A week of school talks at AISS.

This week I spent my time at the Australian International School in Singapore giving author talks to the year 3, 4 and 5s.

display 1
The fantastic display by the librarian team. And yes, that is an origami frog on my head.

It was fantastic fun. The kids were enthusiastic, full of questions and it was great to meet so many passionate readers.

ais talk
The kids from AIS were thoughtful, imaginative and clever. The majority loved funny stories with conflict, suspense and adventure, while far less were keen on romance.

I owe a HUGE thanks to Jo-Anne Ward and her upper elementary library team. They not only created a wonderful author display, origami frog activities and a never ending stream of colouring-in sheets, but they also organised a fan-froggy-tastic lunchtime celebration and kept 750 kids running to schedule over 5 days, 15 talks and a hopping good lunchtime book launch.

By far, the most popular part of the talks was the character development exercise. We used one of Michael Scott Parkinson’s amazing frog drawings as inspiration and came up with some truly frog-tastical ideas.

stylish frog

all of us
My good friends and fellow authors Sarah Mousey and David Seow were there for moral support and my Singapore distributors Denise and Kelvin from Closetful of Books did an amazing job coordinating the sales.

Here are a few of my favourites.

Hip, the 58 year old street dancer who does beat boxing in his spare time and has a pet gorilla.

Swaggy, the 900 year old model-frog who likes to play it cool and has a pet fish.

Roger Flipperson, the 39 yr old Jumpsuit designer who races F1 cars in his spare time and owns a pet pig named Oinkus Maximus.

Bob Stewy Steve the Jaz teacher who likes to eat donuts.

And …

Smooth, the gangster frog who has a pet tiger and beats people up for fun – yikes!

And after the fun, we all agreed. The best things about being an author is creating interesting characters and making them do funny things – like forget to wear pants!

We also had LOADS of FANTASTIC entries to our very popular colouring-in competition. The artworks are currently being collated and will be judged over the weekend. All the entries are wonderful and I’m not sure how we will pick, but the best 10 entries will be featured here, on the FROG BLOG, Monday 24th March.

And finally, if you live in Singapore and haven’t got a copy of the  book yet, you just need to email Denise at;denise@closetfulofbooks.com

What’s your favourite potato chip flavour?

When George Crum invented potato chips back in 1853, there was only one flavour available chips– salted.

And it wasn’t until 100 years later, in the 1950s, that an Irish crisp company called Tayto, came up with a way to add seasoning during the manufacturing of their chips and changed the taste of potato chips forever.

Cheese & Onion, Barbecue, and Salt & Vinegar were the first flavours invented, but nowadays there are literally hundreds of flavours to choose from, with different countries preferring different flavours depending on their favourite foods.

Some flavours from around the world include;

Australia – Sour cream and chives, Chilli, Lime and pepper, Chicken, Vegemite, Sunday Roast, Meat Pie with Tomato Sauce, Kangaroo and Emu.

US – Barbeque, Cajun herb and spice, Chile limon, Chipotle ranch, Classic BLT, Dill pickle, Garden tomato and basil, Sweet southern heat barbecue, Tangy Carolina, Parmesan and Tuscan herb, Southwestern ranch, Creamy Mediterranean herb, Spice rubbed BBQ, Maui onion, Jalapeno, Mesquite BBQ and spicy cayenne and cheese, Blastin’ Buffalo Wing, Screamin’ Dill Pickle, Ragin’ Cajun, and Sizzlin’ Sweet BBQ.

UK – Haggis & cracked black pepper, Flame-grilled Aberdeen Angus, Firecracker Lobster, Worcester Sauce, Roast Ox, Steak & Onion, Chilli & Lemon, Chicken Tikka Masala, Chargrilled steak, Cheeseburger, Steak and onion, Smoky bacon, Roast chicken, Prawn cocktail, Pickled onion, Tomato ketchup, BBQ rib, Worcester sauce, Cheddar cheese and bacon.

Japan – Mayonnaise, Wasabi, Seaweed, Soy Sauce & Butter.

Singapore – Chilli crab, Black Pepper, Soft shell crab, Grilled shrimp.

Hong Kong – Unagi Kabayaki, Salmon sushi (with wasabi), Okonomiyaki, Mongkok-style roasted sausage, Shichimi & soy sauce shrimp.

The world’s worst ever flavour – Cajun squirrel  (I’m not kidding – it’s an actual flavour!)

So far no country has frog flavoured chips. But surely they would be yummy, right?

What’s your favourite flavor of potato chip? Or your worst? Let us know in the comments section below!

frogchips copy

Where can I buy the book?

It’s OFFICIAL!DarcyMoon_coverweb

DARCY MOON and the DEEP-FRIED FROGS has ARRIVED.

AND … it’s available throughout Australia as well as in Singapore.

Yippee!

FP_LogoforPIAFIN AUSTRALIA.

It is available in all good bookstores.

So leap into your local bookstore, and if you can’t find Darcy Moon and the Deep-Fried Frogs on the shelves – ask an attendant. They will know where it is and if they’ve sold out, they can order you one in.

You can also order it online.

Order from Fremantle Press and get the book delivered to your door.

RRP 14.99 AUD

IN SINGAPORE.

It is coming soon to a book store near you.closetfullofbooks

Watch this space!

And in the mean time just order online.

Order from Closetful of Books and get the book delivered to your door.

As an added bonus the first 30 books sold online will be personally signed by the author (that’s me!).

AND … if you enter the coupon code DARCYMOONISGREAT at the checkout page you will get $2 off the purchase – which equals free shipping!

RRP 15.90 SGD
AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL SINGAPORE …logo

I will be doing author talks to all the year 3, 4 and 5s during their regular library sessions next week (March 17 to 21).

Order forms have gone out but if you missed them don’t worry. Either you, your child (or both of you) can visit me at the Upper Elementary Library between 11am-12noon on Wednesday 19th March. We will be having a lunchtime book party with questions and answers, book signings and CAKE.

TAH_NewLogo-01And finally –  the official SINGAPORE BOOK LAUNCH will be held in the Blue Room at the ARTS HOUSE, Sunday 13th April 3-5pm.

This will be a public event and all are welcome to come along for a family-friendly afternoon of book signings, conversation and a big green deep-fried CAKE (what is a book launch without cake?).

THE REST OF THE WORLD …

You can order online.

Order from the following websites and have the book delivered to your door.

Fremantle Press

 

 

Perth Zoo Breeding Program – Western Swamp Tortoise

In 1953, the Western Swamp Tortoise had been extinct for over 100 years.WST1

So you can imagine the surprise and excitement when a 15 year old school boy named Robert Boyd took his pet tortoise to a wildlife show – and it turned out to be a Western Swamp Tortoise!

They weren’t extinct after all.

But they were extremely endangered.

And, despite efforts to protect the remaining tortoises – such as the establishment of protected nature reserves – the tortoise numbers had dropped to as few as 30 by the 1980s.

In 1988, in an effort to help boost the number of tortoises, a breeding program was established at the Perth Zoo.

Since then, the program has bred over 800 Western Swamp Tortoises of which more than 600 have been released into the wild.

Check out this amazing video of baby tortoises hatching at Perth Zoo.

Today, it is estimated that 50 tortoises of breeding age live in the wild. The Perth Zoo’s breeding program has played a vital role in the survival of the Western Swamp Tortoise. Without it, they would most likely have become extinct – AGAIN!

For more information about the Perth Zoo Breeding Program click HERE.

Who invented potato chips?

chipsPotato Chips are the world’s most popular savoury snack.

So who would have guessed, they were invented as a JOKE!

It’s true!

In 1853, a native American named GEORGE CRUM was working as a chef and restaurant owner in Saratoga Springs. A super annoying customer kept sending his french-fries back to the kitchen saying they were too thick and soggy. It was a hot day and George lost his patience with the fussy customer. He sliced the potatoes as thin as possible, fried them to a crisp then added a heap of salt. Expecting the customer to dislike them, he served them with a self-satisfied flourish … and the customer loved them!

George Crum

George Crum had accidentally invented the potato chip – a snack that was eventually mass-produced and sold in bags, providing thousands of jobs nationwide and across the globe.

These days $15 billion dollars worth of potato chips are consumed world wide every year!

In the UK alone, a tonne of chips (or crisps as they are known there) are consumed every three minutes. That’s enough to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool every 14 hours!

No wonder Sid Bellows made so much money out of Skippity Chips!

What is frog slime?

In Darcy Moon and the Deep-Fried Frogs, Jumpy’s family and friends are frognapped for their tasty breathing mucus.frogs1

This is obviously a fictitious story, but a small part of it is based on fact.

Do you know what part????

Babadaboom, that’s right!

Frogs produce MUCUS!

What is frog mucus?

It is a special type of slime that frogs secrete to keep their skin moist.

It is important for frogs’ skin to remain moist because frogs BREATHE through their SKIN.

The mucus that frogs secrete traps moisture next to the skin. This moisture then transfers oxygen (from either water or air) into the frog’s body.

This process is called cutaneous gas exchange.

If the frog dries out, it will suffocate.

Do frogs always breathe through their skin, or just when they are underwater?

Adult frogs ALWAYS breathe through their skin, even when they are on land.

 

Frogs are amphibians, which means that they spend part of their life in water, and part on land.

tadpole-to-frog

They begin life as tadpoles, taking in oxygen through their skin and gills.

When they turn into adult frogs they lose their gills and grow lungs, but still breathe continuously through their skin, even when on land.

When a frog is under water its lungs are useless and it breathes entirely through its skin.

 

Sometimes, when a frog is out of water hybernating or being inactive, it gets all the oxygen it needs from its skin alone.

But when a frog is leaping around eating bugs it needs more oxygen and uses its lungs to catch its breath.

In order to pump oxygen into the lungs, the frog draws air through the nostrils by a movement of the throat, which is why it puffs out.

Frog skin facts.

Frogs don’t drink water through their mouths at all, instead they soak it into their bodies through their skin.croaking-frog

Frogs breathe through their skin.

A frog can breathe through its skin under water and in air, but the skin must be kept moist at all times.

Frogs secrete a mucus to help keep their skin wet.

In some frogs, the mucus can also contain antibacterial or anti fungal chemicals to help protect the frog from disease.

Frog skin is sometimes poisonous and often camouflaged.

More frog funnies

naked-frogQ: What does a frog wear on St. Patrick’s day?

A: Nothing

Q: What car do frogs prefer?

A: The Beetle

Q: What’s white on the outside and green on the inside?

A: A frog sandwich

Q: What  kind of shoes do frogs wear?

A: Open toadopen toad

Q: What’s green with red spots

A: A frog with chicken pox

Q: What is a frog’s favourite time of year?

A: Leap year

Q: What’s green and jumps?

A: A frog !!!!!