Book Fest – Hong Kong 2016

As part of the Books go Walkabout contribution to Book Fest in May 2016, poet and writer Cheryl Moskowitz works with young poets to enthusiastically embrace new ideas in verse.

Book Fest has been delivered! You can also see  author Carole Wilkinson and photographer and author Ifeoma Onyefulu with interested audiences,  and our project key texts, in the daily galleries below…

At Books Go Walkabout,Cambridge,UK, we are delighted to deliver the Book Fest project for Kellett School, The British International School in Hong Kong.

It was a creative project with a focus on writing skills. It was part of Book Week at the school and we brought authors from across the world for a week of writing workshops and presentations. Time to talk with all the authors about writing books was built into the events programme.

The days events are below and give a good picture of the week. The energy created, the skills of writing learnt, and the long lasting impact on the children and teachers in writing was enormously evident.

We had great praise and evaluations from the teachers throughout the schools, they were energised by the input and have all increased in their knowledge of writing stories and books.

We look forward to working again with Kellett School in the future.

Day 1 at the Book Fest at Kellett School, The British International School, May 2nd 2016

Books Go Walkabout team brought three childrens’ authors and the first day was brilliant!

All the children, about 420 children at the Prep school, worked directly with at least one author.  They held sessions in the classrooms, in the hall, in the library and in the atrium, there were children involved in writing all over the school.

There was great excitement and the children were delighted to work with Ifeoma Onyefulu, Carole Wilkinson and Cheryl Moscowitz, who had travelled from the UK and Australia to Hong Kong.

They each have very different talents and we had worked with each of them to meet the needs of the school in developing their writing skills and understanding of creating stories and develop a love of writing from reading books.

Ifeoma brought photographs and her drafts of the text and her books and worked with different age groups. They played African games and started to write and draw characters.

Cheryl is a poet and has an amazing talent at enabling children to write their poems collaboratively and with energy and style.

Carole writes about historical settings with a fiction narrative and stories based around children at that time. We found out about The Dragonkeeper and Ping, the slave girl in Ancient China, and about Ancient Egypt and Prince Ramose who escaped a near death. only to find he was actually watching his own funeral!

All the children have been set a writing task and when we return on Friday there will be stories everywhere. We are really looking forward to that .

A great start to Book Fest at Kellett School.

Today’s event gallery…

Books and reading across the world...
Books and reading across the world…






Day 2 at the Book Fest at Kellett School, The British International School, May 3rd 2016

The second day of Book Fest was spent at Pok Fu Lam Campus of Kellett School. We were warmly welcomed at the school and started the workshops with the classes at 9.00am.

The campus was on 8 levels and with a connecting area between two buildings so geographical orientation was needed.

The students were really keen to meet with the authors and share stories, find out about writing and to learn more about some of the stories, like Dragonkeeper, the characters, the difficulties and just how and why the story developed with Ping and Danzi and all the hardships they faced.

Carole worked with the Year 6 to start with and explained about China being the only place where the dragons were friendly dragons, they were seen as the provider of rain and were warmly welcomed by the people. Although the pictures show them with no wings they were able to fly, there were red, green, and black and white dragons and their favourite food was Roast Swallow.

Carole explained how she drew inspiration from the pictures and ancient texts and that most of her research was based on line or in museums.

She led the students to see how the story was started, through setting, character and plot.

The students then started on a task and were asked to use one sentence, which we made up on the spot of a dragon in Hong Kong, flying through the gaps in the buildings to get to the sea. The task was to write a description of that process and make it very interesting.
We are looking forward to the results over the next few days.

Ifeoma was working with Year 4 children on her book The Girl Who Married a Ghost, there were three classes and the children had a different experience in each class, but they all were developing their own story from using their favourite character,  choosing a setting and story opener. They had some great ideas and new stories are being produced.

Cheryl worked with Year 1 classes through the day on different ways in creating poems in a collaborative setting.They had some real fun and were making some excellent poems in three different ways.The children were all active and using onamatopeia, cinquains and other ways of creating poems. More info tomorrow will follow!!

We are back at Pok Fu Lam for Thursday and working with other classes in the school and some exciting assemblies to come at the end of the day.

A gallery of creative energy from today….

Books and reading across the world...
Books and reading across the world…






Day 3 at the Book Fest at Kellett School, The British International School, May 5th 2016

A full day of workshops, reading books and writing poems, planning stories about a dragon in Hong Kong and visiting the alphabet in Africa.

The morning was spent with the classes and with a visit to the library by the authors, a beautiful place full of children on a Book Trail and searching for books. I could have spent the day there myself!

Cheryl was working with Year 2 and they created a Cinquain poem, 5 lines, with 2,4,6,8,2 syllables, a collaborative poem with all the class taking part. The children loved it and we videod the final version, see above on this page..

Ifeoma was with the Reception classes and her book A is for Africa, which is re-published today in a new style format by Frances Lincoln, part of the Quarto group.

The children enjoyed the images and talked about the different words and places in Africa, with questions such as, ‘ What is inside a mud house?’ There were other homes too in the book like blocks of flats. Another question was, What coloour do Africans like?’

Carole worked with the Year 5, who are leaving for Beijing on Sunday for a week. They explored the first five chapters of The Dragonkeeper and their task was to write a story about a dragon in Hong Kong. There was a real buzz in the gym when they worked in groups to make bullet points of the plans for the stories, and they were full of ideas.

In the afternoon we had assemblies with all the children, it was fantastic and they really showed how much they had enjoyed the time with the author and it was evident that they had learnt a great deal and were inspired to get writing and be creative.

The authors were presented with a dragon and along with Sue from Books Go Walkabout, they donated their books to the school Library.

Back at Kowloon Bay tomorrow and finding out the stories that have been made in the meantime.

Sue Martin, Books Go Walkabout

Today’s gallery of exciting and developmental writing and creativity…

Books and reading across the world...
Books and reading across the world…






Day 4 at the Book Fest at Kellett School, The British International School, May 6th 2016

Our last day at Kellett School was held at the Kowloon Bay campus. We had started the Book Fest at the campus on Monday and returned to see how the students and teachers had turned the
workshops and presentations from the authors into creative writing about the stories.

It was totally amazing and we were all delighted that so much work had gone into the last 2 days and produced such high quality writing from all the age groups.

Carole began the day with Year 3, the children had written about the characters and the start of the story. Carole led this to the ‘Trigger Event‘, which is the key point when the story turned direction. The time when something happens to make the character change direction or for giving the story a reason for being written.

Carole listened to the stories that had been written in groups and found the trigger event, she then talked about how the main character would feel.

In the session with Year 2 in the library, Carole introduced her book Dragon Dawn, which is the prequel to Dragonkeeper.

With Year 5, Carole reviewed the work from Monday, where the children had created an ‘opener’for their own stories. She also talked about ‘showing and not telling’ the reader, allowing the actions and places to be told through descriptions and feelings. Year 5’s have written some remarkable stories so far, and many will be able to find a place in Beijing, where there is a trigger for a story setting or idea.

Ifeoma worked with the Reception classes on her book, My Grandfather is a Magician and looked at familes, relationships and what people do. The children then worked on writing a sentence and drawing a picture. We also looked at the work completed from A is for Africa, and there were some excellent pictures, and writing and a table with lots of examples from Ifeoma’s book.

In the library, there were many of Ifeoma’s books and Ifeoma had several sessions with the other classes. This was a chance for them to meet with her ad listen to stories, which Ifeoma did really well on Africa and folk tales from Nigeria, including two about ghosts,which were thrilling!

Cheryl had time with the Year 2 classes through the day. In a circle she asked them to think about a place they love, and with their eyes shut to search through their imaginations how it feels, what it looks like, the sounds they could hear, are they alone.

In pairs they wrote down each other’s poem, and created a picture. It was good to see the children sharing their thoughts with each other and allowing the other person to write for them. The end result was a collection of interesting and thoughtful poems.

Cheryl was also in the library with KS2 children and talking about aspects of poems and how to use structure and imagination together. She also used and read from her book, Can it be About Me?

In the afternoon a special assembly was held and gave all the KS2 students a chance to meet with all the authors. The Deputy Head teacher, Mr Keeling, introduced the assembly and there was time to hear about the Book Fest project, from Sue Martin of Books Go Walkabout, from all the authors and from the children and their interest and enthusiasm for reading and for writing.

The Book Fest really did enable a great deal of work to have been carried out in reading and in writing, which was evident through all the brilliant work that had been produced. It was very well supported by the teachers as they had taken on board all the authors suggestions and comments to enable the work to be produced.

Book Fest Week 2016 has been brilliant. A shared week of inspiration, skills, writing tools and good stories, excellent authors, teachers and students combined to make this a great success.

Here are images of our closing day…

Books and reading across the world...
Books and reading across the world…






Our originating announcement:

Book Fest at Kellett School, The British International School in Hong Kong, will be held in May 2016.

Dateline: Monday 2nd May, 2016…watch this space for event news….

Books Go Walkabout has received support from The Kellett Annual Fund to deliver the Book Fest project, bringing three award winning authors from a cross the world to the school.

The authors will share their books,stories, tales to tell and their expertise in writing. They will meet with all 700 children and their teachers at the school in interacive workshops and classes.

The authors, Carole Wilkinson from Australia, Ifeoma Onyefulu from UK and Nigeria, and Cheryl Moskowitz from UK and the USA.

A whole week of creative learning will enhance student writing and reading and give all the students chance to explore and use their imagination.

Our stated  aims for Book Fest at Kellett School are;

  • to enhance writing across the Preparatory School Campus in Kowloon Bay and Pok Fu Lam
  • to develop the love of reading into a love of writing in different genres.
  • to engage with illustrations and the impact on imagination and creativity

Full details for the week will be added to this website- follow our Twitter feed to keep up to date with Book Fest events…

Key texts for the week…

Look out for the project book order forms at your author  events – get a copy to keep and add to your home library.

A is For AFrica
Available from here…






A is for Africa

A new, updated version of this classic image driven alphabet book.

Displaying the work of Ifeoma Onyefulu to full impact

The Dragonkeeper series

Wonderful, imaginative and stirring stories of a China in the past.

Creating a world of the imagintion with Carole Wilkinson.

Available from here…









Can it be about me?

From the author and poet, Cheryl Moskowitz.
Words and imagination – image, emotion, laughter and resonance on the page.

Can it be about me
Available from here…










Books and reading across the world...
Books and reading across the world…

Conversations across the globe, with children and authors