3 My book STORIES FOR MORAL EDUCATION has just gone for its second reprint, and I expect copies to be ready by the 9th April (hang in there, teachers at Henry Park and Beatty Secondary - I've choped your 60 copies!) To help me clear the remainder of the first run, I'm offering the last few TEENS volumes at $27.50 or 10 fr $250. offer valid till 9 April.
28/2 My TWO NEW RESOURCE BOOKS - STORIES FOR MORAL EDUCATION (Juniors and teens) are now being printed and should be delivered by 7th March. There's LOTS of good stories - both traditional folktales as well as true stories. Both sets are very different - only three stories are duplicated because they're so strong. For more details please read here!