Last chance to win a free set of books for you AND your school in our March Madness Minibus Photo Competition!

March 31, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Minibus, Hong Kong Schools, Photo competitions | Leave a comment
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Chinese Calendart Tales Minibus

Yes, it’s the last day of March, and the deadline to sign up in our fabulous March Madness Minibus Photo Competition is midnight Hong Kong time today! So if you want to win a free set of my funny and fabulous Chinese Calendar Tales…PLUS a free set for your favourite primary school, go right away to http://www.chinesecalendartales.com to register right away in our competition!

Turn off those digital devices, kids! My article in the SCMP Education Post…

March 30, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Posted in children's literacy, media articles | Leave a comment
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As you know, I’m passionate about kids reading lots and lots and lots of books…and equally passionate about kids turning OFF their digital devices!! Scientific studies have proven, again and again, that the very best way to become not just a great writer, but also a great thinker, with a strong imagination and an original mind, is to read printed books, widely and well, and A LOT! They’re also proving that spending too much time on digital toys and screens (and the American Association of Pediatrics says that shouldn’t be more than 1 to 2 hours a day in total of high quality content) is very bad for you kids and can seriously affect your intellectual, physical and social development…OUCH!

Read my interview with John Cremer on 28th March in the South China Morning Post Education Post here – http://www.educationpost.com.hk/resources/parents-guide/170328-sponsored-feature-children-should-spend-more-time-reading-books-and-less-time-using-gadgets-says-panellist.

And then turn off your computer and bury your nose in a fabulous BOOK!

YAY!

 

 

 

A Cockadoodle Doo Reminder for TWO competitions…and some good news!

March 28, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Posted in Online Sales, Photo competitions, Rooster story, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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REMINDER NUMBER ONE: MARCH MINIBUS MADNESS PHOTO COMPETITION!

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March is about to end…and there’s a big deadline looming! If you want to be in the running to win a COMPLETE SET of my Chinese Calendar Tales (including The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster) for YOU and ANOTHER COMPLETE SET for your SCHOOL, then click here https://www.chinesecalendartales.com/en/shop/ right away to register in our March Minibus Madness Photo Competition! Registration closes on 31st March – and remember:If you’re not in it, you can’t win it :)!

REMINDER NUMBER TWO: CLEVER COMPETITION NO. 30: A REALLY RIVETING ROOSTER TALE!

If you’re a primary school student, anywhere in the world, you still have FOUR weeks to enter my latest international writing competition for kids! Click on my Clever Competitions page here https://sarahbrennanblog.com/competitions-and-challenges for all the details! I can’t wait to read your entry!

AND SOME GOOD NEWS!

We’ve had a few problems lately with our online sales website at https://www.chinesecalendartales.com/en/shop/ and some of you have been unable to make your orders. But the great news is that everything is fixed and we’re up and running full speed ahead! So if you haven’t yet updated your Chinese Calendar Tales set yet, or purchased your copy of The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster, or horrified your mums and dad with my two funny and fabulous Dirty Stories, then you can go right away to https://www.chinesecalendartales.com/en/shop/ to make your purchase!!

Cock-a-doodle-doooooo!

A brilliant Sunday at Bookazine Children’s Booksfest!

March 28, 2017 at 10:47 am | Posted in Bookshop event | Leave a comment
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Many thanks to Thing 1 and Thing 2 (a.k.a. Shonee and Arti Mirchandani above) and Clemence (top left) at Bookazine for inviting me to their fabulous Bookazine Children’s Bookfest on Sunday morning! After a fun Facebook Interview with Little Steps Hong Kong (Where’s Wally above :)), a huge host of kids, mums and dads were entertained with LOADS of story readings by the Hong Kong Talespinners (middle far right), Gregory March with his wonderful new yoga book for kids, The Dog who Chased His Tail (middle third from left), Ellen Ng and Assia Bennani (Hong Kong A to Z), Matthew Cooper (Black Rain Day), Bhakti Mathur (Amma Tell Me series) and last but not least, me with my Tale of Rickshaw Rooster from The Chinese Calendar Tales! We even had a Facebook interview with a lovely journalist from Little Steps Hong Kong, dressed as Wally (middle second from left)! It was SO much fun! There are tons more fabulous photos here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/bookfestbybookazine/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1412166398843876!

A magical Saturday with Leigh Hobbs!

March 28, 2017 at 9:59 am | Posted in Being an Author, children's literacy | Leave a comment
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What a wonderful day I had on Saturday, with the altogether fabulous Leigh Hobbs, who just happens to be Australia’s Children’s Laureate (which means super-special Aussie children’s author and illustrator to you and me!). My lovely husband and I kidnapped Leigh from his hotel, where Leigh was staying whilst visiting some lucky primary schools in Hong Kong, and took him to Stanley for lunch and a drive around the island! Leigh is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and we became firm friends! And if you haven’t read any of Leigh’s books yet, you’re in for a treat! Here are just some of the wacky characters, and best-selling books, Leigh has created, which have been published by my favourite Aussie publishers, Allen and Unwin! Borrow them from your library, or even better yet, buy them for your own library of books at home!

 

Come and Cockadoodle Doo with Rickshaw Rooster and me today at The Repulse Bay!!

March 26, 2017 at 10:26 am | Posted in children's literacy, Chinese Calendar Tales, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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17553990_1520514737981037_6367927819699384240_nWe’re telling tales tall and terrific at the Bookazine Children’s Bookfest today at The Repulse Bay!! So if you feel in need of a magical story from 5 fabulous authors and the wonderful Talespinners – come and join us from 11am to 5pm! You can even buy signed copies of our books – yay!! See you there!

The SILF photos are here at last!

March 25, 2017 at 9:43 am | Posted in Literary Festivals, Shanghai International Literary Festival | Leave a comment
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Many thanks to Naomi Eisenbeiss of M Literary Festivals for sending me these fab photos of my event last Sunday! As you can see, the Glamour Bar at M on the Bund is an Art Deco delight, and the perfect setting for a reading of The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster, with that famous race along The Bund in 1920s Shanghai!

My fun interview with RTHK Radio 3!

March 22, 2017 at 10:38 am | Posted in Press, Radio interviews | Leave a comment
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Here I am at the studios of RTHK Radio 3, after my fun interview with the wonderful Noreen Mir of the 123 Program on 13th March. And if you want to hear my interview, where I talk about all the fabulous history behind my latest Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster, my writing process, my school visits, my Chinese fairy godfather :), our new minibus advertisements, some exciting news about a new book, as well as my top tips for creating great readers and writers in the digital age, here is the link!

http://programme.rthk.hk/channel/radio/programme.php?name=radio3/1_2_3_show&d=2017-03-13&p=5979&e=423536&m=episode

A wonderful visit to my friends at WISS!

March 21, 2017 at 6:45 pm | Posted in School visits, Shanghai schools, Western International School of Shanghai | Leave a comment
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My last day in Shanghai was spent with my old friends at Western International School Shanghai! Here I am with my lovely friend, primary librarian Isolde Rosevear, who hosted me to a lovely day with the Grade 1s and Grade 5s! The Grade 1s and I had huge fun learning about Chinese dragons, with a reading of The Tale of Chester Choi, and the Grade 5s and I explored all the time-honoured rules about How to Write a Riveting Story. It was such a lovely, welcoming, warm day, and a fitting end to a really marvellous adventure in Shanghai!

I meet a future great writer at the SILF…

March 21, 2017 at 6:29 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Shanghai International Literary Festival | Leave a comment
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Meet Dashiell, a remarkable young man, and his remarkable family Brook, Phineas and Hannah, who have been coming to my sessions at the SILF for some years now. Dash’s mum and dad are both well-known writers, and it looks like Dash is a chip off the old block! We had a lovely lunch together, during which I noticed that Dash was busy with pencils on paper! And here’s what he produced, in just half an hour:

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This is Dash’s map of an imaginary country, Syldavia, which he invented over lunch! You can see its boundaries, its mountains, forests, beaches, bays and seas. You can see its capital city, its population, its national flag, its religions, its language and even its writing! This map reminded me of nothing so much as the maps and kingdoms invented by the Brontes in their Haworth parsonage back in the 19th century – and all of the Bronte children were exceptional writers, from an early age.

Dash gave me this map as a gift – which I will always treasure. But he has lots more at home! Now this is what I talk about in my sessions with kids, mums, dads and teachers, about the way great writers are created! The NUMBER ONE requirement is a GREAT imagination – and it’s very clear that Dash has an exceptional imagination. He also has great general knowledge, curiosity and the ability to think deeply. And of course Dash just LOVES reading books – lots and lots of them. And so it is inevitable that Dash will become a great writer one day.

I think we can all learn a great deal from this excellent young man. Thank you Dash.

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