Hurry, hurry! Just 13 days left in my Really Riveting Rooster Tale competition!

April 17, 2017 at 4:55 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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If you haven’t yet entered your story for my Really Riveting Rooster Tale Competition yet, you’d better get your racing shoes on!! There are just 13 days left before the deadline at midnight on 30 April! This one’s such a fun one – click on my Clever Competitions button above for all the details! I look forward to reading your entry – cockadoodle-dooooo!

The race is ON! Just 3 weeks to go to get your entries into my Really Riveting Rooster Tale Story Competition!

April 8, 2017 at 4:16 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Sir Rooster Englishman & green car(L)(Sir Humphrey Hyphen-Smythe in The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster, illustrated by Harry Harrison)

The clock is ticking, it’s Easter holidays and the weather’s variable. It’s just that sort of time when the best fun of all comes from – you guessed it! – your very own imagination! So what a perfect time to get out those pens and write me a Really Riveting Rooster Tale! There are just 3 weeks to go till the deadline on 30 April, and I can’t wait to read all your entries! So go to my Clever Competitions page here: https://sarahbrennanblog.com/competitions-and-challenges for all the information you need – and, like Sir Humphrey Hyphen-Smythe fromĀ The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster, REV UP THOSE ENGINES…AND GET WRITING!

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 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!

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.

Rickshaw Rooster is flying home – to Shanghai!

March 15, 2017 at 6:17 am | Posted in children's literacy, China photos, Shanghai schools | Leave a comment
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Rooster Cover image only(L)

Yippee! Rickshaw Rooster and I are flying to Shanghai today for 3 fabulous school visits and a special appearance on The Bund!! Which of course is where that feisty rooster runs THAT race!! I can’t wait to see my old friends in Shanghai – and to make some new ones too! – and to see my lovely fans at the Shanghai International Literary Festival at 10am at M on the Bund on Sunday!

The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster is my homage to a city that I love, that has made me very welcome over the past 9 years, and my homage also to its remarkable history that made it The Paris of the East!

And if you haven’t already booked for my session at the SILF, here’s the link! http://www.m-restaurantgroup.com/event/sarah-brennan-rickshaw-the-rooster-childrens-session/

Do make sure you see some of the other exciting sessions too – it’s a fantastic opportunity to meet authors from around the world, for both adults and children, and to hear them talk in person about their work. Not to mention having your books signed by the authors themselves!!

See you soon, Shanghai, with a great big COCKADOODLE-DOOOOO!

Rooster Building(L)

A funny and fabulous photo to share!

March 2, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Shatin Junior School | Leave a comment
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karen-hubbard-elvis-and-meThank you Karen Hubbard, Lead Teacher of Curriculum at Shatin Junior School, and my wonderful host and friend, for this fabulous photo taken during Book Week this week! I LOVE Karen’s costume, and note how it matches the colours on the cover of my latest Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster, perfectly! Not to mention Elvis the Australian Rooster (a.k.a. an Emu with two blue tail feathers) who is sitting on her shoulder! And what is he saying? Of course! It’s Cock-a-doodle-GLOMP!

Cockadoodle Doo! It’s time for a Really Riveting Rooster Tale writing competition!

February 27, 2017 at 2:28 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Clever Competitions, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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rooster-posterlIt’s a brand new Year of the Rooster, and all the roosters in the world are crowing the news! So what better time to announce a brand new international Clever Competition, based on that very noisy bird!

If you’re a kid of primary school age, in school or home-educated, anywhere in the world, you are eligible to enter…for free!

This time, I need you to write me a story about a Rooster – but you also need to add in: a Chinese setting, an inquisitive bulbul (look it up if you don’t know your birds!), a ball of string, the colour coquelicot (again, you’ll need to research what that looks like!) and a fire of some sort!

The deadline for your story is Sunday 30 April and your time starts NOW! So get ready, get set, GOOOOOOOO! (as the pig says to Rickshaw Rooster in my latest Chinese Calendar Tale :)!)

See the Clever Competitions button above for more information, guidelines and competition rules!

I’m back…

January 12, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Clever Competitions, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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A big warm hello to all my lovely readers, with an explanation and an apology… I’ve been away from my desk for all of December, and some of November and January too, tending to my 90 year old Dad in Australia who’s been ill in hospital and my 86 year old Mum who needed help. It’s one of those times when family has to come first, but as a result I’ve let down some of you, and owe you an apology.

I especially want to say sorry to the fabulous kids who entered my Horribly Hilarious Halloween Competition, which I still haven’t been able to judge yet :(. I’m now coming up to the busiest time of my year, with Chinese New Year around the corner and a fabulous new book to promote (The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster – see Harry Harrison’s wonderful illustrations below and above) so I’m going to be extremely busy over the next few weeks and months, but promise you that I’ll be judging that competition as quickly as I can. Not just so that I can post the results, but also so that I can set a brand new writing competition for a brand new Year :)! So please accept my apologies, and be as patient as you can, and I’ll have those results out soon!

In the meantime, a Happy 2017 to all of you – I hope this year is your best yet!

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