My Brilliant Week in China!

March 23, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Posted in Beijing, Beijing Schools, Bookworm Cafe Beijing, Changzhou, Changzhou schools, China photos, Montessori School of Beijing, Suzhou, Suzhou schools, Suzhou Science and Technology Town Foreign Language School, Tsinghua International School Beijing, Wycombe Abbey International School Changzhou, YCIS Beijing | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Hello everyone – I’m back in Hong Kong, and now I can update you about my fantastic week in China last week!

Day One: Wycombe Abbey International School in Changzhou

WAICZ#1

On Monday I met the fabulous kids and teachers at Wycombe Abbey International School in Changzhou! Here above I’m standing with the lovely librarians – Betty Ton, my host for the day (who kindly let me stay in her flat!), and her library colleagues Lesley Kelly and Marianne Booth.

We had a fun day of 4 story readings where the kids met my Chinese Calendar Tales characters from The Tale of Desmond Dog, The Tale of a Dark Horse, and The Tale of Chester Choi. Then just a few days ago I received a lovely list of questions from the school magazine – the questions were so interesting, I’ve added them and my answers to to my FAQ list on the tab above! Do take a look! And here are some more photos!

 

That evening I flew to the ancient city of Suzhou, where I met up with my Bookworm Festival Minder Elaine and her friend Zoe, who took me out for a dinner of black carp soup at a local restaurant. It was delicate and absolutely delicious!

IMG_5447

=Afterwards, we took a walk along the canal which runs around the old city, seeing some wonderful landmarks below:

 

 

Day Two: Suzhou Science and Technology Town Foreign Language School

After staying in the very elegant Pan Pacific Hotel in Suzhou overnight,

Elaine and I were driven an hour into the countryside to a local private high school in Suzhou’s Science and Technology Town, the Suzhou Science and Technology Town Foreign Language School.

IMG_5480

I met some remarkable, forward-thinking teachers and the students of Grades 5 and 7, who impressed me hugely with their creativity. I gave two hour long sessions about How to Become Writers in the Digital Age, to a great response from the students and staff. Below top left, you will see me with Vice Principal Wang Haiyan to my left, the lovely Zhang Chen, Director of the Principal’s Office to her left, and my helper Elaine to my right!

In particular I met a delightful young lady at lunch, Rose Yang, just 11 years old, who later sent me a very accomplished and lovely sonnet she had written – I’ll write about it in my next post!

That night I flew to Beijing, where the Bookworm Festival kindly accommodated me and the other Festival writers in the very modern, stylish and minimalist hotel The Opposite House. Here are some pictures – though I’m not sure how much I appreciated the terracotta soldiers in the foyer…!

 

 

Day Three: Montessori School of Beijing

On Wednesday I visited my old friends at Montessori School of Beijing, where I gave two story reading sessions to the younger students, and two Riveting Story workshops to the older students. It was great to see the school again, to meet its new Principal Laura King (to my left) and its marketing director Wairimu Wanjau (Nimo) to my right! I also made a wonderful new friend Yun (below far right) who was my Bookworm Minder for the day – thanks Yun! More photos to come!

IMG_5494

Day Four: Yew Chung International School Beijing

Campus-View-1a

On Thursday I visited YCIS Beijing, where the Year 1 and Year 2 kids heard my latest Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Desmond Dog, while the Year 4s took part in my How to Write a Riveting Story workshop and the Year 5s learned How to Publish Your Own Picture Book! We had a lot of fun! Many thanks to my hosts Anna Esposito and Landy Hwang, and to my wonderful Bookworm Minder, Gary Fang.

IMG_3275

Day Five: Tsinghua International School Beijing

IMG_0369The final school in my busy tour was the wonderful THISB, set in the middle of the Olympics Tennis Center! With workshops and story readings for everyone from Grade 1 to Grade 5, we had so much fun together in this energetic, enthusiastic school. Many thanks for inviting me to the lovely Principal Mandy Zhang and my host for the day, librarian Christine Wedge. Here we are below in a fun selfie!

IMG_0380

And here I am in my sessions with the kids!

 

 

And meeting some of my new fans!

 

 

 

Friday evening and Saturday at The Bookworm

Finally, I spent a wonderful evening and day at The Bookworm International Literary Festival listening to three fabulous Australian authors, Booker Prize Winning Richard Flanagan from my home State of Tasmania, and prize-winning Sydney poet and author Fiona Wright and multi-award winning author Alexis Wright. It was a rare privilege to hear them talk about their writing, their inspiration and their craft.

 

Huge thanks to Peter Goff, owner of The Bookworm Cafe and Festival Director, for inviting me to participate in the Schools Program for the Festival this year, to Zoe for her fantastic organisation of the tour, and to my fabulous minders. And for the splendid accommodation, and always warm welcome at the unique and beautiful Bookworm Cafe!

Farewell Beijing!

And finally, a fond farewell to misty late-winter Beijing, a magnificent city with a magnificent history! I can’t wait to return!

 

 

Desmond and I take part in the Bookworm Literary Festival this week!

March 12, 2018 at 8:29 pm | Posted in Beijing Schools, Bookworm Cafe Beijing, Changzhou schools, Literary Festivals, Suzhou schools, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

Desmond holding child

Desmond Dog and I are visiting 3 different cities in mainland China for 5 fun days this week as part of the Bookworm Literary Festival! Today we’ve been in Changzhou, tonight and tomorrow we’re in Suzhou, then from Wednesday to Friday we’ll be in Beijing! Keep following this blog to see all the photos and fun!

 

 

Desmond Dog’s Beijing launch at the Bookworm Cafe was fabulous fun!

January 28, 2018 at 8:16 pm | Posted in Beijing, Book launches, Bookshop event, Bookworm Cafe Beijing | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , ,

CatqJ

Desmond Dog and I had fabulous fun this afternoon at Beijing’s famous Bookworm Cafe! A lovely bunch of kids, mums and dads came to hear The Tale of Desmond Dog and all the scrumptious Chinese history behind the story! Then we had a fun quiz with questions for everyone from 2 years old to some really ancient ages :), with toy dog prizes, and finally a book signing! It was wonderful to meet such an enthusiastic crowd who love their Chinese history just as much as I do! Huge thanks to Peter Goff, and his lovely assistants Zoe and Nancy, for hosting me today – I look forward to working with the Bookworm Cafe again when I return to Beijing in March for the Literary Festival!

And thank you Zoe for these fabulous photos of the story reading…

and the book-signing…

and last but not least, some new friends!

thumb_IMG_5205_1024 (1).jpgPeter Goff, owner of the Bookworm Cafe! I wonder if you can guess which animal family in the Chinese Zodiac Peter belongs to, and which one I belong to?

EhxbpSima and Nicky Tebbutt and their lovely parents Tatjana and Dan from Ukraine and
Australia (together with “their” animals of the Chinese Zodiac)…

The marvellous creators of the Heckerty series (about that crazy green witch Zanzibar and her adventures), Allan Davidson and Jan Ziff! Here, my dragon Billy Boy is trying to eat Zanzibar, but gives up in the end and lets Zanzibar fly him away! I think they’re going to be firm friends too!

Hey Beijing kids! What are you doing this Sunday?

January 25, 2018 at 8:42 pm | Posted in Book launches, Bookworm Cafe Beijing, Buying my books, Children's Chinese Zodiac Books | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , ,

The Year of the Dog is around the corner, and I’ll be at the famous Bookworm Cafe at Building 4, Nan Sanlitun Road, Chaoyang District at 1.30pm on THIS SUNDAY for the Beijing launch of my latest Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Desmond Dog! It’s all about a noble dog, wicked pirates, and a little fishing village called Hong Kong! Come along to  hear me read my story! Here’s your official invitation! I can’t wait to see you there!Poster - Sarah Brennan - Bookworm

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.