Ask the Author - Martha Keswick

Ask the Author - Martha Keswick

Martha has published the popular bilingual Max and Mei picture books series for children.
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As a group of avid readers in the LRP team we are very happy to have recently expanded our book offering online and in the showroom. We knew you would be interested in finding out more about some of the wonderful authors and illustrators who have created the ones we've selected. All books have a Hong Kong theme whether it be written or illustrated by someone who lives here or is about the city, the stories and the history of the place so many of us call home.

We have created a series of Ask The Author blog posts where we ask the same three questions (with an added bonus one at the end!) to find out more about their connection to the city, what their book is all about, what inspires them and their favourite things to see and do in the 852.

About You 
I am the author of the bilingual Max and Mei - Chinese Zodiac picture books series, the factual Zhongguo Mingren Series about famous people of China, and the action-packed Pangu comic series all for children learning Chinese as a second language. Recently we launched the Max and Mei & Me Learning kit, a blue suitcase packed with fun educational materials for pre-school children to learn Chinese on the go.  I am also the creator of COPE, a book series designed to enhance children’s disaster resilience.  In 2018 COPE was commissioned by the UNDRR to produce a book to commemorate World Tsunami Awareness Day.  Today COPE is a global disaster risk reduction brand, translated into 15 different languages and reaching over 3 million kids worldwide. I have been really lucky to live in Hong Kong on and off since 2000, (with stints in Singapore and the UK).

Max and Mei and Me kit

Your Inspiration
My first series of books was Max and Mei, which only really came about because I was struggling to find fun and engaging bedtime story books for my kids, who were all learning Chinese.  I searched in bookshops in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Singapore for suitable materials for children learning Chinese as a foreign language, so decided to write one myself.  The stories are based on the real-life experiences of my eldest son and his Chinese best friend, and have captured the interest and imagination of children around the world ever since.

Favourite thing to do or see in Hong Kong
A walk down to Big Wave Bay with our dog, Mango.  However busy my day has been, I always feel chilled by the time I get down to the beach and watch Mango splashing around in the waves. 

Of all the activities in the learning kit, which one do you find the most helpful and why?
I particularly love the Mandarin nursery rhymes in the Max and Mei & Me Audio books, (such as Yi, er, san, si, wu, liu qu, wo de maozi zai nali or Liang Zhe Lao Hu, Liang Zhe Lao Hu), as they are an effective way for kids to remember and sing along in Chinese. These rhymes take me back to our time in Singapore when the kids were at Nanyang kindergarten, and would come
home singing these catchy tunes. I still know them all off by heart!  

Free shipping over $500

We currently offer free, tracked, shipping within Hong Kong (cards are sent untracked) on all orders over $500. International shipping is calcuated based on the destination.